ISO 20121 Management System Standard

The new international standard for the event industry ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems will very likely push sustainability onto the agenda of event organisers, where it has previously not.

Best practice has moved away from ad-hoc issues management towards a systems approach. This new approach offers a strategic way to manage sustainability and embed continual improvement. It ensures the inclusion of strategies, policies, processes, systems and actions that intertwine to support and manage event sustainability issues more efficiently, effectively and professionally.

What is ISO 20121?

ISO 20121: Events Sustainability Management Systems is a document developed by participating ‘standards bodies’ from various countries around the world. The purpose of the standard is to provide a framework to implement a system to manage an event’s sustainable development issues.

Rather than being a checklist, ISO 20121 requires a systematic approach to addressing sustainable development issues in relation to event planning. It can be applied to an event organiser, a single event or a venue.

Successful implementation of an event sustainability management system will ensure continual performance improvement and systematic management of issues rather than an ad-hoc approach. It facilitates improved sustainability performance. Documentation of processes and disclosure of performance is key.

The standard was launched in June 2012 - 

  • Read the news story on the standard here.
  • Download the promotional document on ISO 20121 here.
  • Buy a copy of the standard here.

Free Plain Language Guide

This guide offers a plain-language interpretation of the steps involved in implementing ISO 20121 and helps you to understand how this new international standard can be included in your event planning and delivery.

Get the guide here - GreenShoot Pacific ISO 20121 A Short Guide

This guide must not be hosted on any website or redistributed. All links must point to for subsequent downloads.

Watch a Webcast on implementing ISO 20121 by Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival have implemented ISO 20121. Watch the web caste on the implementation in four parts.