In November 2007 we witnessed the release of BS8901 ‘Event Management Standard ‘ on sustainability. This new criterion was aimed at assisting to better the direction systems in the events industry and thereby behavior concern in a more sustainable mode. Amongst the earliest people to follow the criterion are the 2012 London Olympic Games Organizing commission. This being to supervise the stamp procedure for the Olympic Games. BS8901 has received broad acclamation from a figure of early patrons in the events industry i.e. Live Earth, Manchester International Festival, Lords Cricket Ground and Reeds Carpets etc. “ BSI British Standards provides a system for pull offing the overall environmental, economic and societal impact of an event. BS 8901 is a new criterion which sets out the demands for planning and pull offing a sustainable event. ” ( Fulton )

The DEFRA Minister Hillary Benn has been an immediate protagonist of BS 8901 and the construct of sustainability. He was quoted as stating “ Lots of us love to go to music festivals and football lucifers but they can bring forth a batch of rubbish. We all have to play our portion in the move to more sustainable life. ” ( Benn ) . In add-on to the national criterion there is besides the development of ISO 20121 that is being developed and finalized for the Olympic Games in 2012. “ The criterion ( ISO 20121 ) will take a direction systems approach necessitating designation of cardinal sustainability issues like locale choice, runing processs, supply concatenation direction, procurance, communications, conveyance, and others. ” ( Lazarte )

The new ISO criterion is expected to do a important part to the full event industry in the UK and Elizabeth Henderson the Director of Social and Corporate duty at media steadfast MPI stated “ As sustainability is going progressively of import for the event industry, persons, companies and states are puting multiple and differing criterions. ISO 20121 will be developed with extended stakeholder battle so the industry can hold one internationally recognized model to implement sustainability ” ( Lazarte ) .


Definitions of sustainability in the event industry include:

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An enduring and balanced attack to economic activity, environmental duty and societal advancement ( Sustainable Events )

There are broader definitions of sustainability as this can be applied in a figure of other really different contexts. These extra contexts are explored below with definitions provided by leaders in that peculiar field.

Sustainable Development: Sustainability encompasses the simple rule of taking from the Earth merely what it can supply indefinitely, therefore go forthing future coevalss no less than we have entree to ourselves. ” – Friends of the Earth – hypertext transfer protocol: //

Sustainable Society: Society whose long term chance for go oning to be are good. Such a society would be characterized by an accent on continuing the environment, developing strong peaceable relationships between people and states, and an accent on just distribution of wealth. ” – Coop America Quarterly, No. 37 Summer 1995.

Sustainable Production: “ Sustainable Production is the creative activity of goods and services utilizing procedures and systems that are: non-polluting ; conserving of energy and natural resources ; economically efficient ; safe and healthful for workers, communities, and consumers ; and, socially and creatively honoring for all on the job people. ” – hypertext transfer protocol: //

Sustainable Agribusiness: “ husbandmans in sustainable agribusiness are concerned about feeding their households and paying their measures, but those are non their lone ends in life. They set out to protect the land, better their quality of life, and heighten the communities in which they live. Their daily determinations are non guided by a individual minded hunt for net income, but by a delicate reconciliation act among many ends. ” – Land Stewardship Program, White Bear Lake Minnesota. Monitoring Sustainable Agribusiness with Conventional Financial Data, hypertext transfer protocol: //

From the above illustrations it can be observed that the general construct of sustainability has a broad application beyond that of event direction. The Government is more concerned with sustainable environment and development affairs “ The end of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the universe to fulfill their basic demands and bask a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future coevalss. ” ( DEFRA ) .

Sustainability in the event industry is truly all about good direction and concern pattern. It is of import to show to identify stakeholders that the event being hosted is ecofriendly and is being managed in a professional and responsible manner. The 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver Canada was a great international event but it every bit left behind a batch of substructure and installations that would be of benefit to the public station the games i.e. swimming pools, improved ski installations, ice rinks, running trails etc. In kernel sustainability leaves behind a permanent footmark and provides a major value added part to the original event. The London Olympic Games in 2012 will be no exclusion to this and it is already working on possible sweetenings and betterments for re-generation of countries within greater London. As such it will supply a welcome encouragement to the local economic development of greater London.


BS8901 has been developed wholly for the event industry. The premier nonsubjective being to do the industry operate in a more efficient mode. The criterions are based around the support and physique of an effectual event direction system. The British Standard requires those take parting administrations to re-examine the attempts and impact that this event will hold on the environment, society and the economic system in both micro and macro conditions. From this analysis to find a set of counter steps that will turn to this and assist to extenuate the negative impacts. By implementing the guidelines of BS 8901 you would anticipate to deduce the undermentioned benefits: –

A clear way through the execution of a sustainability policy ;

A thorough skips check guaranting no of import countries have been left out ;

A decrease in ailments as a consequence of improved communications with the cardinal stakeholders ;

Better repute through improved supplier relationships ;

Decrease of operating costs and riddance of waste ;

Improved procedure efficiency through streamlining and riddance of redundancies ;

More robust information and better determination devising ;

A whole batch of cost decrease betterments i.e. lower preparation costs, lower staff turnover, improved productiveness additions etc. ;

General increased client satisfaction and an improved stance sing selling.

BS8091 has changed from a specification to that of a criterion focused on sustainability system for direction of events “ This means that events do non follow with BS 8901, but that instead it is the direction system behind the events that complies. The standard clarifies that it is applicable non merely to event organizers, but to all administrations in the events industry, from event clients to locales, providers and contractors, irrespective of their function in presenting events. ” ( Whiteling ) .

Another of import facet of the criterion is that it requires the administration to clearly specify the range of how it complies with the criterion. Hence administrations must fix a study that describes both the activities and the maps which are an built-in portion of the sustainable direction system. Another alteration from the old version is that this new criterion is far more procedure oriented. This will necessitate a batch more communications with the cardinal stakeholders and in general footings an improved communications program. On the execution side there is an increased trust upon effectual planning and peculiar the definition of functions and duties together with mileposts and timelines. “ “ Many of the ambiguities within the original version have been cleared up, and some of the confusing clauses, such as measuring options for improved event sustainability, have been removed, ” ( Whiteling ) .

ISO 20121

The future criterion of ISO 20121 will do a important impact to the events industry when it is released in 2012 at the Eve of the London Olympic Games. The criterion is aimed at supplying a model where event contrivers and other persons in the supply concatenation can implement and keep a sustainable plan. ISO 20121 will hold been designed and developed in extended audience with stakeholders in the events industry. It is anticipated that the criterion will go the benchmark for the industry in footings of both quality and public presentation. The criterion will follow a “ direction systems approach necessitating designation of cardinal sustainability issues like locale choice, runing processs, supply concatenation direction, procurance, communications, conveyance, and others ” ( Lazarte ) .

ISO20121 uses the BS 8091 as the get downing point in order to develop a more comprehensive model for an events sustainable direction system. The planetary criterion is intended to profit all in the events industry and non merely assist in the decrease of an organisations societal and environmental impact but aid to streamline the operating processs and cut down costs. An illustration being where energy is an identified issue, an appropriate sustainability extenuation scheme might be developing processs that would cut down the C footmark.

Despite the development of IS20121, the event and touristry industry is presently less sustainable than any old clip in its history. See the undermentioned issues:

a†’ We are seeing far more emanations in absolute footings ;

a†’ With energy and land usage we are seeing a batch more resource use ;

a†’ We are seeing an increased loss in the part to bio diverseness

a†’ The increasing part of touristry to that of environmental alteration raises considerable concern over effectual sustainable policy development in this country.

Another issue refering sustainability is that it is largely portrayed in footings of a one dimensional though procedure i.e. it is shown in economic footings. Hence utilizing the London Olympic Games as an illustration it is chiefly concerned with the hosting of that event and the impact to the UK hostel footings of economic growing. There is non adequate attending being paid to the costs of the longer term deduction, this peculiarly at the clip of a major recession in the UK. The BC Government in Canada was criticised for political grand-standing and perpetrating a monolithic overspend on the hosting of the 2010 winter Olympics. Similarly in London this shows a considerable accent on international profiling and showcasing London in order to heighten its planetary selling place and profile.

The sustainability program for the London Olympic Games is based upon 5 cardinal subjects:

The Sustainability Plan focuses on five cardinal subjects:

1. Climate alteration: dealing with emanations and the impact of clime alteration such that there is a sustainable bequest for the hereafter

2. Waste: The complete riddance of waste and guaranting that such a bi-product is non sent to set down make full sites during the development of the games sites

3. Biodiversity: understating the dangers on the devastation of wildlife sites and the home grounds of same. Building upon the bing eco development policies go forthing Parkss that will advance wildlife and sanctuaries.

4. Inclusion: Supplying chances to showcase the diverseness of London and market the concern and commercial chances for the Capital

5. Healthy life: Geting people motivated towards constructs of more healthy life and taking up athleticss.


The construct of BS 8901 has a broad credence both in the UK and overseas. One of the of import factors being that of long term sustainability in the urban planning of the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee is extremely supportive of this and takes into consideration how applicant states will integrate this into the overall planning of the games “ the IOC ‘s Olympic Study Commission in July, 2003 has recommended a figure of controls to guarantee that bequest is a precedence in the theatrical production of future Games. Legacy needs to be integrated and given equal weighting through all phases of Olympic planning. ” ( Chalkey ) . Another illustration of a specific success narrative was the hosts of the Olympic Games in Australia in 2000. Their attending to sustainability gave them the rubric of the ‘green games ‘ – “ By perpetrating the authorities to

environmental guidelines based on Agenda 21 and the recommendations of

the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, the Sydney

Olympic gamess earned the unofficial rubric of the Green Games ” ( Briese )

The impact of BS 8091 and the subsequent development of ISO 20121 have been widely observed by other states including Australia, Brazil and Canada. Amongst the first to take action was that of Brazil in developing the criterion for usage in that state “ Reacting to wide-spread enthusiasm for BS 8901, work has now started on an international criterion for event direction. The proposal for the development of ISO 20121 was jointly submitted by BSI and ABNT, the Brazilian national criterions organic structure, as members of the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO ) . ” ( Fulton )

Examples of acceptance of BS 8091 include the followers:

The Barbican, London

A big conference installation in the Centre of London with 2000 siting capacity is used for hosting a broad scope of events and meetings. It has late started to implement BS8091 “ The Centre introduced a assortment of policies to better its environmental efficiency, and won Gold at the City of London Clean City Awards 2008. The stairss to this included sourcing 55 per cent of electrical energy contracts from renewable and green contracts, sourcing warming and chilling from a extremely efficient, combined heat and power system. ” ( Wyatt ) .

Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre, Berkshire

A to the full compliant BS8091 locale. A province of the art conference Centre in Berkshire, greater London. Won awards for sustainability and eco considerations in its design “ It won the Green Venue Event Award 2008. Enterprises include utilizing recycled or renewable stuffs during building. Electricity is from 100 per cent renewable supplies, while a solar panel pre-heats H2O for the boilers. Its reed bed system yearly recycles seven million liters of waste H2O. ” ( Wyatt )

The Brewery London

A locale that has historical roots back to the eighteenth Century. Not presently BS8091 accredited but is an built-in portion of a larger group that has received the award. “ Low-energy LED lighting is used throughout, with high-octane hand-dryers and detector visible radiations in the bathrooms. Local green goods is sourced wherever possible. The locale operates a waste direction system and provides invitees with filtered H2O in reclaimable bottles. ” ( Wyatt )

The ACC Liverpool ( BT Convention Centre )

Not presently BS8091 certified but actively on the job towards enfranchisement acquisition. 1,350 seats with an bordering country incorporating 11,000 seats and one of the largest United kingdom installations of its sort. It has 18 meeting suites and a big country for exhibition infinite “ The ?164m locale is designed to bring forth half the CO2 emanations of a traditional edifice. The electricity supply is from a green energy supplier. Five 20-metre low-noise air current turbines generate around 10s per cent of the needed electricity. Rainwater is collected and provides about 40 per cent of the H2O needed to flush lavatories. The locale has won two Green Apple Awards, is about to ship on achieving IS012001 and is expecting the result of a Green Business Tourism Scheme appraisal. ” ( Wyatt )

Excel London

A BS 8091 show window site and one of the first to derive enfranchisement. It boasts a installation that contains over 5,000 seating capacity and in May 2010 this was expanded to 26,000 “ Has its ain stuffs recycling installation, a wormery for nutrient waste and a ?14m energy Centre lodging three boilers, three hair-raisers and two back-up generators. ” ( Wyatt )

Faversham House Group

One of the universe ‘s largest independent media groups. They adopted enfranchisement of BS 8901 “ With of all time increasing force per unit area from stakeholders and governments to turn to sustainability, independent enfranchisement to BS 8901 will doubtless heighten the competitory stance and environmental credibleness of any administration involved with the events industry ” ( BSI )

Nimlok Ltd

Nimlok are builders and builders of usage exhibition bases and have a planetary presence in the supply of portable exhibition bases for conferences and exhibitions. “ Having already gained enfranchisement to ISO 9001 ( Quality Management ) and ISO 14001 ( Environmental Management ) with BSI, Nimlok recognised that BS 8901 would be an appropriate add-on to its enfranchisement portfolio and would assist the administration distinguish itself from industry rivals. ” ( BSI )

Earls Court and Olympia

A intent built conference Centre with BS8091 enfranchisement. All of the event directors are required to undergo BS8091 developing “ The group won the 2008 AEO Sustainability Excellence Award and the Visit London Sustainable Tourism Award. The locale ‘s sustainable development policy includes prosecuting with clients and providers on sustainability issues, measuring sustainability hazards and chances presented by hosting events and puting cardinal public presentation indexs and aims. Both locales have on-site recycling Centres. ” ( Wyatt )

There are no important jobs reported with the execution of BS8091 although some common people have cited minor operational issues that have caused some contention. Overall the criterion has been good received and adopted by all of those who have chosen to travel frontward and implement it. There is ever room for ongoing sweetening and betterment and it is anticipated that this is where ISO 20121 will pick up any slack when it is once released in 2012. A batch of attending will be focused on the London Olympic Games and the success of these games will farther heighten the credibleness of these criterions and the sum of work adapted from these criterions in order to do the event a immense international success narrative.

11 States have signed up to ‘mirror ISO20121 ‘ for acceptance in their native state. One of the more recent entrants to the mirror commission being that of Australia “ It is of import to observe that a working bill of exchange for the International Standard ( ISO ) 20121 was produced with no engagement from the Australian events community. Twenty states are actively involved in the development procedure including New Zealand. The SEA recognised this and approached Standards Australia to promote our engagement degree to travel from ‘O ‘ ( observer ) position to ‘P ‘ ( take parting ) position ” ( sustainable event ) .


Many of the enterprises that support the execution of BS8091 and that of ISO 20121 are still voluntary. There is no uncertainty that most event direction organisations will significantly profit from following these criterions and taking up these enterprises. It is possibly first utile to explicate what BS8091 does relative to other environmental policies. There are three distinguishable advantages of BS8091.

It defines the direction system that an organisation must set in topographic point for effectual sustainability of its operations. It is non a checklist but a unequivocal usher to operational processs ;

It does non straight use to events but more concerned with the direction system that must be adopted in order to run these events. “ It is the direction system operated by an administration to present its event related activities that is certified and non the event ” ( SEC )

The criterion is truly more about sustainability and non strictly focused on environmental issues, hence “ sustainability is about following schemes that will non merely guarantee long term fiscal success but will besides drive societal prosperity and advancement every bit good as cut down environmental debasement ” ( SEC ) .

BS8091 has been criticised for incorporating excessively much slang and non being an easy papers to grok or voyage. However, it contains a batch of good and utile stuff and many companies have succeeded in proper reading and usage of the criterion. These restraints have been notified to ISO 20121 which is expected to decide these troubles in the reading and reading of the criterion.

Benefits of BS 8901

The acceptance of BS8091 has to be considered from the many benefits that it provides to event direction organisations. Current research has demonstrated that the criterion is peculiarly utile for small-medium sized concern operations as it provides a dependable and robust model which facilitates the integrating of new staff. It besides helps the organisation in deriving a clearer apprehension of the overall strategic way and helps in harmonisation of the work force. Current undertakings have seen an betterment in communications and be aftering exemplifying more incorporate and consonant communications that promote better teamwork and improved determination devising capablenesss. Overall a construct of rationalisation and streamlining those consequences in more lucid and efficient systems and procedures. As the criterion efficaciously integrates societal and economic criterions it has an impact in assisting to raise employee motive and aids in retaining people with the best accomplishments and endowments. Further, it helps in bettering the dealingss with cardinal stakeholders and clients and strengthens the place of the concern in the local community. From the fiscal perspective acceptance of the criterion is seen to cut down costs, extinguish wastes and make nest eggs on energy.

“ BS 8901 challenges “ concern as usual ” and drives creativeness and invention which in bend can supply administrations with a competitory border. ” ( SEC )

Holocene reported inventions have included:

a†’ Improved return on investing by debut of new toolsets

a†’ Reduction in C emanations by providing companies

a†’ Venues supplying improved waste recreation rates from land fill sites

a†’ Reduction in paper press releases by event organisers

a†’ More events and conferences utilizing 100 % solar energy

a†’ Gifts to those who support the sustainability events and aims

There is a immense benefit to be derived in footings of selling capableness. In peculiar the ability of organisations to show their singularity and differentiation from rivals. This will better opportunities of winning new contracts and awards as concern move towards increased constructs of sustainability and environmentally friendly undertakings. A good illustration is that of the Greater London Authority that is now seen to include reference of BS8091 in the standards of its stamp paperss, as such their clients are taking the lead and doing similar incorporations into their ain paperss. This showing to the wider market the importance of sustainability options in their contractual relationship edifice. “ Most perceptibly, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games ( LOCOG ) released its London 2012 Sustainable Event Guidelines in which they expect all companies and administrations that wish to be associated with the Games to be working towards BS 8901. ” ( SEC ) .

There is besides the inquiry of acquiring in front of your competition. There is no uncertainty that BS8091 will be exhaustively adopted by the events industry. Those who do non take part will be left behind and earnestly disadvantaged in the competitory market topographic point. Finally the voluntary state of affairs might alter and it could go a minimal entry demand to be BS8091 certified. This is likely to be farther reinforced in 2012 when the ISO 20121b becomes released as an international criterion. Hence those who take paces now will profit over those who fail to see the significance of these criterions in the hereafter.


Despite the initial complexness of BS 8091 it has been widely accepted and endorsed by the event direction industry. The benefits of following the criterion far outweigh the disadvantages. The patterned advance to the international criterion of ISO20121 will be far more inclusive and affect the coaction of multiple companies on a global footing. The universe has come to acknowledge the turning importance of sustainability as a direct consequence of clime alteration and environmental alterations taking topographic point throughout the universe. We need to happen an enduring and balanced attack to economic activity, environmental duty and societal advancement. Hence the construct of sustainability has far more broad making deductions beyond that of the event industry. Major international events like the Olympic games provide the chance to both raise consciousness and showcase the importance of sustainability and the demand for international criterions to a universe audience. Another important advantage of the mirroring construct being used in the deployment of ISO 20121 is that it provides a criterion and unvarying model across different states and as such additions immediate transparence in footings of apprehension, reading and execution.

The addition in the technological development of computing machines and sophisticated communications has facilitated the design and physique of robust event direction systems. This has enabled better planning and organisation of events and eliminated the demand for bring forthing big volumes of paper studies or storage. Sustainable Events Management Solutions ( SEMS ) are a good illustration of an Australian house that has taken the affair earnestly and to the full embraced BS8091 into the design of its event direction system.

There is no uncertainty that to do BS8091 work requires a great trade of inclusivity and coaction amongst the spouses in the event direction undertaking “ Incorporating sustainability into meeting and event direction patterns requires organizers to use a combination of sustainable attacks including environmental stewardship, economic efficiency, and societal and cultural duty. ” ( Edwards )



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