What’s new in ISO 20121:2024 the Sustainable Events Standard?

The international standard for an “event sustainability management system”, ISO 20121, has been updated which includes a better relationship to the harmonised structure for management systems, Annex SL.

The standard was originally published in 2012, coinciding with the London Olympic Games, and is increasingly being used to manage major events around the world.

Changes in ISO 2012:2024

The new edition of the standard includes some changes that organisations should be aware of when implementing an event sustainability management system.

The standard aligns more closely to the harmonised structure with changes to text, clause sequence and definitions.  

ISO 20121:2024 also includes the new “climate change clarification” which applies to all management system standards, requiring organisations to consider whether climate change is a relevant issue, and the impact on/from interested parties. 

Read more: Incorporating Climate Change within the Context of your Management System 

There is an extended list of issues which includes human and child rights, digital responsibility, mental health, diversity and economic inclusion.  

There are also more examples of interested parties such as Partners and Sponsors..

The policy clause includes new requirements for reporting on achievements and lessons learned, while generally there is a renewed focus on demonstrating sustainability throughout the supply chain.  For example, asking suppliers to demonstrate evidence of sustainability requirements at the procurement stage.

The Annexes, which already provided detailed implementation guidance, have also been updated.

Implementing ISO 20121:2024 and Achieving Certification

Assent’s ISO 20121 Consultants can help you implement an event sustainability management system, help you achieve ISO 20121 certification and support you throughout the lifecycle of your event. 

Organisations can benefit from a gap analysis exercise to first understand the requirements of ISO 20121 and how that may impact their event.  

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
Articles: 290