Published on March 7, 2014
Setting standards for sustainability INTRODUCTORY GUIDE TO THE ISO20121 EVENT SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR THE SPORTING INDUSTRY
In recent years, the international sporting industry has taken a leadership role in the implementation and promotion of sustainability best practices. From the day to day operation of sports venues and franchises, to larger scale sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup, environmental and social stewardship is being integrated into all areas of the industry. As a result more and more organizations are utilizing the ISO20121 standard as a management tool to establish, maintain and improve their sustainability practices. This guide provides an introductory guide with suggestions on how to develop a plan for ISO20121. iCompli and CLT Envirolaw are working together to help organizations improve their economic, environmental and social performance – the triple bottom line of sustainability – by adopting the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System Standard. Overview ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. ISO 20121 is designed to help organizations and venues involved in the events, sports, and hospitality industries integrate sustainability into management practices and processes. Sustainability focuses on three areas: 1. Economic – operating in a way that is financially viable for the organization, its customers and suppliers 2. Environmental – minimizing the use of resources and reducing waste 3. Social – considering the needs and expectations of those affected by the event or organization What does ISO20121 involve? ISO20121 follows the continuous improvement management system standard of Plan, Do, Check and Act. It is intended to be applied to the planning and implementation process of an organization as it develops a sustainability program. Plan – Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver the planned results. Do – Implement the plan and measure results. Check – Study actual results and compare to planned results. Act – Implement corrective actions on differences between actual and planned results. The four steps of Plan, Do, Check and Act can be summarized into the following actions: • Define the principles of sustainable development that are important to the organisation. • Obtain commitment from top management • Identify and engage stakeholders • Define roles and responsibilities • Identify and evaluate sustainability issues • Set achievable objectives • Develop an effective sustainability policy • Communicate internally and externally • Document processes • Measure and monitor performance, including a management review • Ensure continual improvement Setting standards for sustainability
Why implement ISO 20121? There are a number of benefits to event organizations that implement a sustainable management system: 1. Return on investment – input of new skills and information, financial returns 2. Increased engagement from staff and recruitment incentive 3. Streamlining of internal processes (saves time and risk) 4. Better risk management and compliance procedures in place 5. Innovation – often the creation of something new as a result of collaborating more with suppliers 6. Better supply chain management 7. Development of sustainable procurement systems - builds in codes of conduct and better purchasing decisions, saving money 8. Saving money – waste and energy management! 9. Reputation – demonstration of commitment to sustainable principles to stakeholders (including the local community) WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PURCHASING CONSULTANCY SERVICES? Depending on your organisation’s level of internal competency and experience with sustainability, it may prove more beneficial to engage consultancy services. The benefits of working directly with us include: • practical experience of managing the ISO steps and achieving certification for sports stadiums • saving time and money through provision of templates and tools • legal experience to implement the legal compliance requirement and an effective procurement policy • strong engagement skills, particularly in running collaborative workshops and stakeholder engagement programmes • bringing in innovative ideas from an outside approach • the potential to go beyond certification for additional value • using a strategic approach tailored to your organisation • saving money as your organisation will not need to buy the standard (see STEP 1 below) How to implement ISO 20121: A step-by-step guide Step 1: Buy the ISO standard The ISO 20121 standard can be purchased here. Step 2: Determine scope of the system Will this event management system encompass the entire organization, venue, a specific event, or a series of events? Step 3: Identify your stakeholders Who are the persons or organizations that can affect or be affected by your activities? These interested parties may include the following: Setting standards for sustainability
• • • • • • • • • • Attendees Suppliers Civil Society Organizations Employees Investors/Sponsors Government officials and regulators Volunteers Exhibitors Local Community Media Step 4: Determine your sustainability issues What are the key concerns of each interested party? Issues could include: • • • • • • • • • • Waste reduction and disposal Security Traffic and noise pollution Animal welfare Emissions reduction Sustainable food and beverage choices Use of local suppliers and local hiring Accessibility Training staff members Demonstrating legal compliance How do you engage with each interested party? • • • • Surveys Press releases News articles/newsletters Meetings Focus groups • Contracts/purchase orders • Social media • Training Do you have a process to prioritize issues identified during the stakeholder engagement process? Step 5: Develop a plan • Do you have a Sustainability Policy for your organization or event which includes the organization’s key values and principles? • Does the policy identify a commitment by leadership? • Has the policy been communicated to the entire organization? • Is there an individual responsible for your organization’s sustainability initiatives? Do you have a process for identifying all the relevant laws applicable to the organization, as well as future laws? (see CLT envirolaw Sustainability legal register services: www.clt-envirolaw.com/resources) Step 6: Establish Objectives Have you established sustainability objectives for your organization? Do you have SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-bound) performance objectives for the following areas: • • • • • Energy use Procurement Waste Air quality Communications Setting standards for sustainability
• Water • Community engagement • Staff related objectives (such as training, employment contracts) Do you have a sustainable procurement policy? Do your RFPs and contracts include sustainability criteria? Step 7: Monitor Performance Do you have a procedure in place to regularly monitor performance against established targets? Has the organisation implemented an efficient document management system? Does it provide a process for document availability, identification, legibility, revision, storage, protection, retrieval, retention and disposal? Step 8: Demonstrate compliance with third-party assurance. Third-party assurance to ISO20121 is demonstrated when an accredited certifying body, such as iCompli, conducts a conformity assessment audits per the standards requirements and award ISO20121 certification to the organization. Certification by an independent third party elevates an organization’s sustainability practices and sends a strong message to staff and external audiences that sustainability is important and that you have made a serious, credible commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Certification is also seen to be highly visible support of government policymakers who have made sustainability a priority for their city or region. About BPA Worldwide BPA Worldwide is a not-for-profit auditing organization established in 1931 to audit circulation for publishers, advertisers and their agencies. Today, BPA’s audit services have expanded to include external assurance of government and industry standards and independent verification of companies’ technology and service claims. BPA Worldwide provides GRI reporting services (gap analysis, competitor benchmarking and external assurance) and third-party certification of ASTM and ISO event standards. Karl Pfalzgraf BPA Worldwide, Business of Providing Assurance 100 Beard Sawmill Road, 6th Floor Shelton, CT 06484 Office: 203.447.2817 | Cell: 908.419.0066 | Skype: Karl.Pfalzgraf www.bpaww.com About CLT EnviroLaw CLT envirolaw is a niche sustainability consultancy providing expertise to companies and directors specializing in strategy, risk management, ISO20121 risk management, environmental compliance and governance, sustainability policies, human rights due diligence, procurement, reporting and innovation, training and research. We have over 20 years legal experience and work with organisations to explore and better understand the relationship between sustainability and the law. We use our best practice sustainability knowledge to help companies’ go beyond compliance and tailor advice according to your requirements. For more information contact Colleen Theron Sustainability lawyer and consultant tel: +44 (0)771 497 9936 | tel: +44(0)193 223 1876 email@example.com www.clt-envirolaw.com/services Setting standards for sustainability
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