An updated version of the event management sustainability framework, ISO 20121 has been published by the national standards body, BSI.

ISO 20121: 2024 has an increased focus on climate change, supply chain measures and human rights. It includes an extended list of issues that should be identified and evaluated, along with new commitments such as reporting on achievements, lessons learnt and, where appropriate, legacy.

The updated ISO 20121: 2024 reflects the evolving development and importance of key considerations, such as reducing carbon emissions, promoting fair labour practices, and ensuring ethical sourcing throughout the supply chain. 

The updated standard, which includes hybrid and virtual events, also aligns with global sustainability frameworks, goals and reporting standards such as the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, Race to Zero and The Paris Agreement on Climate Change 2015.

ISO 20121 was first created to meet a need identified by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Committee after it wanted to demonstrate that sustainability had been considered at every point of the planning and delivery of the games. 

It works by changing the approach to how event professionals deliver their work, so that at every decision point, social, economic and environmental impact is considered and decisions can be made based on optimal sustainability. 

BSI is launching the revised standard with a webinar on 22 April to coincide with Earth Day.

Positive Impact CEO, Fiona Pelham chaired the project committee for the revision and has published the explainer video below.

Positive Impact is also providing a virtual engagement and exhibition area from 22 April to 22 May to support the industry’s understanding of the revision and provide resources, case studies and a chance to relisten to the BSI launch webinar.