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by Sarah J.F. Braley | June 20, 2012

The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability guidelines were released last week, in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, to help organizations institute green practices systemwide. Representatives from more than 30 countries were involved in the creation of the standards, which are a global adaptation of the British Standard 8901. ISO 20121 can be applied to the vision, values, goals, and business/event plan objectives for organizations and their events, including social, environmental and economic aspects. Already certified under the new standard is MeetGreen, the Portland, Ore.-based independent firm that specializes in applying sustainable practices to events. "We initially certified MeetGreen to BS8901 in 2009, and since then we have seen them further evolve and improve their management system into what it is today -- one of the best we have seen," said Tim Sunderland of Sustainable Event Certification, the independent organization that provides certification to ISO 20121. Amy Spatrisano, CMP, principal of MeetGreen, said the ISO processes have made their business more efficient, among other pluses. "Others in the industry look to us to lead, so adoption and integration of ISO 20121 and the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards come from a commitment to the marketplace to make practicing sustainability more consistent," she said. "If you want to be on the cutting edge, you absolutely should be integrating ISO 20121 practices into your business."