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October 2012

CMP Series: Olympian Effort

By Nancy Mann Jackson
hands of sustainability-minded event organizers.  "The standard is not a checklist," Pelham said.  "It's more about giving people a framework so they look closely at what their potential issues are at any given event and develop objectives and measurements to tackle those issues in a sustainable manner."

When organizations implement ISO 20121, there are "clear economic benefits," Pelham said.  "It's a brilliant framework for good business practices.  You constantly understand what messages you're sending and what vision you're creating for your company."

Anybody can implement the standard; it's not necessary to become ISO 20121-certified.  "Certification is just a badge that can give you some press and marketing opportunities," Pelham says.  "The real benefit simply comes from implementation."

Sidebar: London's Top 10



Below are the "top 10 tips for events," from the sustainability guidelines provided to organizers of corporate and public events by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • Access Ensure communication methods and physical access facilities mean everyone is welcome.
  • Local Area Look after your local community.  Try to reduce congestion, litter, and noise.
  • Energy and water Think of inventive ways to reduce your energy and water usage.
  • Transport Walking, cycling, and public transport are healthy and more environmentally friendly ways to travel to an event.
  • Reduce and reuse  Think about what you really need - buy only what is needed and hire/reuse everything else.
  • Responsible sourcing Try to support local businesses and socially responsible organizations.
  • Food and beverage  Try to showcase local, seasonal, and fair-trade produce, and provide free drinking water.
  • Keepsakes  Ensure giveaways add to the customer experience, are useful, reusable, and/or recyclable.
  • Make it easy to recycle Try to provide recyclable packaging and provide recycling and general waste bins.
  • Health, safety, and security A safe environment is a happy environment.  Assessing the risks in advance can help ensure everyone can enjoy the event.
More Resources

Earn your CEU

Here's how to earn your CEU hour.  Once you finish reading this CMP Series article, read the following material:
To earn one hour of CEU credit, visit pcma.org/convenecmp to answer questions about the information contained in this CMP Series article and the additional material.  

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a registered trademark of the Convention Industry Council.
Nancy Mann Jackson is a freelance writer based in Huntsville, Ala.

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