BS 8901

The BS8901 Sustainability in Event Management is a new standard that has been designed specifically for the events industry with a purpose to assist the industry to operate in a more sustainable manner.

The processes that are implemented will help define the requirements for sustainable event management ensuring a balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress. It is a requirement from organisations undertaking the BS8901 that they understand and identify the effects that their activities have on these sustainable requirements and ensure that measures are put in place to minimise the impacts made by the organisation and on the wider economy.

The key requirements of BS 8901 include:

  • Sustainability Policy
  • Issue identification and evaluation
  • Stakeholder identification and engagement
  • Objectives, targets and plans
  • Performance against principles of sustainable development
  • Operational controls
  • Competence and training
  • Supply chain management
  • Communication
  • Monitoring and measurement
  • Corrective and preventive action
  • Management System audits
  • Management Review

(British Standards Institute, 2010)

The BS8901 consist of a three-phase sustainable event management system that allows an organisation to plan their commitments, integrate these within their operations and to check/ review these processes to maintain and improve efficiency. The standard also involves the identification of key stakeholders and sustainability issues so that key performance indicators can be set as a measure of improved sustainability. These principles will help to extend the feature of this standard along the supply chain.

An organisation using the BS8901 will benefit from having a clear direction for all associates in the development and sharing of a sustainable policy. It provides a systematic means to identify and address the issues of sustainability and allow better engagement with key stakeholders. It also will assist in reducing operating costs, waste management costs, carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency along the event supply chain. The British Standards Institute (BSI) has the capability and knowledge to assess the sustainability of an event. An organisation that is certified by BSI will benefit from using the BSI logo that holds UK superbrand status.