'Conformity' to  ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems means you meet the requirements of the international event industry standard and you may choose to be independently audited or assessed, and recognised for your achievements.

Assessing your conformity and making claims can be in one of three ways:

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First Party

This is where an organisation assesses its own system and makes a self-declaration of conformity to the requirements of the standard.


'XYZ Event has been self-assessed as being planned and managed to conform to the requirements of the international standard ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.'

'XYZ Organisation has been self-assessed that it plans and manages its event activities in conformance to the requirements of the international standard ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.'


Find out about the steps to implementing ISO 20121.

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Second Party

This is where an external body conducts and independent review of your conformity to the requirements of the standard. The Sustainable Event Alliance can conduct this external assessment.


'XYZ Event is planned and managed using a Sustainable Event Management System and is independently assessed to conform to the requirements of ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.'

XYZ Organisation plans and manages our event activities using a Sustainable Event Management System and is independently assessed to conform to the requirements of ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.

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Third party

This is where an accredited certifying body (such as SGS or BSI) conducts an independent audit and awards 'ISO 20121 Certification'. Certifying bodies must be 'accredited' and their auditors must meet the competency requirements of ISO/IEC TS 17021-4.

'XYZ Event is planned and managed using a Sustainable Event Management System and has been independently audited by a third party Certifying Body, certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.'

XYZ Organisation plans and manages our event activities using a Sustainable Event Management System and has been independently audited by a third party Certifying Body, certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems.

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