First company certified BS8901 compliantNovember 4, 2008 By: Ian Whiteling, Joint Editorin Chief
The event management system used by Organise This to plan its events was certified BS8901 compliant by BSI Management Systems last month, essentially making the company the first to attain the sustainable events standard. The certification was awarded after the Organise This team demonstrated its working methods matched the BS8901 sustainable event management system specifications. Evidence shared with certifiers included measurements collected from events using the online system (http://www.eventsustainability.com), the company’s sustainable development policy, and engagement with stakeholders through Positive Impact education sessions (http://www.positiveimpactevents.com), which offer guidance on producing sustainable events. “Sustainability has become a key issue for the industry and the creation of this independent standard, focused on working methods was an important step,” said Organise This managing director Fiona Pelham. “In particular, the standard provides a way of cutting through greenwash and ensuring we are all focused on long term positive goals. “Organise This has been an industry leader in sustainable events, focusing on environmental and community impacts since 2004,” she continued. “It was, therefore, vital that we led the way with the implementation of the standard and became the first company to achieve third party certification.” Commenting on the achievement, the BSI British Standards head of market development, Anne Hayes, said: “BS8901 has been greeted enthusiastically by the events industry and it’s great that organisations can now demonstrate their commitment to improving the sustainability of their events by seeking certification. Certification will reassure customers and stakeholders that the event they are attending or sponsoring is run in line with the requirements set out in BS 8901.” Earlier in 2008, Organise This also worked with Meeting Professionals International to achieve certification for the 2008 European Meetings and Events Conference management system. This was the first event to be third-party certified for having a BS8901 compliant management system. Any certification company can certify to BS8901, but those with specific in BS8901 certification include Sustainable Event Certification and BSI Management Systems. In the future certification, companies will be able to be accredited to ensure that the certification process is the same for all certifiers. Companies can also claim self-certification to BS8901. This means they believe their systems meet the BS8901 requirements, but they have not undergone verification from an independent certifier.