ISO 20121 - Event Sustainability Management System



ISO 20121 is an international standard which specifies requirements for an event sustainability management system. for any type of event or event-related activity, and provides guidance on conforming to those requirements. Regardless of whether your business is big or small, gaining and maintaining ISO 3100 certification shows that your organisation takes a proactive approach to event sustainability management. Using a holistic approach, this standard provides a comprehensive framework for event sustainability and identifies opportunities for improvement. 


ISO 20121 is designed to help businesses plan event more , whilst fostering a positive and risk-free working environment, there are a several benefits that this standard can bring to your organisation: 


As this standard’s distinct focus remains on improving customer satisfaction, numerous customer oriented businesses can benefit from becoming ISO 9001 certified. In fact, without restricting itself to fixed requirements and mandates for each industry, ISO 9001 assists a wide-range of organisations in applying universal quality management systems that boost productivity whilst reducing waste. Accordingly, we’ve identified seven industries for whom this certification might prove essential.

Work with An Expert

For some companies, it might be tempting to read the standard and attempt to implement these processes without receiving any expert guidance. However, this is typically not enough to implement an efficient, long-term management system. A literal interpretation of this standard may easily create an overly bureaucratic management system, yielding the opposite results of what could otherwise be achieved. Instead of a structured system based on the smart analysis of data, you could easily end up with an overly complicated and inefficient system.  

Instead, hiring an expert consultancy with years of experience is the best way to effectively meet your ISO standards. Make sure to choose an expert you trust, to provide you with a grounded approach that will simplify your life, rather than over-complicate it.  

Certification Bodies

When looking to get ISO certification, choosing to work with the right certification body is a crucial part of the process. It is important to make sure that your certification body is fully accredited, as only these entities are truly qualified to provide ISO certification. In Malta, we have a number of accredited certification bodies, all of whom are able to provide a thorough assessment of the ISO 9001 standard requirements.

Luke’s vast amount of experience has allowed him to work with a full range of ISO certification bodies, and he has never failed to help his clients gain ISO accreditation. 


As a Malta Enterprise approved advisor, Luke can help his clients reap the full benefits of currently available funding. Applicable to any business based in Malta, the Government of Malta’s current funding schemes have never been better. The precise amount depending on your company’s size and ownership structure. 

For more information, simply get in touch for a free consultation session! Luke will help you to make the most of the best available funding incentives applicable to your business.


Luke’s approval as a Malta Enterprise approved advisor means that his clients can reap the full benefits of currently available funding schemes. You can undergo the full training required for ISO Certification, whilst getting a full (or quasi-full) rebate from the respective funding schemes.  

Find out whether you are eligible for funding, by getting in touch with Luke for a 15-minute phone call. 

Funding Opportunities

For pioneering companies, getting ISO 9001 certification is a crucial milestone. Recognizing the importance of working towards this standard, there are various funding opportunities to be found in Malta. These include:

  • 50% Tax Credits by the Government of Malta.
  • cash grants by Malta Enterprise, JobsPlus, & other entities.
ISO 20121 - Event Sustainability Management System

A Closer Look At ISO 20121

What Topics Does It Cover?

The ISO 20121 standard was published in 2012 and remains the most recent and up-to-date version. Using a high-level system that allows it to be easily implemented alongside other ISO management systems, the 2012 publication follows the same ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ model which defines all of the revised ISO standards. The following shows a brief overview of the topics this standard covers: 

  • Contextualise the management system and define its overarching scope. 
  • Define governing principles of sustainable development 
  • Establish and document policy  
  • Establishing roles and responsibilities 
  • Identify and evaluate issues. Set objectives and plans to achieve them 
  • Provide resources and ensure sufficient competencies and awareness 
  • Maintain internal and external communications 
  • Create and maintain documentation and procedures required for system effectiveness 
  • Establish and implement process for operational control and supply chain management 
  • Monitor and evaluate system performance, including internal audits and management review 
  • Identify nonconformities and take corrective action 

Achieving ISO 20121 Certification

What It Says About Your Organisation

Although achieving ISO 20121 accreditation is not a legal requirement, owning this certification says a lot about what type of business you are running. Adhering to this standard boasts inherent benefits but it also sends the right message to you clients, investors and competitors. In a nutshell, getting ISO 20121 certification proves that your organisation: 

  • Values the benefits of planning events sustainably 
  • Is compliant with statutes and requirements. 
  • Understands the business related benefits of events sustainability management. 
  • Is an industry leader which operates at a level of excellence by implementing the most up-to-date risk management standard. 
ISO 20121 - Event Sustainability Management System

Frequently Asked Questions

This certification is targeted towards the events industry. This includes event organisers, caterers, security companies, sound and light technicians, stage builders and anyone involved in creating entertaining events. 

Your ISO 20121 certification will need to be renewed after a period of three years. To maintain your certification, an assessment must be conducted once a year and recertification is issued every three years to ensure that your management systems continue to operate within the ISO 20121 required standards. 

Yes, like other ISO standards that are concerned with different types of management systems - including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 - the ISO 20121 uses a high-level structure. This indicates that the ISO 20121 may be effortlessly integrated within any existing ISO management system. 

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