EIC launches improved framework for sustainable events

Cover page from the refreshed

The Events Industry Council’s (EIC) Centre for Sustainability & Social Impact has rolled out an enhanced version of its Sustainable Event Standards, a set of eight standards designed to assess events and industry suppliers in support of environmental and social responsibility.

Originally created in 2019 to replace the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards, the Sustainable Event Standards provide guidance and metrics for event professionals at all stages of their sustainability journey. They also contain the necessary support to implement and measure sustainable practices.

Cover page from the improved version of Sustainable Event Standards

The updates to the 2022 Sustainable Event Standards include:

  • Foundations level: A new Foundations Level replaces the ‘Industry Wide Criteria’ and has a greater emphasis on education, tools and resources to support adoption.
  • Improved ease of use and expanded criteria: Criteria, assessment and guidance have been updated for greater flexibility for regional adaptation, and have been expanded in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, accessibility and climate action. Points values were also adjusted to reflect materiality and investment.
  • Integrated property standard: A new integrated property standard was introduced to incorporate elements of the accommodation, venue and F&B standard for properties that offer all three services.
  • New certification cadence: A new certification model for industry suppliers that now includes a comprehensive audit in the first and fourth years and surveillance audits for a smaller number of criteria for the second and third years was introduced for suppliers. A streamlined process for events using the same suppliers was also added.
  • Clearly defined roles: The Event Standard now clearly indicates the responsibilities for the event organiser and for their suppliers in meeting the standard’s criteria.

Mariela McIlwraith, chief sustainability officer at the Events Industry Council’s Centre for Sustainability and Social Impact said: “As an industry, we are making some progress in the areas of environmental action and social impact, but the reality is we need to do much more. The standards form a comprehensive framework and provide specific guidance in the areas of organisational management, marketing, communication and engagement, climate action, materials and circularity, supply chain management and social impact.

“We know that for many organisations, getting started in sustainability and social impact can seem daunting. To address this, we’ve introduced a new Foundations Level certificate that provides the guidance needed to develop the policies, plans needed to start the journey. The EIC Sustainable Event Standards are the next step, and through third-party auditing, they provide credibility and transparency for our industry’s stakeholders.”

EIC began an extensive consultation process in 2019 to review the standards, including surveys, webinars and sessions with key contributors. In total, 300+ individuals from over 20 countries provided feedback, including members from more than 20 industry associations.

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