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Sustainability standards initiative set to go global

As Britain’s sustainability standard BS 8901 looks set to roll out globally in 2012, England announces a host of further developments in sustainable events and venues countrywide.

BS 8901 is the British standard that has been developed specifically for the events industry with a purpose of helping to operate in a more sustainable manner. It is the only standard for sustainable events in the world and ensures a balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress relating to events.

The new standard requires organizations to identify and understand the effects that their activities have on the environment, on society and on the economy both within the organization and the wider economy. It puts measure in place to minimize the negative effects. Inspired by London2012, BS8901 looks to roll out globally as ISO20121 in 2012. Its importance and significance were recognized as it is sped through the stages of such diversification in order to be operational before the Olympic Games. London 2012 will be the first event to undergo the rigorous ISO2012 procedure.

“Since the launch of BS8901 in 2007, England has taken a lead with the creation and implementation of international frameworks for sustainability,” said Fiona Pelham, managing director of Sustainable Events Ltd and Chair of ISO 20121. “In addition to the development of ISO 20121, some of the first Global Reporting Initiative Event Organizer Sector Supplement reports have been produced in England including the London 2012 Olympics Games and Paralympic Games and England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid.”

Country-wide, England is showing its strength in this field, with a host of new and improved event venues and an impressive roll call of sustainability events being held on English soil.

SGS International has also recently been endorsed by VisitEngland, following an independent review, to certify toward the BS8901 standard. ACC Liverpool has also been designed with environmentally-friendly features that cut its CO2 emissions in half, while using 20 percent less electricity.

The only BREEAM accredited venue in the UK, the entire ACC Liverpool building is designed to be inherently efficient, with an insulation and air control system that requires significantly less energy than a traditional build. The venue recently won Gold in the Best Venue for Sustainability award in the Conference & Incentive Travel Hot List 2010 – the latest in a long list of accolades. The venue has won two Green Apple Awards, is working toward IS014001 and has recently been awarded the gold standard in the Green Business Tourism Scheme assessment.

Meanwhile, the University of Liverpool has joined with big names like Ford Motor Company in important collaboration projects. The University’s School of Engineering and Ford are working to produce a high-performance, low-carbon cars of the future. The project includes Jaguar Land-Rover and Johnson Matthey, a major manufacturer of catalytic converters. They aim to develop new ways of setting the engine’s computer to improve fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

Manchester has been asked to be the pilot urban city for ‘wise growth,’ the term being used to replace ‘sustainable tourism,’ to bring together tourism growth with visions of sustainability. The focus is looking at the balance between the demands of visitors, the industry, local community and the environment. Manchester will be the urban pilot, and VisitManchester is leading the project with the aim to make sure that responsible tourism is not simply an add-on but integrated into strategy and action plans.

Manchester Airport has received three awards from Business in the Community recognizing their sustainability program. Three of the airports initiatives received ‘Big Ticks’ for their work in the local community – a unique achievement for one business in the same year.

Oxford City Council has become the first UK local authority to be awarded the BSI Kitemark for Energy Reduction Verification (ERV). This independent verification scheme builds on an organisation’s good energy and carbon management practices and independently verifies the output of that good practice.

“I am thrilled that we are the first council to receive this energy reduction kitemark,” said Councilor John Tanner, board member for a Cleaner, Greener Oxford. “It shows that Oxford City is committed to reducing its energy use as a milestone on our agenda to tackle climate change.”

Posted in Going Green
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