BSI invites comments on revised standard for managing a more sustainable event


14 May 2009

BS 8901, the British Standard that took the events industry by storm when it was launched in 2007, has been revised, taking on board feedback from users. BSI is calling for comments on the draft version, available until 31 May 2009 at

BS 8901, which was originally developed at the behest of the events industry, provides organizations with the requirements for planning and managing an event using a sustainability management system. ‘Sustainability’ refers to the economic, environmental and social aspects of an event. This standard could encourage events organizers to take into account considerations such as climate change, the protection of historic sites and investment in local skills.

BSI is co-ordinating a revision of the standard in response to the experience of events organizations in implementing the first edition. In particular, the revised draft of BS 8901 has been made easier to implement and audit for certification.

To claim compliance with the standard an organization must define and implement its sustainability policy, monitor and evaluate the event against key performance indicators and eventually review the event, feeding conclusions back into the policy to positively affect future events. It is possible for an organization to claim compliance with the standard itself and several organizations, including BSI, now offer independent verification of compliance to BS 8901.

BS 8901 has been used by many UK organizations such as Manchester International Festival, Lord’s Cricket Ground and Earls Court & Olympia. It is currently being used by London 2012 as part of their approach to sustainability, and Microsoft Corporation has recently achieved certification to the standard in the US.

Mike Low, Director, Standards, BSI, said: “BS 8901 has proved a very successful standard for the events industry, first in the UK and more recently, around the world. To ensure that the standard continues to be relevant we are now asking events practitioners to review and comment on the draft standard.”

BS 8901 has been superseded by ISO 20121, find out more and buy a copy of the standard at the BSI Shop
Find out more about BSI services for ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management

Free BS 8901 Workshop
Find out more about implementing BS 8901 in your organization at an Understanding BS 8901 Workshop run by BSI and Positive Impact as part of the London 2012 Inspire Programme. This free event will take place in London on 24 June 2009. For more information and to register, visit .