Sustainability Training

Building your professional competency through our online self-paced training courses.

ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management Systems

Learn how to implement the ISO 20121 event sustainability management system for your event, event management company or venue.  

Our self-paced online course will lead you step-by-step through the standard – not just focusing on how to comply with the standard's requirements, but opening up why the various elements are important.

How long will it take?

8 Modules | 25 Lessons | 3 mins / 30 mins per lesson

You can breeze through the course by just watching the presentations and draw on the written work when you're ready. Or you can dive deep into each and every topic. You can also cherry pick the topics that are of interest to you.

What's the course like?

The course includes readings, videos and webcasts, case studies, conformity assessment review, (voluntary) homework assignments (!), and a chance to self-test your knowledge.

Further readings and links will also be cited for those who wish to explore further topics. You're not forced to labour through topics that you don't need a brush up on!

Who's the course for?

Our implementation course is suitable for those working in the event sector with sustainability competencies who wish to know how to implement ISO 20121. Our auditing course is suitable for auditors of management systems such as ISO 14001 or ISO 9001, who wish to contextualise the various requirements within the event industry setting, for the benefit of effective audits.

Should I consider ISO 20121?

Yes you should consider implementing ISO 20121 if...
  • Your event repeats, annually, weekly, monthly, in one or many locations
  • Your event is once off but of such a scale there are many years pre-planning
  • The organising committee for the event changes and there's a chance of previous experience being lost
  • You're from an event organising company that produces multiple events for various clients
  • You run a venue which provides more than just dry hire
  • You're from a supplier such as catering, waste, energy, infrastructure or other services which has typical event management processes and impacts
  • Your company has excellent systems and frameworks and sustainability management should likewise be systemised
  • You wish to fully embed and integrate sustainability management into the DNA of the event or organisation

Is ISO 20121 training right for me?

Yes you should consider training in ISO 20121 if...
  • You are the sustainability manager of an event, event organising company or venue
  • You are an event industry professional often asked to implement sustainability and you want to know what ISO 20121 is so you can consider whether it is right for you
  • You are an Auditor of ISO 20121 and you wish to learn how you can do truly effective audits that speak to the event sector and its nuances
  • You are wishing to undergo professional development so
  • You are ready to say 'yes' when asked if you can implement ISO 20121 for your event, company or client.

Sustainability Event Management:
A Practical Course

This is a professional development programme that will prepare you to make quick and effective decisions when managing complex sustainability issues at your events.

Programme content is broken down into simple, implementable steps.

At the end of each module you'll be ready to take immediate action, keeping the boss, sponsors and event attendees happy and satisfied, by delivering a beautifully-produced event that is good for all.

We know you're inspired to use your events for good, but as a time-poor event manager, you need the first step...

Has your boss suddenly realised they need to be producing sustainable events, and as the 'greeny' in the building, you've been assigned the responsibility to 'make us sustainable'? They've probably already leap-frogged the 'doing' and are asking for certification...!!

But given no time to get ready, they still expect it to be done yesterday, they've given you no budget, no people, and no support.... what to do?

You might have a good gut feeling on what you need to do, but are overwhelmed when you think about how to begin. Where to start first - what to prioritise? 

Energy, water, waste, single-use plastic, greenhouse gas emissions, transport, reusable cup systems, signage and overlay, food, food waste, composting, recycling, glitter, balloons, confetti, fireworks.... omg.

To compound this, with the world waking up too, your sponsors and performers are requiring you to have a sustainability plan, and your event attendees are probably asking (or we promise you are about to be asked) for carbon-neutral and plastic-free events.

These motivated (or newly awakened) people will be asking tricky questions about the event's sustainability agenda, water refill points, organic food, recycling, carbon emissions, plastic footprint and more. Get ready for pointing fingers, many questions, and the firing off of social media posts and shaming photos.

Not to freak you out further, but if you hadn't realised already, there are a huge number of people that you're going to have to get onboard - fellow staff, contractors, caterers, waste staff, venue management, performers, volunteers.... This is a people problem more than anything.

The course has been created by industry-recognised event sustainability professionals, for event industry professionals like you. It focuses on real-world, event challenges and opportunities.

All modules are supported with additional 'deep dive' content ready for you (and your event) when the time is right! Jump in and out of the content as you need. You get to decide what topics to focus on and when. In this launch year, the full course topics and materials will be drip-fed throughout the year.

At the end you will receive a Certificate of Completion and also have the option to undergo a competency assessment with the Sustainable Event Alliance to become an Event Sustainability Practitioner.

Once you're signed up, you'll get immediate, lifetime access to the course materials which includes videos from our instructors, downloadable assets, knowledge checks, further reading, and specially curated content from world-class events with case studies, videos and photos.

In completing this course you will be armed with the knowledge you need to produce plastic-free, climate-responsible, restorative, fair and friendly events.

The Sustainable Event Alliance is a professional guild for event sustainability practitioners, specialists and experts.

Our supplier and solutions databases help you fast track your event towards being clean, green, zero-waste, fair, friendly, and climate responsible.

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