Freeman achieves industry-first ISO 20121 Sustainability certification

Freeman has announced it has received the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification, the first in its industry to do so on a global scale. The certification is an international standard designed to help organisations involved in the events and hospitality industries integrate sustainability into management practices and processes.

“Environmental and social responsibility has always been at the heart of Freeman and guides our business,” said Jeff Chase, vice president of sustainability, Freeman who oversees the company’s sustainability initiatives and led the certification effort. “Earning this certification – an industry first – reflects the philosophy of our founder, Buck Freeman, and is a tribute to the over 7,000 employees who strive to create sustainable events for our clients.”

First introduced at the 2012 London Olympic Games, ISO 20121 provides a management blueprint to address the “triple bottom line” of sustainability – the economic, environmental and social impacts of events. The standard helps organisations operate in a way that is financially viable for the company, its customers and suppliers; minimise the use of resources and reduce waste; and consider the needs and expectations of those affected by the event or business. A key component is the development of a continual improvement plan, which is then implemented, analysed and modified to achieve ever-increasing standards of performance.

“Sustainability is a big tenet of Oracle’s events globally. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank our close partner, Freeman, for achieving certification to the ISO 20121 standard,” said Paul Salinger, vice president, marketing, Oracle. “Because of Freeman’s industry-leading sustainability program, together we’ve helped reinforce for other vendors how important it is to adopt the kind of systematic, sustainability-as-standard-business-practice-approach that we’ve long encouraged.”
Anthony Floreano, managing director at Freeman EMEA adds: “Receiving the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification on a global scale is something we’re really proud of at Freeman, especially as we’re the first in the industry to do so. From an EMEA perspective, it forms an important part of our commitment to providing clients with industry leading practices and processes to help them meet their sustainability goals.
“The certification strengthens our proposition to be a premium partner to event organisers and exhibitors, delivering not only events and brand experiences that are meaningful for audiences, but doing so in an environmentally and socially responsible way.”

Freeman’s plan to meet the ISO certification requirement focuses on driving sustainability deeper throughout the organisation by adopting the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX)/American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Green Meeting Standards for its major business locations and functions. To meet ISO’s continual improvement goal, Freeman plans to certify five major offices per year during the next several years to five APEX/ASTM standards – Exhibits, Audio Visual, Communications, Transportation and On-site Office. The “5/5 Plan” is intended to ensure that all of the company’s major office locations worldwide are well-positioned to offer clients best practices to help them meet their sustainability goals.

The APEX/ASTM standards are a set of nine individual “sector” standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibits and events industry in partnership with ASTM International, a global standards-setting body. The standards delineate specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners.

iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide and a nonprofit international auditing organisation headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, performed the independent third-party certification of Freeman’s compliance with the ISO 20121 standard.


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