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Haymarket gains ISO 20121 certification in the UK

Haymarket accelerates its commitment to sustainable live events, gaining ISO 20121 certification in the UK.

Haymarket gains ISO 20121 certification in the UK
Donna Murphy: “This is a brilliant addition to our clutch of ISOs and also an important step forward in supporting our Climate Action ambitions, as we progress with Haymarket Impact.”

Haymarket Media Group has announced it has gained ISO 20121 certification, making it among the first media companies to become accredited in the UK. Core to becoming certified is the creation and implementation of building a Sustainable Event Management System (SEMS), which is a framework of assessments, commitments, procedures and communications that underpin Haymarket’s ambition to develop a more sustainable way of delivering events. By implementing a SEMS, Haymarket says it now has an accredited approach to properly audit itself and ensure its ambitious targets are actioned and streamlined, enabling continual improvement to increase efficiency and performance when it comes to sustainability across its live portfolio.

This UK achievement follows Haymarket’s existing event accreditations, most notably being ISO 14001 and 50001 certified in the UK, US and Asia. Haymarket has implemented its ISO 20121 SEMS on two of its most prominent events so far: Campaign’s Agency of the Year Awards and Campaign’s TV Advertising Summit, with a target to have the standard implemented across a minimum of one third of all UK events in 2024. Steps taken to achieve ISO20121 included encouraging reduced emissions from audience travel, prioritising venues that use renewable energy, supplying vegan menus and reducing meat options and limiting printed event signage and promotional items.

Donna Murphy, deputy managing director, Haymarket Business Media said: “This is a brilliant addition to our clutch of ISOs and also an important step forward in supporting our Climate Action ambitions, as we progress with Haymarket Impact. We are now looking at every step of the event lifecycle to determine where there are opportunities to reduce emissions and overall carbon footprint. Small steps in the right direction make way for great strides towards greener events management and positive social change.

“I’m unbelievably proud of the colleagues who have got us to this point. A big thank you, and shout out, to the Live Events and Procurement teams who have worked so hard on building the impressive SEMS we now have to hold us to account and keep us on track.”

To achieve the standard, Haymarket says it partnered with sustainability consultancy Blackmores. Speaking about the achievement, Melanie Blackmore, managing director at Blackmores said: “To receive such high praise in an assessment report is a rarity. So well done! It’s thanks to your efforts, together with Anju’s support and guidance, along with the rest of the project team at Haymarket that you’ve achieved such outstanding results! I’ve never been involved in an audit where the client has been so diligent and ready to be certified. I would perhaps go as far to say the best performance from anyone I’ve ever seen in an audit for ISO 20121.”

Also aiding Haymarket’s sustainability in events is its partnership with the non-profit organisation Isla, which has enabled the business to understand the areas it needed to focus on, then measure and make appropriate the changes, via its TRACE tool, added the publisher. Part of the ISO 20121 accreditation required requesting greater detail around Haymarket’s suppliers’ environmental and social responsibility, using the TRACE programme to measure its carbon footprint around more of their events.

Natalie Harris, procurement executive at Haymarket said: “Achieving ISO 20121 has been no easy feat but I am so proud of being involved in the process. Being awarded the accreditation means we have something that works and something we have to continually commit to. It will take time to embed but we can already see the improvements it’s generating.”

The ISO 20121 certification is valid for three years before Haymarket must reapply. During this time, the business is subject to continuous audits to ensure the standard that gained Haymarket the accreditation is maintained, added the publisher.

Haymarket’s says it sustainability commitments are at the core of how the business operates and its Impact agenda exists to support the company’s global Purpose: Shaping a better future with remarkable content. Haymarket Impact aligns with those United Nations Sustainable Development Goals where it has the greatest opportunity to make the most impact, right now. One of those Goals is SDG 13, Climate Action, of which Haymarket’s ISO 20121 certification is an important milestone for.

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