Guidelines for the sustainable organisation of events (Leitfaden für die nachhaltige Organisation von Veranstaltungen) by BMU / UBA
Practical guide by the Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency for the organisation and planning of events. The guide includes tips on how to address the topic of sustainability. It offers guidance on formulating goals and finding measures in all relevant areas of action of sustainability management in the events industry.
The Global Compact was offered by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos to all company managers, leaders of civil societies, governments and organisations in 1999. The International Chamber of Commerce, ICC and Kofi Annan, in close cooperation, agreed on a global pact of the United Nations to make globalisation more socially and ecologically sound. Participation in the Global Compact is declared with a short letter to the UN Secretary-General. The letter contains the expressed will of the company head to strive to comply with certain minimum social and ecological standards in the future. The Global Compact policy is summarised in ten principles. Global Compact members are expected to annually exchange views with their stakeholders through a progress report called Communication of Progress, or CoP. The exchange is carried out by disclosure, meaning the report is published in a simple format, freely available to all stakeholders. Over 2,000 companies from 80 countries have joined the global pact. Global Compact is the largest initiative for corporate citizenship worldwide.
The Greenhouse-Gas-Protocol Corporate Standards (GHG-Protocol) are practical guidelines for companies. The GHG-Protocol categories have gained a high importance for carbon footprint measurements in the company context. The GHG-Protocol defines the basic principles of relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency and precision. It sets rules for the organisational and operational definition of greenhouse gas emissions reporting.
The Global Reporting Initiative is a network based organisation that developed an internationally used standard for sustainability reporting. The standard is considered a challenging quality reference, and is used by over 3,000 companies worldwide, most of them larger corporations. compare also: GRI Sustainable Reporting Guidelines & Event Organizers Sector Supplement. As part of the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a special reporting guideline for the events industry was developed.
The international guidance paper gives suggestions and recommendations on how organisations of any type should act and behave so they can be seen as socially responsible. The guidance paper was published in November of 2010, and its application is voluntary. In Germany, it was published as DIN ISO 26000 in January of 2011.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Quantitative indicators that simplify the comparability of applied measures relative to the fulfilment of Codex criteria. KPI are used to compare and/or summarise results. Sources of important sustainability indicators are for example the Global Reporting Initiative, GRI | European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies, EFFAS | Global Compact | Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex, DNK |
The display of practical measures taken as action steps to fullfil the Sustainability Codex. Measures show what is actually being done to advance in a particular area of action. The Guidelines for the sustainable organisation of events by BMU / UBA cover major measures for all areas of action and recommends further measures, combined with relevant instructions.
Validity for the minimum standards to be complied with. Minimum standards have a high binding nature with regards to reporting, evaluation and validation. Agreement of the groups involved is required.
Using standards for sustainability makes processes, measures and results transparent, helps documentation and comparisons. As there is no uniform sustainability standard, existing and recognised standards can be referred to, as long as they are already being used for the company's purposes. Examples of suitable standards are those mentioned under 'performance indicators': GRI, EFFAS, Global Compact, DNK or the BS 8901 with ISO 20121. This norm, published by the British Standards Institute (BSI) in 2007 covers economic, ecological and social aspects with regards to the sustainability of an event's entire supply chain. It was developed as a sustainability standard for the 2012 London Olympics.
Exchanging relevant information to fullfil the Sustainability Codex with the company's stakeholders is a key aspect of sustainability. The exchange is carried out by disclosure of information, which means the report is published i.e. on the internet in a simple report format.
a) as part of this Sustainability Codex
The voluntary and self-imposed commitment to design the company's economic development in a more social and ecological way, according to the guiding principles of the events industry's Sustainability Codex.
b) as part of specific commitments
The voluntary and self-imposed commitment which, with reference to a specific valid standard in a written statement, declares that this standard is applicable to and complied with by the company. An example is the commitment to protecting human rights by referring to an international standard such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Transparency International Deutschland e.V. is a non-profit, politically independent organisation that takes a stand for fighting and containing corruption. Transparency principles are integrity, responsibility, transparency and participation of the civil society. The organisation wants to sharpen public awareness about the harmful consequences of corruption and strengthen integrity systems.
For companies in the events industry, responsibility means to be able and ready to answer entrepreneurial questions and to stand by the consequences of one's own actions.
Area of responsibility
The range of responsibility is particularly relevant for the events industry, i.e. for use of resources and for emissions, when these are outside the company's sphere of direct influence. Following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, companies are expected to take responsibility depending on their sphere of influence.
Example for use of resources and emissions:
- Scope 1 includes direct, self-generated resource use and emissions.
- Scope 2 includes resource use and emissions generated by the clients' events run.
- Scope 3 includes resource use and emissions generated by service providers and third party input.