Certification Europe leads World Accreditation Day

World Accreditation Day 2014

June the 9th is an important date in the Certification Europe offices around the globe; this date marks World Accreditation Day.

World Accreditation Day is an annual event, held by the International Accreditation Forum and celebrated by all of the accredited certification bodies throughout the world. This day is designed to raise awareness of the value that accreditation plays in delivering confidence and quality in almost every part of our lives. From the food we eat, to the electronic devices we use, products and services of any sort are made better, safer and more efficient thanks to an accredited standard.

This year’s World Accreditation Day specifically celebrates the provision of energy in our day to day lives. This is at the core of any sustainable business, and it is something that Certification Europe has an immense expertise in.

Our Director of Services, Dr John Ryan has contributed to the writing of energy management standards, co-authored a book on reducing energy consumption for the Major Energy Users Council in the UK and has trained hundreds of energy management professionals on how to implement and audit ISO 50001 Energy Management systems. Certification Europe’s activities have directly helped reduce clients’ energy bills by millions of euro each year as well as making these more sustainable.

ISO 20121 and world accreditation day

Certification Europe believe in embracing sustainability and in obtaining accreditation at international levels, which is why we are once again leading the way to become one of the first certification bodies in the world to offer an ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certificate accredited by Italy’s Accredia, which is currently the only national accreditation board offering an accreditation scheme for ISO 20121.

The ISO 20121 standard began life as BS 8901 “Specification for a sustainable event management system”. That British standard was widely used, both in the UK and internationally. In 2011 we certified Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to BS 8901, thus marking Ireland’s brand new national sport arena a point of reference for sustainability among stadia worldwide.

During the bidding process for the 2012 Olympic Games, London made some strong promises, specifically to make that Olympic Games the most sustainable ever. David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability for the London Olympics recognised how a standard could help London achieve this goal. In May 2009 a joint representations by the Brazilian and British national standards agency led to the International Organisation for Standardisation starting to develop the ISO 20121:2012 standard. This symbolic gesture meant that the standard for event sustainability had been set for the next two forthcoming Olympic Games, both London 2012 and Rio 2016. The standard was eventually finalised and released in June 2012, just in time for the London Olympics, where several Games’ venues gained ISO 20121 certification.

Certification Europe’s journey in ISO 20121 certification started a month later, in July 2012, when we successfully took part in the bid to sponsor the Irish Presidency of the European Union, by certifying their headquarters in the Dublin Castle to the “Olympic” Sustainability standards and making Ireland’s 2013 EU Presidency the most sustainable political event ever.

Fast forward two years to 2014 and Certification Europe Italy and Italian accreditation board Accredia recognised the importance of sustainability in event management, specifically with the Universal Expo coming to Milan in 2015. Attracting an estimated 8 million visitors with presentations and stands from over 144 countries, the Milan episode of Expo will focus on “Energy, Sustainability and feeding the Planet”. This event happens once every 5 years and Certification Europe Italia were eager to mark its arrival in Italy by being the first in the world to offer accredited certification to event sustainability.

This project is being led from our Italian office by the CEO of Certification Europe Italy, Luciano Fizzotti, with help from our head office in Dublin. “Milan Expo 2015 is a perfect fit to continue the roll out of ISO 20121. The central organisation committee, exhibition suppliers, local hotels and event management companies are all expected to adopt and maintain this standard beyond the Expo’s six month life span, thus gaining a consistent competitive advantage,” Luciano explained. “At Certification Europe we aim to be the first certification body in the world to offer an accredited event sustainability standard to businesses globally,” he continued.

Sustainability in business

While the majority of businesses are now starting to see the long term benefits that ISO 20121 certification can provide them both in operational and marketing terms, early adopters like Certification Europe’s client, Ryan’s Cleaning, have been reaping the benefits of an independently assessed sustainable events certification for well over a year now.

We at Certification Europe welcome this new found recognition that the environment and more specifically event sustainability has found amongst the business community

The call to reduce society’s impact on the environment has moved from the realm of academic papers and into the board room, making energy and sustainability two of business’s most important considerations in any aspect of their operations, so that is why in celebration of World Accreditation Day 2014 we are proud to offer accredited ISO 50001 and soon ISO 20121 certificates to all our clients worldwide.

Robert Lyons
Robert Lyons

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