Glasgow 2014 achieves new Sustainability benchmark for Commonwealth Games

GLASGOW 2014 was presented a certificate for achieving ISO 20121, the international standard for Sustainable Event Management, which confirms its commitment to be a truly sustainable Commonwealth Games.

Foodservice Footprint sky Glasgow 2014 achieves new Sustainability benchmark for Commonwealth Games Foodservice News and Information Out of Home sector news  ODA Maureen Sumner Smith Lord Smith of Kelvin London 2012 LOCOG ISO 20121 Glasgow 2014 Event management Standard Commonwealth Games BS8901 Architecture Design Scotland












Glasgow 2014 becomes the first Commonwealth Games to secure the global Event Management Standard which helps organisers run more sustainable events.


The standard, which evolved from the British Standard BS 8901 for sustainability management systems for events, was used by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to help make London 2012 the most sustainable Olympic Games to date.


ISO 20121 aims to help organisations improve sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle; and by achieving certification an organisation can demonstrate that they are considering their economic, environmental and social impacts with every decision they make.


After a detailed audit undertaken by BSI, the business standards company, with Gareth Talbot, Glasgow 2014’s Environment and Sustainability Manager, Glasgow 2014 has now become the only global sporting event this year to be certified to ISO 20121.


This is testament to the fact that Glasgow 2014 has considered sustainability from an early stage of planning and has ensured it has been integrated into the Games management system.


Launched in response to global demand, ISO 20121 sets out a framework for reducing costs, carbon emissions & waste, managing the biodiversity of venues and achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce.


The standard was developed by co-opted experts from 30 countries and provides a common international language for sustainability in the events industry.


The certificate presentation will be made as part of the GREEN2014 exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow which, organised by Architecture and Design Scotland, looks at the environmental sustainability legacy of the Commonwealth Games.


ISO 20121 takes a management systems approach to events sustainability, which should lead to the improvements in key sustainability issues such as venue selection, transport, recycling or reusing demolition waste, creating a sustainable food strategy, promoting healthy living and creating skills, employment and business legacies.


The standard also includes practical guidance on communications, operational planning and control, communications, stakeholder identification and engagement, supply chain management and procurement, and issue evaluation.


Lord Smith of Kelvin KT, Chairman of Glasgow 2014 said: “Sustainability is at the core of all our decisions and not an added extra or bolted on strategy; it is about making positive and lasting changes in the way we use natural and human resources to improve quality of life for all; now and in the future


“We have always committed to deliver a sustainable Commonwealth Games and working towards ISO 20121 certification demonstrates that what we are doing meets an industry-recognised international standard.


“ISO 20121 was pioneered by the London 2012 Olympics, is now a guiding ethos for the global events industry and we are proud to be certified with it, creating a new benchmark for the Commonwealth Games.”


Maureen Sumner Smith, UK Managing Director at BSI, said: “Every event, from a village fête to a major sporting event, will have economic, social and environmental consequences; therefore it’s increasingly important for organisations to consider the impacts of their actions.


“By implementing a best practice framework to manage sustainability issues, Glasgow 2014 has demonstrated its commitment to plan, manage and deliver a truly sustainable Commonwealth Games, with minimal environmental footprint.


“This is testament to the hard work and dedication that has gone into putting sustainability first and highlights Glasgow 2014’s commitment to improve sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle from day one, setting the standard for future Commonwealth Games.”


Glasgow 2014 has worked towards reducing emissions where it can, and then offset emissions. Over the last 5 years the Organising Committee has been working to ensure the below:


  • use a modern car and bus fleet for spectator, Games Family and OC travel;
  • make all competition venues car-free for spectators;
  • use a modern and locally based company (Aggreko) to provide clean and efficient temporary energy generators;
  • use mains power at those venues where this is possible;
  • ensure our Games HQ is on a Green Tariff energy supply;
  • encourage the use of active travel to get between venues;
  • provide funded public transport within Glasgow for all ticket holders (on the day of the event) and all workforce;
  • convert Hampden Park into an Athletics stadium rather than build a new stadium;
  • move all our Furniture, Fittings and Equipment purchased from London 2012 to Scotland using sea transportation rather than road, rail or air;
  • specify within our tender documents that all delivery and waste management vehicles meet at least Euro IV emission standards.
  • using an Athletes’ Village that has energy efficiency embedded into it – photovoltaic panels on all houses; combined heat and power plant; and flow controlled water.


Along with this, and delivered by our Sponsors BP, the BP Target Neutral carbon management plan for Glasgow 2014 has been launched to help people travelling to the Games to offset their travel emissions.


At the bid stage Glasgow 2014 recognised the importance of sustainability, and this has been highlighted by the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Games, and in the development of our Environment and Sustainability and Procurement Sustainability Policies.


In terms of planning and staging the 2014 Commonwealth Games this means ensuring avoiding potential negative impacts on the environment; encourage healthy living; promote responsible sourcing; encourage more sustainable behaviour; and leave a positive legacy.


While recognising the direct impacts from staging an event such as the Commonwealth Games (construction, travel, resource consumption etc.) the overall effect should be positive:


  • Encourage, through sustainable procurement, development and implementation of environmental management plans for all venues, and through community engagement projects amongst other initiatives, new approaches to tackling sustainability issues;
  • Using opportunities presented by sponsorship, community engagement, media and communications to help influence changes in people’s behaviour
  • Working within the Scottish events sector, helping to work towards developing and implementing sustainability standards for the Scottish events sector (such as ISO 20121), through collaboration with EventScotland and Zero Waste Scotland, as well as with venue owners and operators;
  • Influence supply chains to adopt more sustainable practices through a sustainable procurement policy; and
  • Transfer learnings and knowledge to staff and other event organisers.


Glasgow 2014 has developed sustainable event management system across the whole of its operation – providing us with a system which will monitor sustainability performance; identify any issues and address these; and provide a system to deliver our post-Games sustainability report.