The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released a new supplement for events to their sustainability reporting guidelines. The three main types of events it targets are: sporting (e.g. Olympic Games), cultural (e.g. music and arts festivals), and conferences (e.g. business and academic). It focuses on the following aspects tailored to events:
- Site selection
- Transport of attendees
- Recruiting and training of the event workforce, participants and volunteers
- Sourcing of materials, supplies and services
- Managing impacts on communities, natural environments, and local and global economies
- Planning and managing potential legacies
- Accessibility of an event
GRI is the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in industry. This initiative represents an important step for the events industry to build profile, recognition, and credibility around its sustainability initiatives. Both the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are using GRI.
About event sector standards
The GRI-Event Sector Supplement is the latest in a set of new sustainability standards focused on the events industry. Expect the new ISO 20121 Sustainability in Event Management to come out shortly in the lead-up to the London 2012. ISO 20121, and the Canadian CSA Z2010 event sustainability management standards are geared to help organizers plan more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible events. GRI now adds a reporting mechanism. Finally at a sport specific level, organizers can use the Sustainable Sport & Event Toolkit (SSET) developed by VANOC, AISTS, and supported by the International Olympic Committee, which provides getting-started and example-driven resources to assist organizers work to meet these standards.