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Denmark Achieves ISO 20121 Certification for 2012 EU Presidency

The Danish Foreign Ministry, responsible for the organisation of the 2012 European Union Presidency, today announced the compliance of their event management system against the new ISO 20121 standard for sustainable event management. Externally verified by the global certification company SGS, this is the world’s first ISO20121 certification of a large international government event. The Ministry’s event management system covers the logistical organisation of 110 meetings, attracting 15000 attendees at three venues between January and June, 2012.

“The complexities involved with organising so many diverse events required a smart, efficient and flexible management system. The ISO 20121 standard helped us align our sustainability goals with practical business processes in a sensible and practical way, “ said Andreas Clausen-Boor, Head of Logistics for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark. “We felt a responsibility to deliver effective events at an efficient cost. Sustainable practices saved us money while protecting the quality for which Danish events are known.”

Guy Bigwood, Sustainability Director of MCI Group and project consultants for the certification and Danish Sustainable Events Initiative commented: “Due to the scale and complexity of the Presidency, this may be the most ambitious event certification project attempted in the business meetings and events sector. With this announcement, The Danish Foreign Ministry provides the latest example of the business case for sustainable practices and provides evidence that Denmark is a premier destination for innovative, high-quality, low-risk events¨

“The meetings industry has been asking for practical examples of creating better events through sustainability,” said Steen Jakobsen, Convention Director at Wonderful Copenhagen. “With their leadership and direct action to successfully integrate sustainability and use international standards, the Ministry event team is an inspiration for the meetings industry in Denmark and, indeed, the world.”

“Already, the Danish capital has a pioneering status when it comes to sustainable meetings. Today, 65% of all hotel rooms and all the key congress venues in Copenhagen are eco-certified. We are hopeful that the new ISO 20121 standard will encourage meetings businesses in Denmark to advance their sustainability practices and bolster Denmark's position as a leading events destination,” said Markus Diefenbach, International Marketing Manager – Business Tourism at VisitDenmark.

The Danish Government is the first member of the European Union to create and certify their sustainable event management system against international standards. They will share findings from their experience in a report to be delivered to the European Union on or before 15 July, 2012.