Arup helps COP26 achieve International Standard for Sustainability

Ria Patel Ria Patel UKIMEA Press Office,London
18 November 2021

COP26 has today achieved international recognition for its approach to delivering a truly sustainable event. 

Arup, together with partners Crowberry Consulting, was appointed by the UK Government to help achieve ISO20121 certification. This included developing the framework to put sustainability at the heart of decision making –working with key suppliers to build a sustainable supply chain and developing a Carbon Management Plan for the event.
ISO20121 is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system. It requires event organisers to demonstrate consideration to all key financial, economic, social and environmental factors related to planning and operations. BSI, British Standards Institute, provided an independent audit for verification of compliance.

Arup is proud to be the Sustainability Advisor for the UK Government for COP26.

Achieving ISO20121 certification is a significant milestone, one which has provided independent assurance that COP26 has successfully embedded sustainability measures throughout the delivery of the event.

Sustainability has been at the heart of decision making for COP26, from the initial stages of procurement through to delivery. The enthusiasm of suppliers to develop innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainably delivering the largest event that the UK Government has ever hosted has been inspirational. ” Natasha Connolly Natasha Connolly Associate Director

Sustainability has been embedded throughout the delivery of COP26, through the adoption and integration of the COP26 seven Sustainability Governing Principles: 

1. Actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value  
2. Provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all   
3. Encourage healthy living   
4. Ensure a safe and secure atmosphere   
5. Encourage more sustainable behaviour   
6. Promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain   
7. Leave a positive legacy

Arup are developing a post-event report which will include an overview of the sustainability performance of COP26 and the final quantification of carbon emissions for the event in the coming months, which will be published publicly by the UK Government.