Nor-Shipping looks to achieve industry first with ISO sustainable event standard
Nor-Shipping is aiming to set a new benchmark for the maritime and ocean event segment with a move to achieve ISO 20121 certification from DNV GL.
The initiative complements Nor-Shipping’s repositioning as ‘your arena for ocean solutions’ as it evolves to focus on supporting, serving and facilitating sustainable success for its core maritime audience within the rapidly developing ocean space.
In becoming the first industry player to embark upon ISO 20121 (The Sustainable Events Management System Standard for Events Organisations) Nor-Shipping is, according to Director Per Martin Tanggaard, ‘practising what it preaches’.
“Developing sustainable business activity within the ocean space is both one of the world’s greatest opportunities and greatest challenges,” Tanggaard explains. “Our industry can’t afford to fail in this mission and we at Nor-Shipping are doing all we can to showcase potential, connect businesses, and enable success in this evolving arena.
“As we’re assuming this mantle of responsible development we have to ensure we ourselves, as an organisation, set the very highest standards. That’s why Nor-Shipping and parent firm Norges Varemesse are initiating a move that will see us assess and improve the environmental performance of every activity we conduct – minimizing our own carbon footprint and encouraging our suppliers and stakeholders to tackle theirs. We know we’re only one relatively small organisation but, together with our high profile involvement in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we hope to help influence the industry and demonstrate that everyone can work towards a more prosperous, sustainable future.”
The initiative is a collaborative effort in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 17 (revitalize global partnerships for sustainable development). Nor-Shipping’s recently appointed Head of Sustainability and Technology, Silje Bareksten, will, together with the ‘Project GREEN’ team at Norges Varemesse, manage the certification process alongside DNV GL. This encompasses activity such as assessments and audits of areas including transportation, waste disposal, energy use and supplier standards. Oslo-based consultancy Greener Events will work with the team at Norges Varemesse to help enable and optimize the ‘green shift’, while DNV GL’s Business Assurance General Manager Siv Emanuelsen will lead DNV GL’s involvement. By working together the partners hope to maximize both efficiency and impact.
Emanuelsen says of the initiative: “Nor-Shipping and Norges Varemesse are taking positive, tangible action to improve their overall environmental credentials and work towards a long-term strategic goal of sustainability. This is important for them as a business – enhancing their licence to operate, improving efficiency and impacting positively upon visitor experience – but also in their role as a ‘lighthouse’ for the maritime industry, helping to influence and enable customers and delegates as they themselves target better environmental performance.”
DNV GL’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Bjørn Kj. Haugland, who will facilitate the process, notes: “Many companies claim to be green but here we have an industry leader undertaking a thorough, stringent and recognised certification process to prove its on-going commitment. Nor-Shipping will be the second major international event in Norway, after the Bislett Games, to achieve the standard. Here at DNV GL we’ll use our extensive expertise to help lead the team down the pathway to greater sustainability and set a new industry benchmark.”
Speaking of the timescale of the certification, Bareksten adds: “It’s my ambition that Nor-Shipping, Norges Varemesse and our partners work to achieve this standard before the 2019 Nor-Shipping programme of activity begins. There’s a great deal to do, but the drive towards sustainability can’t wait. We need to address our weaknesses today for the optimal impact tomorrow. We’d encourage everyone within the industry to do the same.”
The ISO 20121 process follows Nor-Shipping’s decision in August to dedicate its exhibition Hall A to the ‘Blue Economy’; showcasing firms and concepts that balance business with sustainable resource use and environmental protection. This will sit alongside the established themed halls showcasing IT & Navigation, Safety & Rescue, Shipbuilding & Repair, Maritime Services & Logistics, and Propulsion & Machinery.
Nor-Shipping 2019 takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 04 to 07 June 2019. The exhibition and associated programme of networking, knowledge and collaborative activities is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors from across the globe.