FESPA's star continues to rise and its sustainability credentials have been rewarded with the announcement that it has achieved ISO 20121:2012 certification for Sustainable Event Management, an internationally - recognised standard for implementing an effective and sustainable event management system.


FESPA 2024 BSIFESPA 2024 in Amsterdam featured stringent sustainability protocols

FESPA BSI ISOLogo BlackThe accreditation given to FESPA solidifies FESPA’s long-standing commitment to implement environmental best practices in its own operations, minimise the environmental impact of its events, increase positive community engagement with regard to sustainable manufacturing practices, and motivate print businesses to take concrete steps towards more sustainable operation.


FESPA’s 2025 events in Berlin will be the first in the speciality print sector to be run under the certification, which provides a comprehensive framework for organisers to prioritise sustainability without compromising on quality or success.

To achieve the ISO certification, FESPA implemented an extensive range of policies and procedures to address key, measurable objectives, including: waste reduction, energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction and stakeholder engagement. These activities and the system were independently audited and verified by the British Standards Institute (BSI) certified awarding body under certificate number SEMS 799937, affirming FESPA’s demonstration of best-in-class sustainable event management services to its exhibitors and visitors.

FESPA has also led by example by measuring its carbon footprint at its UK-based headquarters for three consecutive years without a regulatory obligation and is installing solar panels to generate renewable energy.

FESPA Neil FeltonFESPA's Neil FeltonNeil Felton, FESPA CEO, comments: “We are thrilled to have achieved the ISO 20121:2012 certification, which proves our dedication to delivering environmentally responsible events and championing the need for the sectors we represent to make continued progress on sustainability. Our team recognises the importance of operating our events in a manner that delivers exceptional value to our attendees and exhibitors, while also prioritising environmental responsibility and community engagement. We look forward to delivering our 2025 events in accordance with the certified sustainable events management system, and we hope our example inspires our community to look at ways of optimising their sustainability performance.”

The following commitments form the basis of FESPA’s sustainability objectives, as well as targets for events within the scope of the certification:

  • Planning: Recognising that sustainability must play a key part in the process and should be considered throughout the decision-making activities in the event management cycle.
  • Environmental: Seeking to prevent negative impacts such as pollution by giving purchasing preference to products and services that have sound sustainable credentials, as well as implementing: reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Transportation: Reducing, wherever possible, the need for transportation (of sourced products) or seeking to reduce the length of the journey.
  • Packaging: Committing to the reduction and elimination of packaging wherever possible, seeking to use reusable or recycled packaging where it is required.
  • Product criteria: Researching the origins and manufacturing processes of key products to identify any process, ingredient or part which has a negative environmental impact, in order to assess the necessity, find an alternative and ensure that it can be disposed of within sustainability guidelines.
  • Purchasing criteria: Committing to responsible, sustainable procurement practices and ensuring that all employees, whether permanent or freelance, are aware of and abide by specified purchasing criteria.
  • Social: Committing to only collaborating with companies that share FESPA’s values with regard to the treatment of their workforce. Also, considering the local community in the planning and implementation of any event.
  • Energy: Committing to improving energy use, consumption and efficiency and, whenever possible, using energy from renewable sources.
  • Hazardous products: Committing to avoiding the use of hazardous products wherever possible. Where this is unavoidable, following the guidelines laid out in the UK COSHH regulations and ensuring that use of hazardous products is monitored and used within a controlled environment.
  • Occupational health and safety: Taking a responsible attitude to all aspects of occupational health and safety.

These commitments are also aligned with FESPA’s principles and values: aspiration with stewardship; authenticity with integrity; authority; inclusivity and transparency.

As ever, FESPA and its Member Associations continue to guide and encourage members of its community with the Sustainability Guides (including three new guides covering Sustainability Certification Schemes; Carbon Calculation; and Glossary of Sustainability Terms); the Sustainability Spotlight live event feature; providing speakers for seminars and conferences that have already benefitted more than a third of its member Associations events and by openly sharing insightful, educational and inspirational content on this topic online.

FESPA remains committed to continuously advancing its sustainability initiatives and improving its event management practices. By integrating sustainability principles into its operations, it aims to inspire positive change across the specialty print community to facilitate a greener, more environmentally conscious future.

To view FESPA’s Event Sustainability Proposition, visit: www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/sustainability-fespa

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