Freeman Achieves Industry-First ISO 20121 Sustainability Certification
Certification lays groundwork for future ASTM Green Meeting Standards integration
Dallas ─ September 13, 2016 – Freeman, the leading global provider of brand experiences, announced today it has received the prestigious ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification, the first in its industry to do so on a global scale. The certification is an international standard designed to help organizations involved in the events and hospitality industries integrate sustainability into management practices and processes.
“Environmental and social responsibility has always been at the heart of Freeman and guides our business,” said Jeff Chase, vice president of sustainability for Freeman, who oversees the company’s sustainability initiatives and led the certification effort. “This certification – an industry first – reflects the philosophy of our founder, Buck Freeman, and is a tribute to the over 7,000 employees who strive to create sustainable events for our clients,” added Carrie Freeman Parsons, Freeman’s vice chair.
First introduced at the 2012 London Olympic Games, ISO 20121 provides a management blueprint to address the “triple bottom line” of sustainability – the economic, environmental and social impacts of events. The standard helps organizations operate in a way that is financially viable for the company, its customers and suppliers; minimize the use of resources and reduce waste; and consider the needs and expectations of those affected by the event or business. A key component is the development of a continual improvement plan, which is then implemented, analyzed and modified to achieve ever-increasing standards of performance.
“Sustainability is a big tenet of Oracle’s global events. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank our close partner, Freeman, for achieving certification to the ISO 20121 standard,” said Paul Salinger, vice president, marketing, Oracle. “Because of Freeman’s industry-leading sustainability program and our work together, we’ve helped reinforce for other vendors how important it is to adopt the kind of systematic, sustainability-as-standard-business-practice-approach that we’ve long encouraged.”
Freeman’s plan to meet the ISO certification requirement focuses on driving sustainability deeper throughout the organization by adopting the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX)/American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Green Meeting Standards for its major business locations and functions. To meet ISO’s continual improvement goal, Freeman plans to certify five major offices per year during the next several years to five APEX/ASTM standards – Exhibits, Audio Visual, Communications, Transportation and On-site Office. The “5/5 Plan” is intended to ensure that all of the company’s major office locations worldwide are well-positioned to offer clients best practices to help them meet their sustainability goals.
The APEX/ASTM standards are a set of nine individual “sector” standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibits and events industry in partnership with ASTM International, a global standards-setting body. The standards delineate specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners.
iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide and a nonprofit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, performed the independent third-party certification of Freeman’s compliance with the ISO 20121 standard.
Recognized by Advertising Age as one of the world’s largest brand experience companies, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading organizations. A design-driven company, Freeman generates insights that define program strategies, target audiences and deliver messages that generate meaningful results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its 88-year history of stability, strength and customer service achievements. Freeman is a values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture that is dedicated to connecting people in meaningful ways. This is accomplished through a process of continual innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 12,500 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded seven consecutive J. D. Power awards for the excellence of its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freemanco.com.
iCompli is a division of BPA Worldwide, a not-for-profit auditing organization established in 1931 to audit circulation for publishers, advertisers and their agencies. Today, BPA’s audit services have expanded to include external assurance of government and industry standards and independent verification of companies’ technology and service claims. iCompli provides GRI reporting services (gap analysis, competitor benchmarking and external assurance) and third-party certification of ASTM and ISO event standards. www.bpaww.com
The International Organization for Standardization, commonly referred to as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded in 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Golin on behalf of Freeman