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HomeLatest ArticlesIMF achieves ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Standard

IMF achieves ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Standard

WASHINGTON, USA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it has achieved the international standard for event sustainability – ISO 20121 – for the Spring Meetings and Annual Meetings held at its headquarters in Washington, DC. This certification by the British Standards Institution (BSI) recognizes the IMF’s commitment to managing the environmental, social, and economic impact of its operations during the meetings.

As climate change remains a major threat to long-term growth and prosperity, the IMF has a role to play in helping its members by providing policy advice related to mitigation, adaptation, and transition to a low-carbon economy. The IMF also has a role to play in taking steps to advance its own operational sustainability efforts.

“Sustainability is a priority for the Fund, and I am immensely proud that we have achieved the ISO 20121 standard for our Spring and Annual Meetings, an important step in the right direction. The standard recognizes our many efforts; from offsetting the carbon emissions associated with participants’ travel to Washington, to eliminating single-use plastics from our cafeterias and catering, to establishing an Environmental Sustainability Council – each action highlights that the Fund is making strides to be more sustainable in our own operations.” said IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva upon receiving the certificate from BSI.

To achieve this certification, the IMF has been working with the team from Crowberry Consulting® since 2023 to conduct gap analysis, internal auditor training, and sustainable event system implementation. The collaboration ensures that all functional areas are in scope and meaningful sustainable event objectives and targets are embedded. These include the continuous offsetting of carbon generated by participants’ travels for the Spring and Annal Meetings, as well as considerations for materials, food waste, accessibility, and recycling.

“It has been a pleasure to support the IMF to work towards and achieve the ISO 20121. We have supported the internal departments to implement a full internal audit program, trained up the sustainability champions and guided them through the required documentation of the standard to ensure successful certification in 2024. We are delighted that the team has achieved the prestigious ISO 20121 standard, and this will inspire other large bi-lateral & political events to do the same.” said Becky Toal, CEO of Crowberry Consulting – Enabling Sustainable Futures.

“As a globally important organization, the IMF has a powerful opportunity to set an example for how events can be planned and delivered sustainably, benefiting people and planet. It’s fantastic to see them using their Spring and Annual Meetings to create a lasting legacy,” said Tim Wren, BSI’s chief commercial officer. “BSI’s rigorous audit demonstrated that the IMF has taken vital action to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Events Management System Standard and consider key environmental, social, and economic impacts. The IMF deserves credit for taking an important step forward that can ultimately help society accelerate progress towards a fair society and a sustainable world.”

The ISO 20121 provided the Fund with a framework and guidance that was flexible and rigorous in measurement and monitoring, enabling the institution to track positive and negative impacts over time and take necessary steps to address them.

IMF Communications Department

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