The work of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to deliver the Olympic and Paralympic Games – and a positive legacy – in a sustainable manner has been recognised with the award of the top global certificate for the sector.

Created in 2012 and applied to the London Games, the ISO 20121 international standard establishes sustainability criteria for event organisation, providing guidance and best practice advice for organisers.

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On 27 January 2016, Rio 2016 President Carlos Arthur Nuzman received a plaque confirming ISO 20121 certification on behalf of the Olympic and Paralympic Games organising committee, from Vanda Nunes, director of SGS, the leading inspection and certification company. “We went through a very thorough external audit which certified that we are serious about sustainability and assuming good management practices,” said Nuzman.

“This will be a legacy for the events sector. What we have done here is unprecedented in Brazil”

Carlos Arthur Nuzman

The 20121 international standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to ensure that events leave a positive economic, environmental and social legacy, with minimum waste, energy consumption, or strain on local communities. It emphasises the importance of planning and good management.

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ISO is an international non-governmental organisation that develops international standards for different markets and with the ISO 20121 certification, Rio 2016 has joined a select group of internationally recognised companies.

“This is a public acknowledgement that Rio 2016 took care of everything and implemented what was proposed”

Vanda Nunes

For Rio 2016 Sustainability Manager Julie Duffus, this achievement reflects the synergy between the different areas of the organising committee. “It has been a challenging situation, of course, but we have managed to involve all parties, from internal employees to suppliers,” she said. “Sustainability is embedded in our processes and this certification proves it.”


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