International Monetary Fund ISO 20121 Sustainable Events certified by BSI

Achievement highlights IMF’s commitment to sustainability

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has achieved certification for the delivery of sustainable events, following an audit by BSI, demonstrating the global organization’s commitment to its environmental, social, and economic impacts.

The successful certification to the sustainable events management system Standard (ISO 20121) brings the IMF in line with COP28, the G7, the London Olympics, the Tokyo Olympics, and other large-global events.

Auditors from BSI, the business improvement and standards company, reviewed the IMF’s plans to confirm compliance, undertaking a detailed three-stage process covering pre-event activities and the management of the event itself.

Certification confirms an organization’s sustainability commitment and the work that has been done to plan, manage, and deliver events with consideration for environmental, social, and economic impacts, with the opportunity to feed conclusions back to positively affect future events. This includes setting sustainability objectives, identifying and mitigating potential impacts, engaging stakeholders, and monitoring and measuring performance.

In the IMF’s case, as a global institution representing 190 countries, the certification was the culmination of efforts dating back a decade to improve the economic, social, and environmental impact of the Fund’s operations. For the spring and annual meetings, this included offsetting carbon emissions from participants’ travel and looking at energy consumption, food waste, and many other areas.

The IMF worked with Crowberry Consulting® Ltd – Enabling Sustainable to achieve the standard for the spring meeting and October’s annual meeting, both in Washington DC. Crowberry Consulting® and the IMF have collaborated since 2023 to conduct gap analysis, internal auditor training, and sustainable event system implementation. The collaboration assures that all functional areas are in scope and meaningful sustainable event objectives and targets are embedded.

The metrics are set out in the standard, which was designed ahead of the London 2012 Olympics to address the management of improved sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle. It covers environmental, social, and economic issues, including resource usage, materials choice, supply chain, resource conservation, emissions reduction, accessibility, equity, and local economy It also requires organizers to show how they consider sustainable development issues when choosing suppliers.

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF, said: “Sustainability is at the core of our operations, and I am immensely proud that we have achieved the ISO 20121 standard for the Spring and Annual Meetings, an important step in the right direction. Coming out of the pandemic, recognizing our membership’s desire to return to in-person meetings, we also recognized that we needed to scale-up our ambition when it comes to our own footprint.”

Tim Wren, Chief Commercial Officer, BSI, said: “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 meeting to create a lasting legacy.

“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.”

Becky Toal, CEO of Crowberry Consulting – Enabling Sustainable Futures, said. “It has been a pleasure to support the IMF to work towards and achieve the ISO 20121. We have supported the cross functional internal departments to understand sustainable events, implement a full internal audit programme, trained up the sustainability champions and guided them through the required documentation of the standard to ensure successful certification in 2024. We are proud to have supported the Fund and its members to achieve a lasting legacy of positive sustainable performance of the Spring Meeting and Annual Meeting. Critically a large portion of our support was provided virtually using remote tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by travel. 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.”


 ISO 20121:2012, the sustainable event management system, was based on the British Standard BS 8901. It was published in 2009 and adopted for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. An updated version of the standard was published in April 2024.

ISO 20121 is designed to help organizations improve sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle, whether for global conferences, large-scale corporate sales meetings, mid-size to large executive production events, entertainment concerts, convention center events, sports leagues, teams, and/or venues. The standard provides a flexible framework for organizations to manage the social, economic, and environmental impacts of their events and to improve sustainability performance and transparency in reducing the impact on the planet in support of the next generations. A number of brands and events, such as Liverpool Football Club (F.C.), the Tokyo Olympics, World Sailing, G7, and numerous smaller local and community events, have previously been certified to the standard by BSI.

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About BSI

BSI is a business improvement and standards company that partners with more than 77,500 clients globally across multiple industry sectors. BSI provides organizations with the confidence to grow by working with them to tackle society’s critical issues – from climate change to building trust in AI and everything in between – to accelerate progress towards a fair society and a sustainable world.

For over a century, BSI has been recognized for having a positive impact on organizations and society, building trust, and enhancing lives. BSI engages with a 15,000-strong global community of experts, industry and consumer groups, organizations, and governments to deliver on its purpose by helping its clients fulfil theirs.

About IMF

 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 190 countries that make up its near-global membership. For more information on the spring meeting and annual meeting, visit For further information on the IMF’s work on climate, visit or follow us on X @IMFNEWS. 

About Crowberry Consulting

 Crowberry Consulting® – Enabling Sustainable , is a sustainability consultancy based in Chorley, UK, and Dublin, Ireland. Established in 2006, it provides audits, training, and consultancy support to clients who wish to embed frameworks and standards for a more sustainable world. It specializes in ISO standards for environment, events, energy, and carbon management. For more information, please visit or follow us on Instagram @Crowberryconsulting or