How ISO 20121:2012 help Sepang International Circuit (SIC) become international recognised motorsport circuit

ISO 20121:2012 helps Sepang International Circuit become a premier multi-faceted facility for international events.

The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is the venue of the Asian Festival of Speed, the Japanese GT Championship, and the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix. It also hosts races of the Malaysian MotoGP. SIC is one of the Top 50 circuit globally. In addition to receiving the Training Support Excellence Awards for 2016 from the leading international organisation for business standards and accreditation, BSI, SIC continued to be recognised in 2016 for exhibiting business excellence and the highest standard of ethical conduct. SIC stands out as a leader that exemplifies ethical standards and behaviours. 

In 2017, SIC continued its legacy by committing to sustainability. SIC was being certified with ISO 20121:2012 certification, Event Sustainability Management System certification and accredited by BSI. SIC became the first Malaysian company to achieve the ISO 20121:2012 certification. The management system has helped SIC to become one of the top circuit in Asia Pacific in terms of sustainability. 

Source: Sepang International Circuit, 2018

Why ISO 20121:2012?

Do you get upset when you see plastic bottles and empty cups lying on the grass following a “Save the Planet” concert? With ISO 20121:2012, the International Standard on event sustainability management, this might soon be a thing of the past. It was created to alleviate the worries of individuals who, like you, think climate change events require action rather than mere pontification and hot air.

To assist organisations in planning their event in accordance with the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainable development, ISO 20121 adopts the management systems approach. ISO 20121 is a broad standard that covers all aspects of event management, from setup to breakdown. It looks at ways to ensure leadership is a crucial factor in designing a sustainability policy and includes performance monitoring and measuring guidelines to spot potential non-conformities. It also indirectly affects the supply chain, including criteria for providers of raw materials and other services. This standard covers the entire spectrum of actors involved in upholding the requirements of ISO 20121. By achieving ISO 20121:2012 certification, SIC has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable event management.

The Implementation

To kickstart the project, we worked with Sepang International Circuit (SIC) to develop a comprehensive action plan for achieving ISO 20121:2012 certification. After the gap analysis, we helped with establishing a management system that adheres to the requirements of the standard, identifying and assessing the environmental and social impacts of their activities, products, and services, setting sustainability objectives and targets that are aligned with the standard, and setting a sustainability management program that includes regular monitoring, measurement, and reporting on sustainability performance. The training was also provided to SIC to ensure all employees and stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities in achieving ISO 20121:2012 certification. The standard offers a structured framework for SIC to formalise processes and raise consciousness of environmental issues within the organisation and the industry. 

The Impact of ISO 20121:2012 on SIC

After doing a preliminary gap analysis, SIC decided to concentrate on energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases through infrastructure and facility upgrades, and waste management and procurement as the primary action plans that fall under the purview of the management system. Since then, SIC has taken a proactive approach towards sustainability. The team has implemented several efforts, including increasing recycling chances around the events and installing solar panels, LED lighting systems, and energy-efficient air conditioning systems. These efforts have reduced energy consumption during events while minimizing energy consumption and have resulted in significant energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In 2022, SIC announced its plan to install electric vehicle (EV) fast DC chargers at the tack to continue its commitment to creating a more significant environmental impact.

“This new accreditation will give SIC another advantage to appeal to environmentally-conscious clients and partners who prioritise sustainability in their events, and will elevate our circuit premises as a venue of choice. We are proud to be the first Malaysian company to be awarded the ISO 20121:2012 Sustainable Events Management System certification by BSI Malaysia. This is an important milestone for us as a multi-faceted events venue and I would like to thank the team for their dedication in making this possible,”

Benefits and Results

International market access: The ISO 20121:2012 certification has increased the demand for SIC as a premier multi-faceted facility venue. In addition to its facilities and location, the motorsport and event industry market will now evaluate SIC based on its sustainable credentials. 

Boost confidence among stakeholders: Obtaining ISO 20121 accreditation has enhanced SIC’s reputation with its stakeholders, who were given a chance to express their worries about the events’ effects on them and the environment.

Culture and process improvement: SIC now has a culture of continuous improvement thanks to the sustainability management system, which also makes operations more efficient and fosters innovative ideas.