Croke Park has become one of the first sports stadiums in the world to achieve certification in the recently released ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System International Standard. ISO 20121 follows on from the BS 8901 sustainability certification achieved by Croke Park in 2010 having been developed specifically for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is the standard all venues involved in London 2012 will be required to meet.
Croke Park was awarded the certification after an audit in May for achieving the highest standards in sustainable event management, demonstrating commitment to constant improvements in the stadium’s sustainability record and showing that sustainability is at the centre of all stadium activities. ISO 20121 is designed to help events organisations such as Croke Park and the GAA to recognise their impact on the economy, society and the environment.
The audit, carried out by SGS Ireland, examined the sustainability management system which exists at the stadium, including the development of sustainability policies and engagement of staff, contractors, patrons and stakeholders. Staff at the venue demonstrated their engagement recently getting involved in the Smarter Travel Workplace Cycle Challenge which ran over a three week period from 6-26 June this year, just one example of how sustainability initiatives are being promoted at the venue.
Some specific environmental improvements which Croke Park has managed to deliver were instrumental in helping the stadium receive the coveted ISO 20121 certification. Noteworthy improvements include:
- reducing electricity consumption by over 30% since 2008;
- saving 370,000 litres of water per day;
- opening recycling and composting facilities throughout the stadium;
- increasing recycling from 21% in 2008 to 62% in 2012;
- sourcing all the stadium’s electricity from green energy sources.
Alan Gallagher, Head of Stadium Operations at Croke Park expressed his delight at achieving the ISO20121 certification “We are extremely conscious of our responsibilities environmentally, socially and economically and huge credit is due to the work of staff and contactors, and the engagement with patrons at Croke Park, over the past four years since our sustainability journey began in 2008. We are also very proud that in an Olympic year, and with London 2012 being the first sustainable games, we have already achieved the standard that Olympic venue’s will be required to meet”.
Peter McKenna, Stadium & Commercial Director commented that “It is a remarkable achievement for Croke Park to become one of the first in the world to be recognized for achieving this ISO standard in sustainability and we are delighted to share this with all those involved – staff, contractors, our visitors and patrons. Sustainability is a primary pillar in the successful management of Croke Park, the largest visitor attraction in Dublin, but we are not only concerned with maintaining the high standards we have set – we seek to constantly improve them. In so doing we will ensure Croke Park remains greener, on and off the pitch, and makes a positive impact on our economy, our society and our environment.”