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Hana Peregrinova
Head of Congress
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Franck Grosset
Head of PCO and Innovation Hubs
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Ivan Muñoz
Regional Director, Spain

ISO 20121 Live Audit at ESTRO Congress

Barcelona | 200 delegates

The ISO 20121 third party Audit of the Kuoni Congress Sustainable Event Management System (SEMS) took place over 2 days in Barcelona, during the set up and opening days of the ESTRO Congress on 19 – 20th April, 2018.

The audit consisted of a documentation review and series of interviews with Kuoni Congress employees and selected business partners to confirm that the Sustainability Event Management System is playing an active role within the Kuoni Congress workflow.

The influence that the Operations team was able to exert in terms of sustainability was evident in communications and actions carried out in collaboration with suppliers and clients.

The Operations teams worked with clients and suppliers to explain the sustainability policy of Kuoni Congress, and the reasons behind proposing specific sustainability actions that addressed the impacts of event activities. 100% of Kuoni Congress’s ESTRO suppliers are now signatories of the Kuoni Congress Supplier Code of Conduct, and 4 of the ESTRO hotel suppliers scored among the top 10 in a recent survey to test the compliance of Kuoni Congress suppliers with the Supplier Code of Conduct.

Accessibility is an important topic for Kuoni Congress, addressed by sharing the numerous accessible facilities in Barcelona with the different delegations at ESTRO. Furthermore catering providers highlighted food specifications in their menus, ensuring accessibility for all in Kuoni Congress’s food service at ESTRO.

Waste reduction and management was also addressed by Kuoni Congress suppliers by avoiding plastic and disposable materials, providing recycling bins and reducing resources where possible.

Hotels were asked to create a “stationary bar” at the entry to the meeting rooms, so that delegates could access stationary on a needs basis.

The Barcelona Princess Hotel in particular demonstrated its long term commitment to sustainability via such actions as the local and seasonal sourcing in their breakfast buffet and menus, as well as their collaboration with the NGO Nutrición Sin Fronteras (Nutrition Without Borders), who collected 50kg of leftover food from the Barcelona Princess and Diagonal Mar hotels, to be subsequently distributed among communities within the city of Barcelona.

MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona), the venue of the Presidential Cocktail for 200 business leaders on the first night of the ESTRO Congress demonstrated their very sound accessibility policy and involvement in local social projects, as well as their other initiatives to further integrate sustainability into the building and organisation.

Vilaplana, the catering company, played an important part in the success of this ISO 20121 Live Audit, explaining their own strict policies for waste management and the prevention of food waste, evident in the creative presentation of the dishes that avoided plastic and disposable items. Vilaplana also highlighted their food specifications policy to ensure that guests could easily enjoy the catering without worrying about any specific requirements.

Vilaplana also contributed towards an awareness raising collaboration with the company Eaternity, who were able to calculate the CO2 and water footprint for 4 of the dishes in the cocktail menu. This data was shared with the guests via the menu cards that were located on tables around the venue.

Autocares Izaro was another supportive supplier. With their attention to detail in sourcing, measuring and employee training, Izaro provides their clients with a responsible service that is certified to the prestigious standards of ISO 14001 and 9001.

The ESTRO organisers themselves also joined forces to support the sustainability goal, with actions such as the publication of a range of information on their website regarding the sustainability policy of Kuoni Congress and accessibility facilities within the city of Barcelona, among others.

The success of this live audit confirms that the Kuoni Congress Sustainability Event Management System will be recommended for ISO 20121 third party certification, to become official by the end of May 2018.

Kuoni Congress Sustainability Team would like to express their thanks to all clients, suppliers and colleagues involved in this successful event.

Kuoni Congress began its sustainability journey back in early 2016. The division will address many topics in its commitment to reduce its impact and promote responsible business practice, parts of which coincide with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of :

4. Quality Education
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
6. Clean Water & Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
9. Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

For more information regarding our strategy please visit or contact us at