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IFEMA raises its quality, environmental and sustainability standards

•IFEMA has received the SGS-awarded ISO 9001, ISO 50001, ISO 14001 and ISO 20121 certificates, consolidating its solid competitiveness in the capturing of international events such as COP25. •These awards highlight the institution's work in aligning IFEMA’s activities to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, adapting its working practices to ensure continuous improvement and the highest standards in the most important strategic areas.

04 Feb 2020

IFEMA today received the ISO 9001, ISO 50001, ISO 14001 and ISO 20121 certificates that fully affect all the work carried out within the framework of its Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility policies. These certificates also coincide with the SDGs related to its activities in IFEMA’s CSR Master Plan, as well as underlining its strong commitment as demonstrated in its signing of the UN Global Compact. Furthermore, they serve to consolidate IFEMA’s position as one of the leading operators in the international arena, the key to its ability to bring large global events to Madrid, such as the recent COP25.

These certificates are based on the ISO 9001 Quality standard which emphasises the strict design and monitoring of the internal process structure aimed at ensuring continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. This certificate is of key importance to IFEMA, given the nature of its activities which are inextricably linked to the service sector and therefore dependent on the response capacity and acceptance level of the exhibitors and visitors that constitute the core of its business.

The Energy Efficiency Certificate, based on ISO 50001, has also been granted to IFEMA, underlining its commitment to sustainability, implementing measures such as 100% consumption of green energy, and geothermal power generation through a power plant that supplies the air-conditioning needs of the site’s central building, among many other measures that have been introduced.

As a further example of IFEMA’s commitment to sustainability, the ISO 14001 certification for the Environment has also been awarded for its good management and treatment of waste generated by fairs due to their being temporary events, for which IFEMA has introduced a segregation and recovery management programme. It has also established an awareness and communication programme for exhibitors during assembly and disassembly, in order to align objectives and ensure the implementation of environmentally friendly practices.

Along the same lines, IFEMA has been awarded the ISO 20121 on Sustainable Events certificate covering all of the fairs it organises. This was granted in recognition of the fact that, in addition to generating business and energising the economy, IFEMA fairs are committed to making a contribution to society, transferring part of the benefit it receives to the community, not only from a social point of view but also from an environmental and economic perspective. The standard recognises the contribution made by all IFEMA fairs, promoting actions to help entrepreneurship and giving value and projection to the exhibiting companies’ capacity for innovation, as well as promoting specific Corporate Social Responsibility actions through agreements with NGOs and food banks for the distribution of surpluses and cooperating on projects.

These certificates come in addition to the recently-awarded ISO 22320 for Emergency Management, representing a milestone in the work carried out by IFEMA which has obtained five certificates in the same year, accrediting its commitment to the most demanding international standards related to good organisation and structuring of the company, as well as its environmental, economic and social responsibility.

The awards ceremony was attended by IFEMA’s Eduardo López-Puertas, General Director; María Sánchez, Director of People, Quality and CSR, and Santiago Quiroga, Director of Quality and CSR. On behalf of the certifying entity SGS, Alejandro González, General Director; Santiago Mazzuchelli, director of Key Accounts, and Loreto del Rio, director of SGS CBE (Certification & Business Enhancement) also attended.

The CEO of IFEMA, Eduardo López-Puertas, said “These four new certificates show IFEMA's commitment to strengthening its quality policies, as well as ensuring greater sustainability and social responsibility, contributing to raising and guaranteeing the level of compliance with the norms and protocols that the organisation has implemented across its events and in the management of facilities and infrastructure - aspects that were also highly valued by the United Nations during the celebration of COP25 at IFEMA last December.” He added that the awards also “imply recognition of the effort to focus our business and activities on goals aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals that govern the IFEMA CSR Master Plan.”

Alejandro González, the director general of SGS said “it is impressive that leading companies in the sector such as IFEMA have aligned their orientation strategy to the highest compliance with standards of service of visitors and exhibitors, putting a special emphasis on aspects that are currently of key importance, such as sustainability, environmental management and efficiency and innovation. In such a context, obtaining these quality, environment, energy efficiency and sustainable event management certificates from an independent third party such as SGS, brings recognition to IFEMAs great commitment to ensuring continuous improvement and making a real contribution to society.”

These awards coincide with the celebration of IFEMA’s 40th anniversary. Since its inception it has always applied socially responsible criteria to its different fields of action, increasing its commitment through the implementation of its Corporate Social Responsibility Master Plan and aligning its objectives with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN.

Its 40 years of experience have been guided by its initial goals which focused on boosting the economic development of its environment, as well as promoting business revitalisation, quality employment, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as fostering the social spirit and commitment of its employees as the main ambassadors of the IFEMA mission.

To these we can add further objectives such as creating sustainable infrastructure, generating the least environmental impact possible through energy- and resource-saving initiatives and promoting volunteer work among its employees. IFEMA is also committed to promoting sustainable tourism practices and channelling the social action of its clients, integrating Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the events that it organises and ensuring transparency, ethical management and efficiency as a public institution.

Caption: Eduardo López-Puertas, CEO of IFEMA; María Sánchez, Director of People, Quality and CSR; Santiago Quiroga, Director of Quality and CSR and Joana Gutiérrez, pictured here with Alejandro González, Director General of SGS; Santiago Mazzuchelli, Director of Key Accounts and Loreto del Rio, Director of SGS CBE (Certification & Business Enhancement)

About IFEMA: IFEMA leads the trade fair sector in Spain and is one of the main operators in Europe, thanks to the scope of its activities and the capacity and quality of its facilities. It is committed to boosting business development, encouraging innovation and helping companies to globalise. It ensures this through the organisation and management of nearly 700 fairs, congresses and events which bring together more than 35,000 companies and 4 million visitors, making IFEMA one of the major players in international business tourism.

About SGS: SGS is a world leader in inspection, verification, analysis and certification. It is considered to be the main world reference in quality and integrity with more than 94,000 employees and a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories worldwide.