Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) was recently awarded the ISO 20121 certification for Event Sustainability Management Systems, as well as the ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems. Both certifications affirm QNTC’s commitment to sustainable practices in all areas of event management.
ISO 20121 is an international standard designed to help organisations in the events and hospitality industry integrate sustainability into management practices and processes by specifying requirements that reduce their environmental footprint. It offers guidance to help organisers manage events and control their social, economic and environmental impact while promoting more responsible consumption.
Secretary General of Qatar National Tourism Council and Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “This certification is yet another recognition of QNTC’s ongoing commitment to providing superior quality and effective management while adhering to international best practices. It will instil confidence among partners, as well as current and prospective stakeholders, in our operations and procedures, while supporting our efforts to improve tourism sector services in Qatar.”
As QNTC collaborates with partners and stakeholders to further the national sustainability agenda, it has already begun incorporating sustainable practices at its events. During Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF), QNTC works with food charities to collect extra food from participants and distribute it to those in need. In the future, QNTC will incorporate additional measures at its events, such as digital banners, rollups and badges in lieu of paper or plastic, the installation of recycling bins throughout event venues, banning single use plastics, encouraging locally sourced products, supporting the use of public transportation and smart cooling technology.
The ISO certifications were granted after an extensive audit conducted by Global Inter Certification (GIC) and are valid for three years. As part of QNTC’s commitment to ISO, the council will be working with a third-party certification body to conduct an annual surveillance audit to ensure its adherence to the latest best practices.
ISO certifications are internationally recognised and are awarded based on numerous quality management principles including continual development and improvement, strong customer focus, and evidence-based decision making.
As the main tourism development and regulation body, QNTC has been continuing to work towards the development of a sustainable and robust sector since the implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030. Its remit includes empowering stakeholders across the public and private sectors to innovate in the creation of products and services.
In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and in preparation for an influx of international travellers once borders are open, Qatar is committed to the redevelopment of its tourism infrastructure. QNTC is continually working closely with project engineers and planners to ensure sustainability remains at the forefront of their plans. Among such sustainable developments are the country’s new football stadiums; the new sporting venues will be among the most eco-friendly sporting arenas in the world and have been designed to include features to optimise energy efficiency and minimise wastage, such as retractable roofs and advanced cooling systems. The active cooling strategies will use the abundantly available solar energy to absorb heat and power air-conditioning systems for the stadium. The most exciting aspect of this approach is that the technologies implemented will be carbon neutral.
Another sustainable project currently underway is Msheireb Downtown, due to be complete this year. Already thriving, the development will revive Doha’s old commercial district with modern architecture inspired by traditional Qatari heritage. Once finished, the area will have one of the world’s highest concentrations of LEED certified sustainable buildings and will contribute to putting Qatar at the forefront of sustainable urban development.