Australian event professional scores sustainability goals

From humble beginnings as Event and Sustainability Manager for Cultural Stomp and Peats Ridge Festivals, Australian Meegan Jones recently scored two career goals – publishing the second edition of her book on Sustainable Event Management and being engaged to create the Sustainability Strategy for FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022.

After setting a strong foundation in her work at Peats Ridge Festival back in 2006, Meegan was coaxed to the UK to considerably upsize her event sustainability efforts - taking on the role of Sustainability Manager for Festival Republic, responsible for some of the largest music festivals in the world – including Glastonbury Festival, Reading & Leeds Festivals and the boutique event Latitude Festival.

Her UK achievements and the launching the first edition of the book in 2009, positioned Meegan as a leader in the field of event sustainability worldwide. Her role in advancing the uptake in event sustainability has been pivotal in both Australia and internationally.

In 2010 she was engaged by UNEP, to produce an industry sector report on the relationship between the music industry and environment, presenting the report at an industry workshop in Norway. She has additionally co-authored a research report into festival-goer travel impacts at British music festivals, with Julie’s Bicycle.

Other projects she’s worked on include as Global Greening Director for Live Earth in 2010, and conducting a sustainability diagnostic for London Marathon. She was also working on Live Earth in India in 2008 when the shooting attacks occurred in Mumbai, leading to an emergency extraction of the team and cancellation of the concert.

In 2010 she established the Sustainable Event Alliance, an international industry association and professional guild focusing solely on event sustainability practice.

She brought the new industry standard ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems to Australian attention, representing the country through Standards Australia at international working group meetings during its development. Meegan was also one of ten industry sector specialists in the development of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Event Organizers Sector Supplement – the foundation of sustainability reporting worldwide.

In 2010 she established a specialist event sustainability consultancy GreenShoot Pacific with fellow Australian Jane Fullerton-Smith, creator of the SEMS Tool. Together they’ve consulted to many stellar Australian events such as Sydney Festival and their training courses have been undertaken by more than 1000 event industry professionals in Australia.

Meegan’s hard work and efforts championing event sustainability have culminated in the ultimate of challenging engagements – placed in Doha, Qatar for 2 months last year, to write the sustainability strategy for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Just to add a little more pressure, Meegan finished the 2nd edition of her book while in Qatar, which is now scheduled for release on May 14, just 1 day before her birthday.

“FIFA has come under criticism for Qatar being the destination for the World Cup in 2022. The country has also come under scrutiny for worker’s welfare, and of course being the highest GHG per capita country. But I have to say, in my time working with the Supreme Committee responsible for delivery and legacy of the World Cup, that they are absolutely committed to diving deep into addressing all aspects of sustainability as it relates to both the infrastructure build and the tournament operations.” says Jones.

“Necessity is the mother of invention and I’m looking forward to seeing the innovation and excellence I know we will see come out of this very unique event setting. We’re unlikely for a long time again, to see a mega event like this in such a controversial destination, with critical issues to address, an absolute willingness to openly address them, and frankly, the budget to support success. Coupled with World Expo 2020 in Dubai, I think we will some massive shifts happening both in-country and throughout related industries. Exciting times.”

About the book

Every year events of every possible description are held around the world. Be they community events, large academic conferences, business meetings or enormous music concerts, festival, expos, and sporting events, they all have a massive impact on our environment and society.

Gatherings of people for a purpose always have and always will be a part of the human story. Those staging these events have a social and environmental responsibility to manage their impacts and enhance potential their positive lasting legacies.

Written by a leader in the field, this book is a practical, step-by-step guide taking readers through the key aspects of how to identify, evaluate and manage event sustainability issues and impacts – for events of any style and scale, anywhere in the world.

The product of tried-and-tested methods, coverage includes numerous examples and case studies from across the world, such as Boom (Portugal), Bonnaroo (USA), Hurricane (Germany), and Glastonbury (UK) Festivals. Readers are provided with checklists for action and tools for measuring performance.

This updated second edition includes a detailed review of the new international standard ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management Systems along with other recent standards and certifications. It expands detail on measuring and reporting event sustainability performance outcomes with explanation of the Global Reporting Initiative Event Organizers Sector Supplement performance indicators.

This is the indispensable one-stop guide for event professionals and event management students who want to adjust their thinking and planning decisions towards sustainability, and who need a powerful, easy to use collection of tools to deliver events sustainably.

Meegan Jones is an event professional, trainer, consultant and writer focusing her work developing sustainable management solutions for live events.

Paperback: £32.99
 Hardback: £90.00
ISBN: 978-0-415-84020-0 ISBN: 978-0-415-84019-4
Complimentary exam copies available to universities and educational institutions
Cover photo download:


1. Sustainability and Events
2. Engagement and Communications
3. Identify Issues
4. Destination and Venue
5. Energy
6. Transport
7. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
8. Purchasing and Resource Use
9. Waste
10. Water
11. Standards and Certifications
12. Legacy


“Let’s be honest about it. Meegan’s book was already the reference piece for the whole scene. So many people were inspired by and guidelines based on her great work and it is even better to see that the new edition brings it to another level. Newbies can learn about the principles of sustainability and its quadruple-bottom-line management. Advanced people can adjust their operations according to the great help offered in this book and professionals can sneak a peek at events, initiatives and projects worldwide that are show-cased in so many examples concerning all sorts of action areas.

What makes it even more worthwhile are those looks over the edge of events organization and on general principles and definitions that help us understand how sustainability is to be implemented in our society and should be in our businesses as well. There is still a long way to go and development to be achieved in the events industry to become more and more sustainable. I am sure that Meegan contributed massively to the filling of the gap – again!

With this remarkable piece of advice in your hands there simply is no way saying “I don’t know how to do it”.” Holger Jan Schmidt (GO Group & GreenEvents Europe), Germany

“Reference book, text book, check list for green practitioners, professors and inspiring reading for the rest of us. Perhaps the most comprehensive book written on the subject.” Harith Wickrema, CVO, Eco Serendib Villa and Spa, Faculty, Temple University, USA

“Meegan has written an excellent tutorial on sustainable event management. Whether you are a beginner or advanced practitioner, the book has great case studies, top tips and best practices stories that will help organisers to accelerate their journey towards more ethical, responsible and effective events.” Guy Bigwood, MCI Group Sustainability Director, Spain

“Meegan Jones has captured her vast experience in sustainability and event planning – domestically and internationally. She has also contributed to international technical committees responsible for the development new standards for sustainable event management systems and sustainable event reporting. She travels the world, collaborates with many, finds practical solutions and brings her humour to colleagues and clients embarking on this work. Meegan brings her passion for sustainability along with her savvy and curiosity to this book. It is a timely and valuable reference for the event sector – worldwide.” Ann Duffy, President, The Ann Duffy Group and former Chief Sustainability Officer, Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Canada

“Anyone seeking a mentor to help understand the impact of events and how they can be made better through sustainable approaches will benefit from this book. It translates complex sustainability issues into easy-to-understand language for event professionals. It gives honest perspective on what to focus on to help you make realistic action plans and day-to-day decisions, even when resources might be limited. And the generous peppering of interesting international case studies, sprinkled with a bit of humour, gives life to learning!” Shawna McKinley, Director of Sustainability, MeetGreen®, USA

“Whilst large scale events such as festivals entertain many people, they can attract criticism for being spectacles seeking profit without concern for the planet. ‘Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide’ avoids overly technical jargon and offers an easy to follow checklist for any sustainability minded festival organiser. This excellent book not only offers a straightforward structure to dip into and consider issues such as minimising waste or reducing the impact of travel but also gives a nod in the direction of important issues such as sustainable event standards and how to influence audience behaviour in a sustainable direction.” Stephen Henderson, Senior Lecturer in Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

“This book is the one-stop-shop for those wanting to delve into the big world of sustainable event management – clear, detailed and based on real experience of the industry.” Chris Johnson, Co-Founder and Director, Shambala Festival; Chair, Powerful Thinking; Associate for Festivals and Events, Julies Bicycle, UK

“It could be said that putting on an event is inherently unsustainable – and in many respects it is. However, with the right knowledge, framework and tools you can gain significant efficiencies and cost savings from a sustainable approach as well as having an unrivalled platform to demonstrate leadership and communicate sustainability to a new audience. Whilst the topic of sustainability is still a relatively new concept for the events sector the industry has continued to make great strides in this area by exploiting opportunities in what is still a very demanding market. In the 4 years since the last edition of Meegan’s book a number of standards and guidelines have emerged and considerable lessons have been learned by industry ‘early adopters’. Meegan captures the progress that has been made perfectly! Whether you’re new to this game or consider yourself an old hand this is the only practical and accessible book out there that covers technical subject matter and new ‘ways of working’ of relevance to event sustainability all in one place.” Phil Cumming, Group Sustainability Manager – Net Positive Strategy, Kingfisher plc (former Corporate Sustainability Manager, London 2012 Organising Committee), UK

“Sustainable event management is a complex subject involving different skills, technologies and behaviours. This book provides a comprehensive overview of these complexities, with clear guidance on how to address them to make events more sustainable. It goes into detail about the practical measures that can be taken, using case study examples from many different events. In particular, it provides guidance on how to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions and clearly explains the opportunities of reducing electricity related emissions from generators. Overall, it is a very good read and I believe that is will help professionals improve the sustainability of the events industry for many years to come.” Professor Paul Fleming, Director of Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

About the author

Meegan is an event professional (20 years) who provides sustainable solutions for live events and productions. She is a partner in GreenShoot Pacific, a sustainability consultancy to the events, screen, sport and music touring industries, and Chairperson of the Sustainable Event Alliance.

Recent credits include; Sustainability Strategy for FIFA World Cup 2022, Head of Delegation Australia: ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management Systems; Industry Expert, Global Reporting Initiative Event Organizers Sector Supplement. Prior to GreenShoot Pacific, Meegan was Sustainability Manager for Festival Republic (Reading, Leeds, Latitude and Glastonbury Festivals), Global Greening Consultant Live Earth 2010 and Live Earth India 2008, Festivals and Events Consultant Julie’s Bicycle, and Project Consultant UN Music & Environment Initiative.

In 2011 she was a finalist in the NSW Office and Environment and Heritage Sustainability Champion awards. She has written numerous articles and guides which are available on her website


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