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Certification helps steer Liseberg towards sustainability

In December 2021, the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg was certified according to the standard ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events. The company was helped in its process by auditors from RISE.

Ylva Linder, hållbarhetschef Liseberg
Ylva Linder, sustainability manager, Liseberg

The ISO 20121 standard Sustainable Events is based on ISO 26000 and is a standard that includes all sustainability aspects, not only those related to the environment but also social aspects and governance. In addition to environmental impact, it encompasses goals and risk management, for example, as well as the safety of visitors, employees and volunteers.

Liseberg's sustainability management is governed by a sustainability directive stipulating that Liseberg shall demonstrate responsibility and a long-term approach, and that management and development of operations are conducted on the basis of Liseberg being on loan from future generations. Previous to certification, the park held an environmental diploma.

– “Sustainability shall be integrated into both our ways of working and decisions, whether we are certified or not,” says sustainability manager Ylva Linder. “We chose to certify because we want to take our responsibility. Moreover, our stakeholders expect us to do so.”

Includes everything – from rides to events

In principle, everything at Liseberg is covered by certification – rides, food and drink, shops, games and entertainment, and events.

When it comes to sustainable events, the stakeholder concept is especially important because there are so many different categories involved; in Liseberg's case employees, guests, owners, residents, suppliers and industry colleagues.

– “The advantage of an ISO certification is that sustainability management gains greater focus and priority internally,” says Ylva Linder. “In addition, the auditors contribute ideas and help us to identify areas for improvement.”

She also notes that external approval is an advantage when Liseberg is assessed by the media and its stakeholders.

Sustainability shall be integrated into both our ways of working and decisions, whether we are certified or not

Digital training facilitates knowledge transfer

Liseberg is a service organization with a major focus on operations and problem solving, here and now. A challenge in certification efforts was thus to get everyone to apply and understand the value of the systematics and documentation entailed by application of ISO 20121.

Given the large portion of seasonal employees, it is a constant challenge to accomplish a workable transfer of skills concerning sustainability. Ahead of the season start in spring 2021, Liseberg implemented a new digital training platform for this purpose.

– “A digital service training course was produced, as well as a digital introduction that also covered sustainability issues,” says Ylva Linder. “All seasonal staff members had to undergo the training course before they began work. Besides the digital courses, we believe in presence in leadership where managers and supervisors convey how we can work as sustainably as possible.”

Certification tasks have been conducted in close cooperation and dialogue with the auditors from RISE.

– “Cooperation has gone really well,” says Ylva Linder. “The auditors are highly skilled, and it was good to be able to use the RISE digital customer portal for dealing with things requiring improvement.”

Important confirmation

Lena Jönsson has led auditing at Liseberg on RISE’s part. She emphasizes that certification is important from two perspectives. Partly internally because it involves choosing a governance model. Ways of working become clearer once the decision is made to work according to a defined standard.

– “Certification is also important externally,” she says. “Through an impartial instance, reviewing ways of working and confirming that they adhere to a standard, you gain confirmation that the image you have created of yourself as a company or organization is accurate.”

Lena Jönsson believes the corona pandemic has lifted the need for certification.

– “It has emphasized the need to show that you work sustainably, both socially and environmentally. For example, there has been a need to deal with the spread of infection and to quickly and smoothly modify and introduce new ways of working.”

RISE has solid experience in certification according to ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events and has previously helped the Alpine World Cup, Göteborgvarvet and Vätternrundan gain certification.

The final question goes to Liseberg's sustainability manager Ylva Linder – can you have fun and at the same time do something for the future?

– “Absolutely, we’re convinced of that,” she says emphatically.

Published: 2022-02-17
Lena Jönsson

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Lena Jönsson

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