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In August 2016, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil became the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics.

The event brought together more than 11,000 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees competing for 306 sets of medals. The games featured 28 Olympic sports across 33 venues in the host city and five sports at venues in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.

An objective of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was to ensure that the Games left a positive legacy of sustainability. To achieve this objective the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee agreed to assure that all event-related activities, products and services pursued objectives including financial success, sound social responsibility strategies and activities, and the reduction of environmental footprints.

ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management certification is the most demanding in the world in terms of environmental sustainability in the organization of a sports event. Following our experience certifying against the ISO 20121 standard for events such as the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Roland-Garros French Open, and the UEFA EURO 2016, we were commissioned to audit the Rio 2016 Games against this standard.

On January 27, 2016, a plaque confirming ISO 20121 certification was awarded to Rio 2016 President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, on behalf of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee, by Vanda Nunes, director of SGS Brazil. "We went through a very thorough external audit which certified that we are serious about sustainability and assuming good management practices," explained Nuzman. "This will be a legacy for the events sector. What we have done here is unprecedented in Brazil.”