Copywriting and editing sustainability guides for the British Standards Institute

How do you explain complicated sustainability standards in an accessible and user-friendly way?

Who? The British Standards Institution (BSI).

What they wanted: BSI asked Lark to create a user-friendly 'taster' guide and companion to its standard for sustainable events, ISO 20121.

What we did: The ISO 20121 document is long and complex – with ten detailed chapters, multiple appendices and a large amount of jargon. To make it more user friendly, we recommended a timeline-based approach, relevant to the event planning process itself.

We began by organising the content into four distinct phases – prepare, plan, deliver and learn. We banished as much jargon as possible, distilled and simplified each chapter, used box-outs to highlight the most relevant information, and compiled inspirational case studies of events that have used the standard. 

The result: BSI were so pleased with our work that they asked us to come back as editorial consultants for their micro guide for developing sustainable communities. The micro guide was easier to read than their standard documents, but needed a little extra help to make it truly user-friendly. We re-jigged the content into a step-wise process, added some more engaging language and advised on layout and diagrams.