In the last fifteen years, the organization and staging of large-scale events have been progressively included in the sustainability debate. As today, it is widely accepted that such events may have multiple impacts on - and leave an important legacy to - the host cities and regions, as there can be structural, economic, environmental, social, cultural and political impacts. Literature and empirical evidence on the multiple legacies of events have mainly focused on large-scale sport events so far. The debate on the role and contribution of Universal Expositions to long term urban and local development strategies is instead relatively young. This article seeks to contribute to the literature that assesses the impacts of large-scale "one-off" events, by taking the forthcoming Universal Exposition of Milan in 2015 as an example to further explore the conditions and requirements that may eventually bring true meaning to the term "sustainable event". The analysis is mainly based on the Expo Milan 2015 experience in sustainability reporting activities, whose goal is to measure, assess and communicate the social and environmental performance of the organising company, the impacts on the territory of the activities that are being carried out, and the level of engagement and dialogue with the stakeholders involved.
Keywords: Sustainability management, wide-scale events, sustainability reporting
Jel Code: Q56, M14, M41