The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has said it has completed eight of the nine APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting standards. The announcement brings the meeting industry a step closer to the introduction of the first international green meetings and event standards.
CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski described the announcement as “a major accomplishment for the collective conventions, meetings, events and exhibitions industry”.
“Sustainability is a strategic concern for planners, suppliers and the organisations they represent. These standards are much anticipated so this is a great moment for the volunteers who put such effort to this project,” she added.
The standards were conceptualised and initiated by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Development has taken place through a partnership between CIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), an initiative that focuses on industry best practices and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International. The standards have been in development since 2007.
The APEX/ASTM standards will be comprised of nine individual sector standards, covering all facets of event planning and management. The eight standards that have been ratified cover:
- Audio visual
- Communication and marketing materials
- Food and beverage
- Meeting venue
- On-site office
Much of the work on the standards was done by the APEX Green Meetings and Events Practice Panel, consisting of 300 planners, suppliers and sustainability experts from across nine time zones. ASTM International provided the formal standards development environment and process including technical expertise from its members.
“None of this work would have happened without the passion, dedication and conviction of the volunteer force that spans across North America and Europe,” said Amy Spatrisano, Chair of the APEX Green Meetings and Events Panel.
“The level of specificity required and accountability of both the planner and supplier that is built into these standards is unprecedented. It’s a game changer,” she added.
The full standards will be published later this month as both electronic and paper documents on conventionindustry.org.
A ninth standard on Accommodations is undergoing final balloting through ASTM.
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