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The meeting industry is one step closer to the introduction of the very first green meetings and event standards. The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has announced that eight of the nine APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting standards are complete.

“This is a major accomplishment for the collective conventions, meetings, events and exhibitions industry,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, chief executive officer of the Convention Industry Council. “Sustainability is a strategic concern for planners, suppliers and the organizations they represent. These standards are much anticipated, so this is a great moment for the volunteers who put such effort to this project.”

The standards were conceptualized and initiated by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) and the U.S. 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 intense 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:

Communication & Marketing Materials
Food & Beverage
Meeting Venue
On-Site Office

Much of the work and research behind the standards was a result of the work done by the APEX Green Meetings and Events Practice Panel, which consists of 300 planners, suppliers and sustainability experts from across nine time zones. ASTM International provided the formal standards development environment and process including comprehensive input, review and technical expertise from its members across the globe.

“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 and Principal at MeetGreen. 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.”

The completed standards will be published in November as both electronic and paper documents. Information on publication date and availability will be announced and posted on www.conventionindustry.org when the standards are available.

A ninth standard on Accommodations is undergoing final balloting through ASTM.

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