The Accepted Practices Exchange, an initiative of the Convention Industry Council, has launched a new working group — the APEX Green Meetings and Events Practices Panel, bringing the meeting industry a step closer to developing baseline standards to achieve responsible levels of sustainability.

While the green standards will be voluntary, APEX is partnering with ASTM International, an international standards-setting organization, to create standards the Environmental Protection Agency can embrace.

Amy Spatrisano, principal, Meeting Strategies Worldwide, and board chairwoman of the Green Meeting Industry Council, is spearheading this GMEPP effort and has reached out to the entire meeting industry to contribute to creating the standards through a grass-roots effort.

Each of the GMEPP committees includes planners, suppliers, and government officials, and each is focused on one of nine topic areas: transportation, accommodations, meeting venues, exhibits, food and beverage, communications, on-site offices, destinations, and audiovisual production. Committee members will be drafting standards, which will then be sent for comment to a number of live city discussion groups as well as virtual discussion groups.

As of press time, city discussion groups were being established in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Denver; Washington, D.C.; Gainesville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; Raleigh/Durham. N.C.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Seattle; Toronto; and Vancouver. Groups will begin working late this year or early next year.

To learn more about volunteering for a city discussion group, contact APEX Director Sue Tinnish, at stinnish@conventionindustry.org.

Show 'em Your Green Stuff

If you've been making strides with your green meetings initiatives, get recognized for your efforts. Applications are now being accepted for the IMEX Green Awards 2009.

The annual awards are presented in four categories:

  • Green Meetings Award

  • Commitment to the Community Award

  • Green Exhibitor Award

  • Green Supplier Award

The application deadline is February 6, 2009, for all the categories except Green Exhibitors, which is March 6.

Winners, judged by an independent panel of industry representatives and environmental experts, are announced during the IMEX international trade show in Frankfurt.

Information and application forms can be found at http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/imexawards.html.

Calendar:

December 2-4

EIBTM Global Meetings & Incentives Exhibition Barcelona, Spain
www.eibtm.com

December 5-8

Society of Incentive & Travel Executives

International Conference Montreux, Switzerland
www.site-intl.org

December 8-9

Medical Device and Bio/Pharmaceutical Meeting Management Forum San Diego, CA.
http://www.cbinet.com

January 11-14, 2009

Professional Convention Management Association New Orleans
www.pcma.org

January 27-28, 2009

ISM-NBTA Summit on Travel and Meetings Charlotte, N.C.
www.ism-nbta.org

February 7-10, 2009

Meeting Professionals International MeetDifferent Atlanta
www.mpiweb.org