In February, ASTM International and the Environmental Protection Agency took a major step toward creating universal standards for green meetings. In conjunction with about 25 stakeholders, including representatives from the Convention Industry Council and the Green Meeting Industry Council, they voted that the organization should move forward with standards development under the formal title of “ASTM International Activity on Green Meetings & Events.”

Although the Convention Industry Council's Green Meeting Task Force developed best practices for green meetings in 2003, the government requires its agencies to use standards developed through an open “voluntary collaborative” process, which prompted the meeting with ASTM, a nonprofit, voluntary standards-development organization that has created more than 12,000 standards used in dozens of industries in more than 60 countries. ASTM is in talks with CIC to collaborate on this effort, though it's unclear who would “own” the standards once they're developed and whether ASTM would charge industry association members for access to them.

The standards development activities are open to all interested stakeholders. For more information, contact Pat A. Picariello, director, developmental operations, ASTM, at

Required Reading

We all want to do our part to reduce the carbon footprint of our meetings, but many of us don't know where to begin. Simple Steps to Green Meetings and Events: The Professional's Guide to Saving Money and the Earth, by Amy Spatrisano, CMP, and Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, gives meeting planners a road map for getting started. The book offers a step-by-step approach to greening an event and includes guidelines on marketing, venues, lodging, transportation, and F&B.