The American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) has published standard E2772 on sustainable accommodations, the ninth and final of the APEX/ASTM “green” standards. The release completes a period of meeting industry collaboration on producing best practices for greener meetings that began in 2008. The ASTM Standards for Green Meetings gives event professionals a pathway to achieve environmentally sustainable events.

The Green Meeting Industry Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, initially undertook publication of the standards, eventually produced as a partnership between the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) and ASTM. 

The APEX/ASTM standards are comprised of nine "sector" standards that cover all facets of event planning and management (eight of them were published in 2012):

•  Accommodations

•  Audiovisual

•  Communication & Marketing Materials

•  Destinations

•  Exhibits

•  Food & Beverage

•  Meeting Venue

•  On-Site Office

•  Transportation

Much of the work and research behind the initiative was a result of the time and effort put in by the APEX Green Meetings and Events Practice Panel, consisting of 300 planners, suppliers, and sustainability experts from across the globe. ASTM International provided input, review, and feedback from its technical experts, engineers, materials scientists, and sustainability experts.

Within each standard are criteria in eight categories: staff management and environmental policy, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners. Each category is further split into four progressive levels of achievement and there are different sets of requirements for planners and suppliers.

Individual standards are available for purchase from $41 to $47; or all nine standards can be purchased as an electronic-file-only bundle for $168.For those who have already purchased the bundle, the Accommodations standard will be automatically added at no additional cost. 

For more on the development of the ASTM Standards for Green Meetings, visit the CIC Web site.