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by Sarah J.F. Braley | October 31, 2011

The Convention Industry Council announced today 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," stated Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, who is CEO of the 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 compiled by the Green Meetings Industry Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Begun in 2007, the development of the documents has taken place through a partnership between CIC's Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) and the American Society for Testing and Materials International. The APEX/ASTM standards will be comprised of nine individual "sector" standards, covering all facets of event planning and management. The eight ratified standards cover audiovisual, communications and marketing materials, destinations, exhibits, F&B, meeting venues, on-site offices and transportation. "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 third-party planning firm MeetGreen in Portland, Ore. "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. The ninth standard, on accommodations, is undergoing final balloting through the ASTM.