IACC Ups Its Green Standards

The International Association of Conference Centres, a collection of purpose-built meeting facilities ideal for groups of up to 200 people and particularly for corporate meetings, has reviewed its Green Star sustainability certification and added new standards for member centers to meet.

The new benchmarks include:

• Replacing incandescent lights with LED lighting;
• The prohibition of aerosol use in all departments, including housekeeping;
• No bottled water set in meeting rooms, unless the bottles can be refilled on property;
• Developing landscapes that save water;
• The use of hybrid, biofuel or electric vehicles for company business, and
• The use of seafood named on the list of sustainable resources (found on the World Wildlife Fund's compendium or equivalent national lists).

These extra standards were developed last year by a global group of IACC volunteers and approved by the association's global board.

"IACC's goal is to operate a sustainability and CSR program that stipulates the highest standards so as to support it's members in embarking on sustainable practices," says IACC CEO Mark Cooper, who touted the updated standards at the organization's annual Americas chapter conference, held in Fort Lauderdale in April.

Member facilities sign the IACC Code of Sustainability to certify that their facilities have agreed to support the code. Signing on "demonstrates a level of commitment that far surpasses the adoption of some 'green practices,'" according to the policy. "Rather, it is an affirmation that the property is actively engaged in a holistic endeavor that is woven into the fabric of the organisation from top to bottom."

IACC facilities are rated platinum, gold and silver; only one has achieved the platinum level -- Dolce Hotels & Resorts' 125-room Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre in London, Ontario. Find the full list of Gold Star conference centers here.