The US-based Convention Industry Council and ASTM have completed a set of standards for green meetings. This likely means that, sooner or later, an organization will be at risk in describing a meeting, event, trade show, or conference as sustainable, or green, unless it complies, at least in a general way, with the new ASTM standards. All who are organizing an event which fits into one of these categories and who intend to make environmental claims for the event should familiarize themselves with the standards.
There are in fact nine standards included within the framework of the ASTM Standards for Green Meetings. They cover:
- event location
- set-up and dismantling of trade shows and exhibits
- transportation, primarily the reduction of carbon emissions from transport-related activity
- audio visual and production services
- communications and marketing, including paper, printed materials, promotional items, signage, educational materials, surveys, exhibitor advertising leaflets, event guides, etc.
- onsite offices
- food, beverage, and non-consumable food- or beverage-related items, including waste management, energy, and water related practices
- selection of venue
Due to the broad scope of the standards it will likely be some time before many events qualify for certification. However, even incorporating some of the criteria will be an advance on some of the rather weak efforts to green meetings that GallonDaily typically sees today in Canada. To assist greening of meeting initiatives, the Green Meeting Industry Council has published a set of checklists (they give them the moniker Addendums) which make it easier to ensure that key aspects of the standards are considered by meeting organizers. There is also a set of verification submission forms that can be used by meeting organizers to benchmark their performance against the standards.
The Standards for Green Meetings are available from ASTM at http://www.astm.org/BOOKSTORE/COMPS/GREENMTGS.htm. The cost is $168 USD for a one year subscription.
The Addendums and the verification submission forms are available from GMIC at http://www.gmicglobal.org/?APEXResources
A short description of the campaign to encourage adoption of the green meeting standards is available at http://www.gmicglobal.org/news/142462/Ask-For-It-Green-Meeting-Industry-Council-Launches-New-Campaign-in-Support-of-APEXASTM-Standards.htm