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APEX/ASTM sustainable meeting standards reach milestone

The Convention Industry Council has announced that the APEX-lead initiative to create standards for environmentally sustainable events has crossed an important milestone. Eight of the nine draft standards have completed review by the ASTM committee where they have been under development. This final vote marks the completion of the consensus process for the development of the standards and clears them for final approval and ratification as official ASTM Standards.


“CIC is thrilled to report that the project has reached this stage,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, chief executive officer of the Convention Industry Council. “This is a major accomplishment for the many volunteers and stakeholders in our industry, and in the ASTM standards development world, who have devoted countless hours to the development, revision and refinement of the standards. We know there is much anticipation in our industry for their completion. The process has been long due to overwhelming interest in from all parties, and we are now right at the finish line.”

The suite of standards, comprised of nine individual “sector” standards, covers all facets of event planning and management: accommodations, audio-visual, communication and marketing, destinations, exhibits, food and beverage, meeting venue, on-site office, and transportation. The standards have been in intense development since the project was initiated in 2008.

“The APEX/ASTM standards are certainly more robust as a result of the wide and varied input from the environmental scientists, materials and engineering community, environmental consulting, and various industries including plastics, chemicals and construction,” said Sue Tinnish, chair of the ASTM E60.02 Committee on Hospitality. “By gaining their consensus and input, the development of the standards took much longer than anticipated. However, we will have a more thorough and better product as a result.”

The next steps in the ASTM process are administrative review and preparation of the standards for publishing. The standards are reviewed at the Executive Level by ASTM’s Committee on Standards which examines the process and vote counts before sanctioning the publishing of the standards. Based on the closing dates of the two recently completed ballots, the APEX standards will be reviewed by the body on two meeting agendas.

Exhibits, food and beverage and on-site office will be reviewed by the Committee on Standards in July; audio-visual, communications, destinations, meeting venue and transportation will be reviewed in August. After these reviews and approvals, the standards will also undergo a final editorial stage and then be released for publishing.

The ninth and final standard, accommodations, is undergoing final revisions. The APEX volunteers anticipate balloting those revisions in June, with a completion date in late summer.  

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