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Green Meeting Industry Council
700 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314

APEX/ASTM Sustainable Event Standard Overview

About the Standards

Spearheaded by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Green Meeting Industry Council, the standards were developed in collaboration between APEX (the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange) and ASTM (An ANSI certified international standard development organization). Hence the standards are referred to as the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards.

The industry owes a debt of gratitude to the volunteers who crafted and fine tuned the standards. Over the course of three years, a core development team including approximately 50 volunteers served in the capacity of panel members, committee leaders and members spanning the globe and the industry. This group included planners, suppliers, government representatives, non-government and non-industry players. In addition, the processes has had input from more than 350 volunteers globally through direct input to committees, online feedback options and city discussion groups.


Purpose of the Standards

The purpose was to develop voluntary standards that can be implemented to create a more sustainable meeting or event. The standards: ·

  • are measurable·
  • available in a tiered system to allow for different levels of engagement·
  • address policies·
  • hold both the supplier and planner accountable for implementation·
  • are intended to be complimentary to other meeting industry recognized standards


Design of the Standards

How were the standards designed?

While the standards were created in collaboration with APEX, the format, protocol and design was driven by ASTM protocol and look and feel.


What areas of meeting management do they cover?

They cover the nine areas or sectors of meeting management.

Audio Visual / Production
Destination Selection
Meeting Venue
Accommodations Exhibits
Onsite Office
Food and Beverage


What are the 8 categories in each sector?

The eight categories are intended to capture the environmental and social areas to consistently be included in each sector that are measured under the standard. They are:

  1. Staff Management and Environmental Policy
  2. Communication
  3. Waste Management
  4. Energy
  5. Air quality
  6. Water
  7. Procurement
  8. Community Partners


Are these standards "international”?

Yes, they have been crafted and commented on by industry professionals around the globe and by more than 200 non industry stakeholders. ASTM is an international standards setting body. Admittedly, these standards are easier to implement in developed countries than in developing ones.


How do these standards integrate with ISO 20121 and GRI EOSS?

It is important to note that the three standards are different in their approach. The ISO 20121 standard is a management system (similar to ISO 14001) written to inform the process of organizing an event. The APEX standard provides definitions of specific operational actions with key performance matrix and scoring that comprise a sustainable event. The Global Reporting Initative Event Organiser Sector Supplement provides guidance on how to report on an event's sustainability record. The standards will work well independently or in collaboration as frameworks for sustainable events and sustainable meetings industry businesses.


How do I acquire the standard?

The standards are available for purchase on the ASTM website Standards and Engineering Digital Library. Select the "E60 - Sustainability" option from the "Committee" drop-down list.

Each standard is available individually for purchase per sector. ASTM International prices standards based on length and when purchased individually, the standards are between $41 and $47 each. This is the most cost-effective way of obtaining a single standard for suppliers interested only in their area, or for planners focused on particular operational aspects.

For those interested in purchasing all nine standards, they may be purchased as a compilation for additional savings.

The Convention Industry Council website offers more information about obtaining the standard with direct links to purchase.


How do I get started with the certification process:

CLICK HERE to learn how to get started on the path to certification.