CIC Releases APEX Green Meetings Standards for Public Comment

The Convention Industry Council's (CIC) Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) Panel on Green Meeting and Event Practices has released for review and comment by the meetings industry its final draft standards for green meetings and events. Developed in collaboration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) and APEX, the standards have also been submitted to ASTM International—formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials—and will therefore become accredited standards upon approval.

"These standards are an attempt to create a level playing field of what constitutes 'green' for the industry," CIC COO Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, said in a statement. "While the standards are voluntary, demand and use by planners and competition will drive adoption."

Two years in the making, the APEX standards include nine individual topic areas, including: Accommodations, Audio/Visual, Communication, Exhibits, Food and Beverage, On-site Office, Destinations, Meeting Venue and Transportation. Developed by nine separate committees, the standards within each topic area will be reviewed by the meetings industry this month and next via public comments on a dedicated blog and at so-called "APEX City Discussion Groups." Town hall-style meetings, the city discussion groups will take place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Fort Meyers, Winnipeg, San Antonio, Denver and San Francisco.

"It is exciting to see these standards coming to life and the hard work of so many nearing completion," Kotowski said. "Like all APEX standards, they will not remain static but will incorporate revisions as necessary to maintain relevancy."

All public comments—from the blog and the discussion groups—are due by Sept. 11 to APEX, which will review suggested changes and feedback and, if deemed appropriate, incorporate them into the green standards before submitting the final version to ASTM. The final standards, approved by both ASTM and APEX, are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

For more information about the APEX green standards, the APEX City Discussion Groups or the APEX blog, visit www.apexsolution.org.