About the Standards

  • What are the standards?

    The ASTM/APEX Standards are a set of nine formal, voluntary standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization. The standards provide event planners and suppliers prescriptive, measurable specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.

    Objectives and key attributes of the standards are:

    • Voluntary standards
    • Developed and validated through an accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO)
    • Attainable for all members of the planner and supplier community, at different resource and engagement levels
    • Designed for accessibility with an incremental pathway for continued improvement
    • Prescriptive and specific, focused on measurable outcomes
    • Flexible and adaptable to the diversity of the industry and variation in event size, scope and purpose
    • Part of the industry’s own solution to improving sustainability
  • What areas do the standards cover?

    The nine standards cover the full footprint of the industry:

    1. Accommodations
    2. Audio-Visual
    3. Communication & Marketing Material
    4. Destinations
    5. Exhibits
    6. Food and Beverage
    7. Meeting Venue
    8. On-Site Office
    9. Transportation

    Inside of each of the nine standards (sometimes called “sector standards”) eight impact areas are targeted:

    1. Staff Management and Environmental Policy
    2. Communications
    3. Waste
    4. Energy
    5. Air Quality
    6. Water
    7. Procurement
    8. Community Partners
  • How were the standards created?

    The standards were conceptualized by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) in discussions with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). In 2008 the project was brought to the Convention Industry Council in recognition that any sustainability standards created for meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events needed a broad-based approach drawing on expertise from stakeholders in all segments of this complex industry.

    The Convention Industry Council partnered with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization (SDO). This partnership paired CIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) model for creating consensus based best practices with ASTM’s formal standards development process and its diverse membership base of technical experts, engineers, materials scientists, and sustainability experts.

  • Who should use the standards?

    The standards are applicable to any planner or supplier seeking a prescriptive, results-oriented approach to improving the sustainability of their events or events services. The standards can be used when planning or supplying goods and services for nearly any meeting or event, regardless of the size or scope. 

    Because of the modular nature of the nine standards, planners use the standards that apply to a specific meeting or event. This means the standards can be used for anything from a social event to a city-wide convention. 

    Because the standards offer four levels of attainment they are accessible to any organization while offering a clear path for continued engagement and improvement.

  • Who contributed to the standards?

    More than 300 professionals from all areas of the collective conventions, meetings, exhibitions and events industry participated in the creation of the standards. In addition to this industry expertise, the international membership of ASTM has contributed through that organization’s formal comment process.

    For a list of meetings industry professionals who volunteered their time and expertise, please see this list.