The industry has been abuzz with talks about the soon to be released APEX Green Meetings and Events Practice Standards. During the months of August and September, several City Discussion Groups were held to discuss the nine standards of meeting sustainably. The standards are a response to a much needed demand for consistency within the industry as to what constitutes a “green meeting.” The standards also act as a roadmap for planners and suppliers who wish to implement sustainable practices, but do not know where to begin.
In July, this column briefly touched on what the components of these standards are. Last month, I examined what was involved in developing a Staff Policy on sustainability. This month, I will show what the components of developing a Communication Policy are. Going forward, I will profile a different standard every month.
Each of the nine standards consists of eight components of sustainability. They are listed below, using the Communication Policy standard as the sample. Hopefully, this example will provide insight to the goals of the standards. By breaking each standard into eight categories, a planner can outline areas of focus and create a truly comprehensive sustainable program.
In addition to reviewing the standard below, I invite all readers to review and comment on the nine standards on the APEX site. And, here is a very helpful Webinar which answers some of the common questions.
Objectives of the Communication Policy Standard
(Source: APEX Website)
1.0 – Staff Management/Policy
- To promote accountability for environmental outcomes related to marketing communications among all stakeholder groups, including but not limited to government, owners/shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and local communities.
2.0 – Communications/Policy
- To promote proper record-keeping and documentation of environmental goals, strategies and outcomes.
- To develop and disseminate measurable, documented sustainability goals, strategies and outcomes to event stakeholders (event organizers, staff, attendees, speakers, sponsors and other participants, product manufacturers and other suppliers) and beneficiaries (i.e. general public, consumers, clients).
- To encourage support and involvement in sustainability efforts by all applicable stakeholder groups, including but not limited to event stakeholders (government, owners/shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and local communities).
- To encourage the use of empirically verifiable and/or certified green products, practices and processes and reward suppliers that provide credible, independent documentation of environmental performance.
3.0 – Waste Reduction
- To significantly reduce waste by reducing material use.
- To significantly reduce waste by diverting materials from landfill through reuse and recycling/composting initiatives.
4.0 – Energy Conservation
- To reduce energy use at its source
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, delivery, use and/or disposal of marketing/communications materials.
5.0 – Air Quality
- To encourage providers of marketing/communications services and supplies to take steps to protect and improve air quality.
6.0 – Water Management
- To optimize the efficient use of water and energy associated with water use.
- To reduce or eliminate water pollution added to water supplies
- To re-use water wherever possible
7.0 – Procurement
- In the absence of regulatory and industry consensus, promote the proper balance between consumption and disposal of renewable and non-renewable material, while reducing toxicity and waste and limiting water/energy consumption associated with production and printing of marketing and communications materials.
8.0 – Community Partnerships
- To provide positive community benefit from event-related marketing and communications activities.