I write this article while in Salt Lake City attending a meeting regarding the APEX/CIC Green Meeting Standards currently being developed. For those unfamiliar with the standards, they are a consensus based and being created to help planners, suppliers, and vendors implement sustainable practices within their events. The standards are a response to an industry hungry for guidelines and definitive steps towards reducing their environmental impact. The development process has not been hasty, nor has it been easy. Almost two years in development, complexities continue to arise. As both a participant and observer, I often found myself asking, Where do you draw the line? When is enough, enough, or is it ever enough? When are we “sustainable”?
In my discussion and experiences with meeting planners, I believe it is these very questions that have led to the carnivorous need for these standards within our industry. Therefore, the focus of this article for the remainder of the year will be discussion and an overview of each area of sustainability as identified by the standard.
The focuses of sustainability to be addressed within each sector are as follows:
- Staff Policy
- Communication Policy
- Air Quality
The sectors identified and addressed in the standard represent the various elements of which an event is comprised. While the depth of each focus may vary, dependent on the sector, each will be addressed in some capacity.
During this time, I encourage you to send in your specific questions, concerns, experiences and comments regarding these various areas. In the coming months, the standards will be available for review and comment by the industry. Stay tuned for more information on when these are available and access information. With the launch of the standards on the horizon, we are in a very unique and exciting position to shift an industry and make positive impact in our world!