Sustainability Standards for Meetings and Events

Sustainability StandardsEnvironmental and social sustainability standards are hot topics in corporate responsibility today. Savvy companies realize that practicing sustainability is not only good for the planet, it’s good for business. Being more resource efficient not only reduces the stress on the Earth’s natural resources, it costs the company less in materials, energy, water, etc. In addition, staff, customers and clients are more committed to the success of the business when operations are aligned with their personal values. A shared commitment to sustainability fosters more meaningful relationships, loyalty and trust between the parties. In short, sustainability is apropos to people and profit, as well as the planet.

Virtually all organizations make use of meetings or events of some form, so this is a significant area in which companies can introduce or further develop sustainability standards in their corporate practices. Now a set of nine formal, yet voluntary “sector” standards have been developed to define measurable sustainability specifications for planning and managing events. These sustainability standards can be applied when planning or supplying goods and services to nearly any meeting or event from a small social event to a city-wide convention.

Sustainability Standards Categories

The nine sectors of event planning include:

  • Destination selection
  • Accommodations
  • Food and beverage
  • Audio visual
  • Onsite offices
  • Communication and marketing material
  • Transportation
  • Exhibits
  • Venues

Each sector is broken down into eight impact areas:

  • Staff management and environmental policy
  • Communications
  • Waste management
  • Energy
  • Air quality
  • Water
  • Procurement
  • Community partners

Four progressive levels of achievement are defined in each category, which offers organizations a path for continued engagement and improvement. The sustainability standards are modular in nature, so planners use the ones that apply to a specific meeting.

Over 300 professionals from the collective conventions, meetings and events industry in partnership with the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) contributed to the creation of these sustainability standards.

Let Covington Meetings & Events help you measure and improve the level of sustainability of your next meeting or event.

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