Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A Sustainable Event Destination Standard

Event sustainability standards are on the agenda this morning at the Sustainable Meetings Conference. The much anticipated APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards are promised "soon". So what kind of requirements might they hold for destinations? Following is a look at possible Level 1 (of 4) requirements for Destination Cities and CVBs/DMCs. How would you measure up?

Supplier (Destination City) Performance Requirements


Staff Management and Environmental Policy
  • No requirements.
Communications
  • The destination shall provide empirically verifiable documentation to support environmental claims, if requested.
Waste Management
  • The destination shall establish a 12-month municipal waste diversion baseline for the destination.
  • The destination shall offer donation programs for food or conference materials or both that are available to the hospitality community (i.e., restaurants, hotels, and venues).
  • The destination shall divert at least four of the following: cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, metal, e-waste, wood and food waste/compost. Food waste/compost shall be diverted to a food waste composting program that collects, sorts, transports and appropriately processes the food waste/compost. Cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, metal, e-waste, and wood shall be diverted to a recycling service that collects, sorts, transports and appropriately recycles the material. Composting or recycling may be provided privately or by local government.
Energy
  • The destination shall adopt at least one of the following sustainable energy programs: a) Has direct-purchase renewable power options available through regional utilities (wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro); b) Mandates through local, state, or national regulation a minimum renewable energy requirement; or c) Consumer education programs for business about energy efficiency and conservation.
Air Quality
  • No requirements.
Water
  • The destination shall maintain a comprehensive water quality and water use monitoring program.
Procurement and Environmental Purchasing
  • The destination’s primary convention venue shall meet Venues, Level 1.
  • The destination shall be able to offer hotels for the event that shall qualify under Accommodations, Level 1.
Community Partners
  • The destination shall provide information about donation programs that can be used for meetings and events, including a food donation program.

Supplier (CVB/DMC) Performance Requirements


Staff Management and Environmental Policy
  • The supplier shall have a written environmental sustainability policy, available for stakeholder review, for its organization documenting a vision, objectives and goals for sustainability that address the applicable environmental characteristics as described in this standard (staff management and policy, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners)
  • The supplier shall designate one or more staff members to implement the supplier’s environmental sustainability initiatives.
Communications
  • The supplier shall communicate planner’s written environmental objectives and performance criteria related to the destination selection to its staff, if specified.
  • The supplier shall provide the planner with information about environmental efforts and programs in place in the destination as standard practice.
Waste Management
  • The supplier shall establish a 12-month waste diversion baseline (or all months of operation for suppliers operating less than twelve months).
Energy
  • The supplier shall have a policy for staff travel that includes sustainability considerations. In the policy, air travel footprint, ground transportation practices, and hotel selection shall be addressed.
  • The supplier shall establish a baseline of energy use from air and ground travel.
Air Quality
  • No requirements.
Water
  • No requirements.
Procurement and Environmental Purchasing
  • The supplier shall establish criteria for purchasing environmentally preferable products, which shall be outlined in a sustainable procurement policy. The criteria shall consider price and quality, environmental impact and ethics/reputation of the vendor.
  • The supplier shall establish a 12-month baseline (or all months of operation for those facilities operating less than a year) of percentage of purchases made in accordance with the purchasing policy above.
  • The suppler shall purchase environmentally preferable products based on the above criteria not less than 30% of the time.
Community Partners
  • The supplier shall provide information about community service organizations that may accept event-related donation streams (food and other materials) or provide volunteer opportunities.

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