ASTM International, or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), was established in 1898. It is a world renowned organization that specializes in developing standards for a broad range of professions and industries.
The ASTM Standard defines the considerations for venue selection by environmentally conscious event organizers. It requires the venue management to demonstrate commitment to sustainability in nine areas such as waste management, energy and water conservation and air quality.
Monica Lee-Müller, Managing Director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), commented, “We are proud that the HKCEC is recognized by the ASTM Standard. It is a strong evidence of the HML’s ongoing commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and acting in a socially responsible manner. This achievement is resulted from concerted effort of the entire HML team. I am also pleased that, as indicated in a company-wide staff survey conducted earlier this year, vast majority of our staff have shown favorable support to the company’s sustainability strategies.”
The development of the ASTM Standard was led by the Green Meeting and Industry Council (GMIC). GMIC is a professional organization with over 600 members, and provides educational resources to event organizers, suppliers, and venues seeking to meet the ever-rising expectations for sustainable events.
Connie Bergeron, GMIC President, added, “Responsible environmental and social practices in the event and meeting industry is a global concern. Congratulations to the HKCEC for joining the league of pioneering world class venues that have been certified to the ASTM Standard.”
During the last two years, with investment in technology upgrade and process enhancement, HML has successfully reduced its electricity and water consumption by almost 10 per cent respectively, a remarkable achievement considering its extensive portfolio of over 1,000 events and close to 6 million visitors a year. HML has a full-time managerial executive dedicated to driving the company’s sustainability initiatives.
iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, developed the certification protocols for the new standards and performed the independent third party certification of HKCEC’s compliance with the venue standard. Glenn Hansen, CEO of BPA Worldwide, commented, “When a venue synonymous for the travel and hospitality industry like the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre obtains independent certification of its sustainability practices, the bar for environmental and social responsibility has clearly been raised.”
This sustainability standard is one of the nine formal, voluntary standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization.
The venue standards delineate the procedural requirements for venue selection—the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an environmentally sustainable event. The standard specifies performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners.