The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) has become the third convention center in the world to be certified to a new international sustainability standard.
The OCCC achieved Level One certification with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. The venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.
Jan Addison, deputy general manager of the OCCC, commented, "Achieving certification to the industry’s global standard is further evidence of the Convention Center’s commitment to sustainability. We are proud to take the lead in advancing responsible environmental and social practices in the meeting industry and hope this will encourage our hospitality partners to join us in making Orlando a more sustainable meeting destination.”
"This is great news for the Convention Center and all of us in Orange County working for a more sustainable future,” said Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange County. "We know that meeting planners have many destinations to consider. The Convention Center’s green meetings certification is one more reason for meeting planners to choose Orlando.”
The ASTM Venue Standard delineates the procedural requirements for venue selection -- the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an event. The standard specifies specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization.
iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut developed the certification protocols for the ASTM standards and performed the independent third party certification of OCCC’s compliance with the venue standard. Glenn Hansen, CEO of BPA Worldwide, commented, "When a venue synonymous for the travel and hospitality industry obtains independent certification of its sustainability practices, the bar for environmental and social responsibility has clearly been raised.”
GMIC President Michael Luehrs gave praises to OCC in saying, "We are proud to welcome OCCC to the exclusive, but growing club of GMIC members to achieve compliance with the APEX/ASTM standard for venues. This successful effort by OCCC is a clear indication of a sincere commitment to responsible business practice and it provides event planners peace of mind that they are working with a leader in sustainability."
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