iCompli Sustainability

Why do the ASTM standards focus on suppliers?

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First, a bit of historical background. Each of the ASTM standards can operate independently for specific sector requirements as well as collectively for the entire event. In each sector (i.e. venue, food and beverage, destination) there are planner requirements and supplier requirements in the categories of policy, staff management, waste, air quality, water conservation, and procurement and community partners. These standards were designed to be performance standards (specific measureable actions that suppliers and in some part planners had to do and achieve in order to be in compliance).

The difference for the ASTM standards is that the accountability is heavily weighted on the supplier’s ability to consistently achieve environmental performance metrics before and during an event. The critical touch point is the mutual accountability of suppliers and planners related to the sustainability goals of the event. However in analyzing the area of control, the suppliers have greater measurable control of the performance outcomes of the standards than do the planners.

Phase one of certification focuses on verifying that suppliers are in compliance with Level One of the relevant standard. This does not mean that the event planner has been certified or that the event itself has been certified.

Phase two will focus on certifying planners and events. Certification of suppliers allows a planner or organizer to say that they are using certified suppliers for its event. Suppliers can say that they have been certified by an independent third party to be compliance with the relevant standard for their sector.

Karl Pfalzgraf, Practice Leader

Vice President, Sustainability Services

Karl is the Practice Leader for iCompli Sustainability. He has a broad background in GRI reporting and assurance with more than 20 years of experience developing strategic sustainability communications and executing programs at the international level. Most recently, he served as Director, Business Development with AccountAbility, a leading international corporate responsibility think tank and consultancy. Previously Karl was Director, Global Brand and Communications at PwC, where he was responsible for global sustainability communications. Earlier in his career, Karl was Vice President, Corporate Communications at J.P. Morgan. He is a Member of the ANAB Committee of Experts for Event Sustainability and is a LEED Green Associate. Karl has led the development of the certification program for the ASTM sustainability standards. 

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