New ASTM Initiative to Support Sustainability Goals

ASTM International, one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, on Nov. 10 announced the formation of ASTM Committee E60 on Sustainability. This new standards development initiative results from the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry stakeholders who share mutual goals for global sustainable development.

The trend toward sustainability -- achieving economic prosperity while protecting the natural systems of the planet -- is an important issue. New environmental, social, and economic challenges have heightened global awareness of sustainability even further. While both the public and private sectors have offered various programs that advance sustainability, widespread support is still lacking across mainstream markets.

Newly formed ASTM International Committee E60 will be the forum where diverse stakeholders come together to create the consensus standards that will promote and integrate sustainable development across multiple industry sectors.

Mary C. McKiel, Ph.D., EPA Standards Executive, commented, "ASTM's proven ability to produce globally used consensus-based standards in environmental and sustainability areas make it well-suited to support the goals of this new standards writing activity and the open process needed to ensure its utility."

ASTM Committee E60 will build upon the standards that address various issues of sustainability. Notable among these is the efforts of ASTM Subcommittee E06.71 on Sustainability, which has contributed numerous standards that support sustainability in the building industry.

The ongoing activities of E06.71, including a newly formed task group on Green Meetings and Events, will now be coordinated by Committee E60. The initial scope of Committee E60 will be driven by subcommittees on Building and Construction, Hospitality and General Sustainability Standards. E60 will also support and serve as a resource for other ASTM committees in their activities that include sustainability issues.

The technical committee will hold its next organizational meeting in April 2009 during the ASTM committee week in Vancouver, Canada. Industry feedback and comments should be directed to Pat Picariello, director of developmental operations, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9720;