ASTM Sustainability Meeting Set for Earth Day

Sustainability standards development and related exchange of information will highlight the inaugural April 21-23 meetings of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability, the organization said in a March 10 press release.

Coinciding with Earth Day 2009 on April 22, the meetings are scheduled in conjunction with the ASTM April committee week sessions in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The concept of sustainability takes in the more familiar environmental consideration of "going green" by recycling and reducing waste, plus the addition of economic and social principles. Sustainability, according to ASTM E2114, Terminology for Sustainability Relative to the Performance of Buildings, meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

According to Dru Meadows, E60 chair and principal at theGreenTeam Inc. in Tulsa, Okla., Committee E60 members include stakeholders who are applying the principles of sustainability through standards development. "E60 is pioneering an approach to determining what the world’s needs are and how they will be met," says Meadows. "Up until now, it has been done piecemeal, city by city, industry by industry, but in the long run, that doesn’t work. It just shifts problems around and causes conflict and redundancies. The only way we can do this is comprehensively."

Meadows added, "ASTM is a logical platform because it is an international voluntary consensus organization with more than 30,000 members, technical experts representing producers, users, consumers, government, and academia from more than 136 countries. It is an ideal forum for people to share what is happening and discuss what needs to happen."

A database of standards from many ASTM committees has recently been expanded and can be found at www.astm.org/sustainability.htm.

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