SOURCE: The Venetian Las Vegas

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September 04, 2013 15:13 ET

Sands Expo, The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas Reach Green Milestone for Meetings & Conventions

Expo and Convention Venues Are First in World to Achieve Advanced Level of Industry Certification for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Sep 4, 2013) - The meetings complex that includes Sands Expo and the Congress Center at The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas has further solidified itself as a true industry leader by being named the first venue in the world to achieve the advanced "level two" industry certification for environmentally sustainable meetings, events, trade shows and conferences.

The certification -- called Level Two Certification to the ASTM Standard -- is a designation of the meeting industry's comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings, created through a partnership of the Convention Industry Council's APEX initiative and ASTM International.

"Currently, there are only four venues in the world that are even certified at Level One," said John Caparella, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo. "We are beyond thrilled to be a leader in the industry in being the first venue to become certified at Level Two."

The venue standard is one of nine introduced in 2012 by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry to provide event planners and suppliers with consistent specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.

This designation is considered the most relevant to the meetings industry because it reflects standards that are catered to meetings, events, trade shows and conferences. In addition, it is backed by ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards.

"The Green Meeting Industry Council is proud to include Sands Expo among our active network of industry leaders," said Michael Luehrs, President of the Green Meeting Industry Council. "The spirit, persistence and creativity that led to this achievement are only the latest of actions that place them among the nation's top sustainability performers in the events industry. We salute the entire team at The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo and thank them for being an exemplary role model for commitment to service and sustainability."

"While the accomplishment itself may be celebrated, the greater mission of these efforts is to benefit the environment and the community," said Ashlyn LaPorte, Executive Director of Sands Expo. "In a convention capital like Las Vegas, meetings are naturally a major part of that effort."

Green meetings sustainability efforts at Sands Expo and The Venetian and The Palazzo were initially launched in 2011 with the Sands ECO 360 Meetings Program, a holistic approach to providing environmentally preferable choices and options to our meeting planners and clients.

In addition to this latest endorsement, previous sustainability certifications earned include LEED Gold Certification for Existing Buildings (The Venetian and Sands Expo), LEED Silver Certification for New Construction (The Palazzo), and TripAdvisor GreenLeader Gold Certification (The Venetian and The Palazzo).

The APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards are the industry's comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings, and are composed of nine separate sectors that address the scope of the meeting and event planning process. Spearheaded by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) and its relationship with the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the standards were created through a partnership of the Convention Industry Council's APEX initiative and ASTM International, a leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards.

The ASTM Venue Standard identifies the procedural requirements for venue selection, the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an event. It also stipulates performance requirements for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners.

iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, developed the certification guidelines for the ASTM standards. It also performed the independent third-party evaluation that resulted in Sands Expo and the Congress Center at The Venetian and The Palazzo achieving the APEX/ASTM Level Two certification.

Sands Expo Vision Statement
The Sands Expo is dedicated to creating and strengthening life-long partnerships with our customers, team members and the environment. We will continuously be driven by integrity, innovation, and dedication, never losing sight of the importance of relationships with our customers. We recognize that our Team Members are a diverse, highly talented group of individuals. We will endeavor to provide an environment devoted to cooperation, friendliness and mutual respect for each other. We are committed to being at the forefront of innovative sustainability practices and initiatives so that we will always be recognized as an eco-friendly leader in our Industry.

About The Venetian Las Vegas®
The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, the largest property in the country to receive AAA's Five Diamond and the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Four Star awards, is one of the world's most luxurious resort and convention destinations. Recreating Venice's legendary landmarks, the LEED® EB Gold-certified resort offers unmatched service and quality for leisure and corporate guests. With suites ranging from a standard 650-square-foot Luxury Suite to the luxurious 10,000-square-foot Chairman Suite, the all-suite resort boasts more than 4,000 of Las Vegas' most lavish suite accommodations. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian features Grand Canal Shoppes®, an indoor streetscape complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, world-class gaming, exquisite restaurants, a wide variety of entertainment such as "Soul2Soul with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill," the party musical "ROCK OF AGES," showroom headliners including Human Nature, David Spade, Rita Rudner, Tim Allen and Joan Rivers and extensive convention and corporate services. Guests can earn points while they eat, sleep, shop and play with Grazie, the premiere loyalty program. The Venetian and its sister resort, The Palazzo Las Vegas, are the first ever Alliance Resorts in the InterContinental Hotel Group® global portfolio. For additional information, visit venetian.com, follow on Twitter @venetianvegas and interact on Facebook at facebook.com/venetianlasvegas.

About the Green Meeting Industry Council
The Green Meeting Industry Council is a non-profit, membership-based professional organization which provides educational resources to planners, suppliers, and venues seeking to meet the ever-rising standards consumers set for sustainable meetings. GMIC is a member of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and hosts the annual Sustainable Meetings Conference. www.gmicglobal.org

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