Environmental Stewardship

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are approaching spring, which is one of my favorite seasons. Nature is reborn. Weather improves. We spend more time outdoors. And, globally, we come together to focus on environmental stewardship on Earth Day, April 22.

Fortunately, ASTM International members have a year-round focus on the environment, and it is great to showcase some of their activities in this issue

At least 15 of our technical committees work to protect resources we all share — land, water, plant and animal life, and air. These committees address a wide range of areas, including: environmental monitoring, measurements, health, preservation, and sustainability

The results are clear: 

  • Cleaner air and water;
  • Eco-friendly homes and office buildings;
  • Enhanced waste management and recycling programs;
  • Innovations in oil spill response and cleanup;
  • Improved environmental assessment and much more.

Environmental stewardship and sustainability is an ever-growing priority for practically all of our committees. For example, given ASTM International’s large footprint in the construction industry, it is not surprising to see our committees propelling green construction into the mainstream. Already, more than 200 standards support the design and construction of sustainable buildings. That technical foundation is transforming the way industry designs, constructs, and operates buildings around the world.

Many additional committees will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss environmental issues, particularly at the April committee week in Denver, Colorado. (I hope to see you there!) 

I am also pleased to be promoting the work of all of our environment-related committees at the PittCon Conference and Expo on March 17 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. At that major industry event, one of the members of our water committee (D19) will be chairing a panel session on new trends in environmental testing and protection of the environment.

On a broader scale, ASTM International is strongly supportive of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. This is a globally shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries — developed and developing — in a global partnership. 

Our standards and programs support the agenda, including SDGs targeting sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, affordable and clean energy, climate action, and more. (In fact, we are collecting anecdotes about how our standards support the SDGs — submit yours to news@astm.org.)

I’m proud of how the public–private partnerships that thrive in ASTM International allow all interests — industry, government, environmental groups, research institutions, academia, laboratories, and more — to come together to address the pressing issues facing our environment. Together, we can help our world work better.  

Katharine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International

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