plan to reduce the environmental harm caused by business events – including
international association conferences – has been launched in Canada.
Canadian Business Events Sustainability
Plan seeks to improve the economic, social, and environmental sustainability
practices of business events.
It will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of individual cities and will be rolled out to international
clients to accelerate the industry’s progress toward net zero targets.
Coaching, training, and
education opportunities will be provided to more than 20 suppliers to the
meetings industry to build on their existing sustainability programmes and
support new ones.
The plan will
focus on international association conferences, trade exhibitions, workshops,
and seminars, as well as corporate meetings and incentive group events.
“Developing and launching sustainable
business event programs is not an option anymore. If our industry is to meet
net zero targets by no later than 2050, the entire supply chain must work in
partnership to find and implement powerful solutions,” said Virginie De
Visscher, Senior Director of Business Development, Economic Sectors,
Destination Canada Business Events.
“As one of the world’s first
national sustainability plans for business events, Destination Canada’s
Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan will provide a national support
arm to this supply chain and be the figurative rising tide that lifts all
A major research project, beginning now, will inform the plan. The project will evaluate where
Canadian cities, as hosts for business events, stand today in terms of their
existing sustainability initiatives and will be used to measure and track
change in the years to come.
“We want to do this right and
we want to hold ourselves accountable,” added De Visscher.
“By establishing a baseline for
impact and assessing the Sustainable Development Goals and actions already
being taken by our domestic partners – like Tourisme Montréal’s new Harmonious
Destination strategy in partnership with Aéroports de Montréal and the GHG
Carbone Boréal offset program and Destination Vancouver’s program with Binners'
Project which has already enabled the city to divert 75 per cent of the waste
generated by business events, out of landfills – we’re creating a marker for
Chantal Sturk-Nadeau Executive
Director, Business Events, Destination Canada, added: "This plan gives us
a real opportunity to move the needle on the sustainability of the business
events industry. It's a milestone not only for Destination Canada but for our
industry as a whole and we're so proud to be leading it."
Meanwhile Destination Canada
has commissioned a Legacy Impact Study. Led by #MEET4IMPACT and Gaining Edge, the
multi-year study will evaluate the impact of several past conferences in the
six key economic sectors that Canada excels in: life sciences, natural
resources, finance and insurance, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and
technology. The aim is to produce an algorithm to accurately estimate the social
benefits of any given conference.
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.