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Canada for CleanTech Conferences

Canada’s CleanTech Commitment

From Victoria to Montréal, executives and leaders in environmental technology are finding clean and green are in Canada’s DNA — and this has been a boon to business leaders seeking a destination for their clean-technology events.

Canada has invested more than $1.15 billion in 400 companies in the clean technology space, which is helping attract global attention and international business events in key centers of excellence across the country.

“The Government of Canada believes the future of innovation is clean technology,” says Samantha Bayard, a spokesperson for Canada’s federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. With the potential to grow to a $6.4 trillion market in the next four years, Canada sees opportunities to create jobs and wealth in all industries. “That’s why the Government of Canada is making CleanTech a priority.”

wind turbine

This commitment, and the collaboration between government, academia and private industry has vaulted Canada to the forefront of global CleanTech innovation. Canadian technology is utilized to make New York City’s garbage trucks 30 percent more efficient, convert Rotterdam’s waste into green methanol, used on the first satellite monitoring industrial GHG emissions and power Norway’s first electric ferry and the world’s first hydrogen train.

While a national priority, CleanTech expertise, venues and opportunities are especially concentrated in six centers of excellence across the country: Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa making these hubs ideal for executives and conference organizers in this industry seeking an innovative destination for their next event.




This “garden city,” is leveraging Canada’s collaborative spirit and global leadership in sustainability and innovation, by hosting the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference, the first in Canada to bring together a wide variety of leaders from travel and tourism, government, academia, First Nations and NGOs to take a deep dive into the issues of sustainability and innovation to create long-term economic nourishment in the tourism industry.

Among the local academic assets that planners of CleanTech events can harness are the University of Victoria, which has a reputation for innovative research in oceans and climate change, environmental sustainability as well as indigenous initiatives, and Royal Roads University, which has a strong focus on environmental practice, education and communication, as well as science and policy of climate change.



Vancouver skyline

The Double Platinum LEED Certified Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) is arguably the world’s greenest meeting space in tone of the world’s 3rd greenest destinations.

“Vancouver is the ideal base for a sustainable business summit,” says Carol-Ann Brown, GLOBE Series vice president, Innovation and CleanTech, which is holding the Globe Forum, North America’s largest and longest-running sustainable business summit and innovation expo, in Vancouver for the 30th time this year.

Brown adds that as home to one of the top 10 CleanTech clusters in the world, Vancouver provides support for innovation and events like GLOBE’s through both public and private organizations, including the Foresight CleanTech Accelerator Centre, National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program and Sustainable Development Technologies Canada.



Calgary sculpture

Calgary has a strong academic infrastructure, which have leveraged their in-house expertise to propel Calgary into the lead for clean energy developments, emissions control and reduced impacts on land and biodiversity in Canada’s energy capital and go-to location for conferences in this space.

Calgary also embraces disruptive ideas like offering public spaces for R&D as a Living City Laboratory and hosting Energy Disruptors Unite, which brought together voices as diverse as the president of Suncor Energy to an electric vehicle advocate and serial entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

Another group choosing to meet in Calgary is the IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, taking place in the city June 14–19, 2020, which draws experts in solar cells and solar energy from around the globe (over half of its attendees are based outside North America).

“Calgary represented an ideal location due to numerous direct flights to both Europe and Asia, as well as Calgary’s commitment to renewable and green energy,” says Seth Hubbard, conference general chair of the IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, convening in Calgary in 2020.



Toronto grafitti

Toronto is Canada’s financial capital — and it’s a leader in environmental innovation, as well. Having cut greenhouse gas emissions to 44 percent of its 1990 levels, Toronto now seeks a green city title.

The city’s CleanTech Cluster, led by the University of Toronto’s Impact Centre, features joint product development and research projects, access to funding, help transitioning to greener products and processes, as well as opportunities to accelerate the development and commercialization of made-in-Toronto green technologies. There are also groups hastening the implementation of green-building principles and sustainable solutions to urban energy challenges.

All this activity is drawing significant meetings business to TorontoCanada’s largest city, like February’s International Conference on Water Management Modeling, and the first North American meeting of the World Circular Economy Forum.



Montreal bike share

In Montréal, CleanTech is so significant that the Montréal Climate Exchange opened to provide financial assistance and a market for the sector. Home to one of the world’s first carbon-neutral convention centers, the 551,500-square-foot Palais des congrès de Montréal “has been actively involved in sustainable development for many years and is proud to hold the ASTM Green Meetings Standards Certification,” says André Saucier, Vice-President, Finance and Administration and head of sustainable development at the Palais des congrès. "These initiatives contribute to positioning Montréal as a leading destination for sustainable conventions."



Ottawa Rideau Canal

For CleanTech executives, Canada’s capital offers access to the greatest collection of both policymakers and scientists in the country in an international hotspot for CleanTech bio-refinery products, energy efficiency/green building technologies, energy infrastructure/ smart grid applications, recycling, recovery and remediation, water and wastewater management technologies.


Learn more about hosting your CleanTech event in Canada.

Our thanks to Northstar Travel Group who initially developed a version of this story for the February 2020 print edition of Successful Meetings.