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Edmonton Convention Centre Responsible Meetings

Edmonton Convention Centre’s Responsible Meetings Program Promotes Sustainability

In October 2019, the Edmonton Convention Centre hosted Emission Reduction Alberta’s SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive—the first convention with a plan to achieve carbon neutrality ever hosted in Edmonton, and the first event to participate in the Edmonton Convention Centre’s recently launched Responsible Meetings Program.

Created in response to growing demand for environmentally responsible meetings and events, the Edmonton Convention Centre’s Responsible Meetings Program provides incentives for clients who select plant-based menu options, reduce single-use items, opt-in to donation programs, purchase carbon offsets and participate in post-event reporting.

“Our role at the Edmonton Convention Centre is to provide our clients with the right tools to make a positive impact through the events they host,” says Melissa Radu, Sustainability Manager, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). “The Responsible Meetings Program formalizes our commitment to helping our clients understand the impact of their events and identifies areas for continuous improvement. By partnering with Emissions Reduction Alberta to achieve the first carbon-neutral convention in Edmonton, we hope to send a strong message that together we can do better for our industry and environment.”

As the pilot participant of the Edmonton Convention Centre’s Responsible Meetings Program, SPARK 2019 committed to reducing their environmental impact by eliminating single-use items, encouraging attendees to bring reusable drinkware, reducing and diverting waste, selecting plant-based menus, reducing printed materials and signage, participating in the venue’s donation programs and purchasing quality carbon offsets. SPARK 2019 adhered to strict carbon accounting and reporting practices, which the Edmonton Convention Centre sustainability team facilitated on their behalf.

"We are proud to be the host of the first carbon neutral conference in Edmonton,” says Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), noting that events such as SPARK 2019 encourages the conversations about doing more with less impact on what matters most.

The Edmonton Convention Centre is one of only five Canadian venues to be certified to ASTM standards and was first conference venue in Canada to receive Green Key level five certification. In addition, the venue is currently being outfitted with the largest building-integrated photovoltaic (solar) installation Canada.