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VCC Sustainable Meetings Tour

Demonstrating Sustainable Events Leadership in Vancouver

In one of the greenest cities in the world, at the world’s only Double Platinum LEED® Certified convention centre, the idea of running sustainable conferences isn’t new. Pioneers of environmental sustainability, the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) recently offered an insider’s look into their best green practices to attendees of the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Global Conference.

Located on Vancouver’s waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world to host global events. With 466,500 square feet (43,340 square meters) of pre-function, meeting, exhibition and ballroom space, the facility is able to host multiple, simultaneous events as well as large single events with upwards of 16,000 delegates.

VCC roofop


The Convention Centre is designed with the latest environmentally sustainable features and technology, including a six-acre “living roof” — the largest in Canada — featuring more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses. Designed to act as an insulator, the living roof reduces heat gains in the summer and heat losses in the winter. It’s also home to four beehives who pollinate roof plants while also supplying the VCC with a hyper-local source of honey.

The Centre also features Canada’s largest waterfront ballroom with five-story high ceilings, open terraces, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking mountain and harbour vistas. Sights above the waterline are as impressive as what’s below: a restored marine habitat built into the VCC West Building’s foundation that has improved water quality in the area dramatically and contributing to the growth of a large variety of sea life.


The SITE delegation had the choice of two program tracks:

VCC beekeeping


In Hives for Humanity: Beekeeping Workshop participants learned about the VCC’s apiary partnership, gaining an understanding of the relationship between plants, bees, food and community while enjoying a flight of local honey where guests learned about the diversity of Vancouver flora and how that influenced the taste of each variety of honey, including the VCC’s own unique blend.


VCC culinary class


During the Culinary Behind the Scenes session guests took part in a presentation from the Vancouver Food Bank who shared ideas on event menu planning to maximize opportunities for donation acceptance. The VCC has been  recognized as the first Healthy Venue in the Americas by the World Obesity Federation, which provided the background to the culinary team’s presentation on their approach to selecting sustainable food options.


Vancouver consistently ranks at the top of global award lists and is one of Canada’s leading cities for sustainability and the CleanTech sector.