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Sustainable Events at Edmonton Shaw Centre

A Commitment to Sustainability: Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre

Today’s trend in meeting venues requires that conference and convention centres provide lots flexible space, plenty of natural light, award-winning catering, and the latest in techno bells and whistles. Bonus marks are given if there’s greenspace nearby. The Shaw Conference Centre, located in both the heart of Edmonton’s downtown and at the doorstep of North America’s largest urban park features all these amenities, and more.

The Shaw Centre offers some 150,000 ft.2. of flexible meeting space, more than enough to draw events such as the UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Forum which welcomed delegates from 20 nations to the Shaw Centre in October 2018. Cantilevered above the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the Centre is within steps of raw natural spaces, the North Saskatchewan River, and endless quiet valley trails; an ideal respite for delegates before, after and in-between conference sessions. Connecting the convention centre with the amenities of the valley: a newly opened, 20-passenger funicular which runs from nearby 100th Ave., by the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.

Funicular, Edmonton

Green Meetings Happen Here

The first convention centre in Canada to earn the coveted Green Key level status and ASTM certification for its commitment to sustainable operations, the Shaw Centre’s environmental best practices are evident inside and out:

  • Rooftop gardens, urban beekeeping, the use of solar energy and permaculture help offset urban “heat island” effects
  •  A sustainable living wall, and hundreds of plants inside the facility absorb 4,120 lbs of C02 each year
  • Built into the side of the river valley improves insulation and increases the building’s energy efficiency
  • Hydration stations where delegates and employees refill water bottles tracks the number of bottles diverted from landfills with each refill
  • Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grown on rooftop gardens are used in menus prepared at the Shaw Centre, reducing food and transportation costs, while surplus food is donated to local agencies, reducing food waste.
  • Onsite composting and recycling programs further eliminates waste

Shaw Centre, Edmonton

It’s just such commitment to sustainability that helps draw conferences to Edmonton’s Shaw Centre, including the 800-delegate Cities and Climate Change Science Conference which convened here in March 2018 and the 2,700-delegate Arbonne CNTC Conference in 2017.

“More and more, we’re seeing that companies want to work with venues that share their organization’s values and, on top of that, can provide measurements and specific programming to support their event goals,” says Richard Wong, Shaw Conference Centre General Manager. “This includes consumption metrics, community outreach or CSR initiatives, and reduce/ reuse or offset planning that helps companies to understand and influence the impacts of their events year-over-year.”

Toward that end, the Shaw Centre supports sustainable events with a roster of resources including their sustainability goals, a  pre-meeting toolkit for conference organizers to help guide their planning process, and an annual report of how the Centre performed against their own sustainability aspirations.

“At the Shaw Conference Centre, we’re committed to these initiatives and, moving into the future, enhancing our sustainability options in a much more impactful way,” says Wong. “We’re always looking for innovative ideas and opportunities to work together with planners towards a more sustainable events industry.”

Edmonton is one of Canada’s centres of excellence for Agriculture and Agri-manufacturing, Life Sciences and Information and Communications Technologies sectors. It’s also a natural meeting location for organizations working in these spaces. Learn more about what Edmonton can offer meetings.

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