When Climate Reality Leadership Corps Canada was looking for a venue to host its two-day conference for 600 people, they had a very long sustainability list for their event.
The Canadian division of the Climate Reality Project is a non-profit educational and advocacy organization about climate change and the winning host facility is chosen for its sustainable and certifiable green cred.
The International Centre had it in spades.
Sandra Martin, director of sales for the Centre, says “even though we have won a number of sustainable awards over the years, we still had to prove that we were tracking and auditing our waste streams, our power generation and our sustainable sourcing.”
She adds, “It helps that our facility was an early adopter of green certification and has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.” In fact, The International Centre is one of the few venues that employs a full-time sustainability officer in Sonya Poorter.
For the conference, the Centre’s executive chef Tawfik Shehata was tasked with creating a totally vegetarian menu. Luckily, with his affiliation as a spokesperson with Foodland Ontario, he was able to reach out to over 20 local growers and producers to fully source the produce necessary. In addition, bulk items such as yogurt, sugar and milk were served in large containers to avoid waste.
For this conference, the Centre was able to track 100 per cent of the food waste, which the client also audited. After the lunch service, one of the Centre’s coordinators weighed each individual waste stream. The Centre was able to boast a 95.4 per cent diversion rate for the event.
In an additional twist, the Centre was also asked to source electric buses to transport delegates from area hotels. “Sourcing this action item was actually quite a feat,” says Martin, “there just weren’t any electric buses available.” In collaboration with Tourism Toronto, the Centre worked with Mississauga Transit to source biodiesel hybrid buses to transport attendees.
And to wrap it all up, The International Centre sponsored trees on behalf of the Climate Reality Project. In the future, 30 tree saplings in the GTA will grow into mature trees, courtesy of the event, casting a long shadow on green initiatives.