Fourteen made-in-Canada sustainable event solutions

Clean, made-in-Canada sustainable event solutionsgreen and beautiful outdoor spaces are a cornerstone of Canada’s destination image abroad. But did you also know Canada is home to some pretty cool sustainable event solutions? Check out these innovative programs that can help your next corporate event go green, with a little tint of red and white, too.

Food donation made easy. Are you a caterer, chef, hotel or event organizer who wants to donate leftover food from your event but is unsure how to connect with local food banks and community groups who can redistribute your food to those in need in a safe way? Let La Tablée des Chefs do the work for you, and measure the impact! A case study of this program’s work with the Westin Calgary can be found here.

Solar recharge stations. You may have already seen PowerBarr cropping up at events in the Toronto area: solar charging stations able to power-up six mobile devices, even after seven days of no sun. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this Toronto-based start-up is looking to roll-out charging stations in locations on-request. Sounds like a great sponsorship or legacy project for a conference or convention centre!

People-powered margaritas and music. Looking to get attendees moving in a fun, green-minded way? Bike-it, using pedal-chargers from folks like People Power Productions. Ideal for outdoor or community events, People Power can provide pedal stations to charge everything from a blender to a small stage.

Safe, professional bike parking. Expect your event participants to use bikes of the portable kind? Look to services like The Bike Valet. Convenient and secure bike storage can be a great way to promote lower-impact, hassle-free and affordable transportation for events. The Bike Valet operates just like a coat check: drop your bike off, get a claim stub, enjoy the event and pick your bike up when you’re ready to leave.

Green hotel measurement made easy. Green Hotels Global is an online tool that helps hotels manage their environmental impact while providing planners with a convenient way to compare hotel sustainability programs, using both best practice information and measurable data. Other innovative, affiliated programs include Green Ride Global, a database of sustainable chauffeured transportation providers, and Green Cruise Global, providing ship-specific environmental performance information.

Green hotel rating made easy. Green Key Global is eco-rating program that recognizes over 2,300 hotels, motels and resorts that are improving their environmental performance in Canada and beyond. It also includes a carbon calculator and green meeting rating program. Most of Canada’s major meeting cities have at least one Five Green Keys-rated property, making it easier to find a hotel that shares your sustainability commitments.

Sustainable seafood in a snap. This Fish is an initiative of Ecotrust Canada that traces the journey of your seafood from ocean to plate, including information about who caught and processed it. Although not a uniquely Canadian idea, Canada also has two sustainable seafood programs that can help you make sure your menu planning and restaurant selection choices are good or best alternative options. Check out SeaChoice and Oceanwise.

Taking the pain out of promotional product purchases.  Promotional products provided at your events make a statement. Are yours making one that reflects your customer and brand values? Vancouver-based Fairware takes the anxiety out of purchasing promotional products by sourcing those that are ethical and sustainable.

Upcycled event graphics. Corporate events can use a lot of branded graphics which may be landfilled or recycled. Consider giving your event or community banners a second life by upcycling them into conference bags through organizations like Common Thread. This social enterprise employs newcomers to Canada to design and sew upcycled bags, wallets, cases and folios from discarded event graphics.

Water wagon bandwagon. With bottled water becoming passé at events, several municipalities are providing tap water wagons that not only keep event attendees well-watered, but educate them about how to conserve at home and at work. Check out these examples from Waterloo, Abbotsford – Mission, and Vancouver.

Frog Power! Think green event energy is a new thing? Think again! This year the JUNO Awards were powered with 100% green energy for the seventh year in a row. By being bullfrogpowered® your event can put renewable energy on the grid to match the amount of energy used by the event.

Cow Power! Not into frogs? You could consider cows! Put simply: cows and their waste have a negative impact on climate change, unless we can tap that waste as a source of energy. Cow-powered events offset event energy use by supporting local farmers to capture this waste-energy and inject it onto BC’s energy grid.

Bear power? Based in Vancouver, Offsetters provides carbon-neutral solutions for events within and outside of Canada. Their unique Great Bear Forest Carbon Project generates emission reductions by protecting forests that were previously designated for commercial logging. Event partnerships have included the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, America’s Cup 34, Globe 2014 and Sustainable Brands 2014.

Our national event sustainability standard. If these technology innovations, green energy solutions and purchasing tools were not enough, did you know that Canada has its own sustainable event standard? It’s true! If you’re interested in taking a systematic, performance-based approach to green your event, check out CSA Z2010, the standard that helped guide the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games to sustainability success. Event organizers in Quebec can also refer to BNQ 9700-253.

What unique made-in-Canada sustainable event solutions have you seen at your meetings? Comment below and let us know!

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