ECC launches responsible meetings program with first net-zero convention in Edmonton

Press Release

From October 28 to 30, the Edmonton Convention Centre will host Emission Reduction Alberta’s SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive—the first convention with a plan to achieve carbon neutrality to ever be hosted in Edmonton. Planned by Buksa Strategic Conference Services, SPARK 2019 will be the first event to participate in the Edmonton Convention Centre’s newly launched Responsible Meetings Program.

The Edmonton Convention Centre’s Responsible Meetings Program was created in response to a growing demand by event planners and attendees to have access to more environmentally responsible solutions in the meetings and events industries. With the goal of integrating sustainability into every planning conversation, the 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, 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 and Buksa Strategic Conference Services 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 has 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 material and signage, participating in the venue’s donation programs and purchasing quality carbon offsets. SPARK 2019 will adhere to strict carbon accounting and reporting practices, which the Edmonton Convention Centre sustainability team will facilitate and publicly release following the conclusion of the event.

“We are proud to be the host of the first carbon neutral conference in Edmonton. This achievement exemplifies the overall goal of the conference; to reimagine carbon. We are creating innovative approaches to reduce our environmental impact while growing our economy, whether it’s in our industries or at events. At ERA, and through SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive, we are encouraging the conversations that will allow us to do more with less impact on what matters most.” Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)

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. Please view the 2018 Sustainability Report Card for more information on the Edmonton Convention Centre’s sustainability initiatives.

About the Edmonton Convention Centre

Recognized by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) as one of North America’s top five performing venues, the Edmonton Convention Centre brings people together to learn, innovate, trade and celebrate in the heart of downtown Edmonton. Owned by the City of Edmonton and managed by Edmonton Economic Development, the venue hosts nearly 650 events and 500,0000 guests per year, generating more than $30 million in economic impact.

About Spark 2019: Carbon Positive

How do we do more with less impact on what matters most? Discover how we can responsibly reduce GHG’s, attract investment, and build a more diverse, lower carbon economy in Alberta. At SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is convening some of the world’s best clean technology innovators and investors who want to reimagine carbon. It’s a conference full of thought-provoking speakers, experiences and ideas. SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive takes place October 28-30 at the Edmonton Convention Centre, Edmonton Alberta. Visit the SPARK 2019 website. Watch the SPARK 2019 teaser video.

About Emissions Reduction Alberta

SPARK 2019 is the second biennial clean tech conference hosted by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). For 10 years, ERA has been investing the revenues from carbon pricing paid by large final emitters directly into later-stage clean technology solutions that reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as responsibly grow incumbent and new industries. Funding leads to investment attraction, new jobs, and significant GDP impacts. Visit the ERA website to learn more.

About Buksa Strategic Conference Services

BUKSA Strategic Conference Services is a professional meeting planning organization that brings people together through impactful and memorable experiences. BUKSA is proudly based out of their Edmonton, Alberta office, but works across Canada and internationally. BUKSA is committed to minimizing the carbon footprint of conferences through the integration of sustainable practices throughout the planning and execution of their conferences and events.

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