Leading the Way in Event Sustainability: CSA Group Uses CSA Z2010 for the Second Consecutive Year!

This week, Strategin Solutions is in Québec City for the CSA Group Annual Conference and Committee Week. For the second consecutive year, we are working with the CSA Group to ensure their annual event is delivered in accordance with CSA Z2010, CSA’s very own event sustainability management standard.

One of the core components of implementing CSA Z2010 is engaging the entities that comprise the supply and value chain in sustainability related dialogue. Through this process, existing initiatives and opportunities for improving the sustainability performance of the event are identified. The viability of opportunities is then assessed, objectives are set, strategies are negotiated and put into place, and resources are allocated.

The primary venue for this year’s event is the Québec City Convention Center (QCCC) and it has been an absolute delight to work with their management team and onsite sustainability experts from Takt Etik to realize the sustainability objectives set for the event. The QCCC is a LEED-EB certified building with extensive sustainability management practices in place. Practices include everything from energy efficiency and conservation, to waste minimization and management, to integrating sustainability considerations into all type of purchasing decisions from the selection of food and beverage through to cleaning products. While onsite this week, we are taking advantage of one of the newest services offered by the QCCC and are reporting live sustainability related data including waste diversion rates and environmental savings achieved as a result of waste management practices.

In line with the event sustainable purchasing policy and framework, the Hilton Québec (the primary hotel selected for the event) is a 4 Green Key certified property, meaning that they too have systems in place for managing their environmental, social and economic impacts. In addition to hosting event attendees, the Hilton Québec will be the venue for several meetings and receptions over the course of the week, and has gone above and beyond their typical sustainability practices to enable the event management team to implement CSA Z2010. The most notable of these efforts is setting up a system for monitoring and measuring waste.

In the lead up to the CSA Group 2012 Annual Conference and Committee Week, the Internal Organizing Committee and Stellar Conference and Event Management Inc. worked closely with Strategin Solutions to integrate sustainability considerations into purchasing decisions. Whenever possible, the focus was on reducing or eliminating resource consumption and opting for goods and services produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Beyond efforts with the venue and hotel, examples of results achieved through these measures include selection of organic cotton apparel for event employees, SFI certified recycled content paper, biodegradable/recyclable banner materials, seed paper invitations, décor featuring flowers and earth elements from Québec, organic cotton lanyards, and donating money in lieu of speaker gifts.

Efforts are also being made to account for and manage the carbon footprint of the event with the help of CSA Group’s GHG Clean Start Registry. While in past years, only attendee travel was included in the carbon footprint for the event, this year’s initiative will also include energy consumed at the event venue and as a result of hotel stays, as well as local road travel over the course of the week’s events.

Through use of the CSA Z2010 standard, CSA Group is working to enhance the sustainability performance of the Annual Conference and Committee Week over time. In addition, through modeling use of the standard, CSA Group hopes to encourage and inspire adoption of the standard in the wider events market and to push the industry toward adopting environmentally and socially responsible practices.

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