Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Andy Mons.
I was daydreaming today. I caught myself looking out my window at beautiful Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains and imagining if I were seeking a green event destination what would I look for? What criteria would I use in my request for proposals to the local CVB?
Some thoughts on ideals that would be important to me:
- A conference centre or primary meeting venue certified for both environmental construction and operating practices, such as LEED, BOMA, ISO, Power Smart or another recognized and credible indicator of environmentally responsible performance. At a minimum the centre would need to provide recycling, practice energy efficiency and water conservation and demonstrate environmentally preferable purchasing of cleaners, paper products, and catering supplies.
- Host hotels with established environmental practices for energy efficiency and water conservation. A recognized certification such as Green Seal or Green Key would be ideal. They should be able to offer at a minimum:
- a linen and towel re-use program.
- property-wide recycling.
- environmental purchasing of paper, cleaning and office products.
- bulk in-room amenities or training to ensure individual amenities are not replaced until they are consumed and are donated to a local charity.
- training to ensure lights and environmental controls are turned off when rooms are not in use.
- Availability of sustainable transportation services. Important features would be:
- Available public transit.
- High occupancy shuttling/transit options between the airport and meeting venues.
- Availability and use of alternative fuel or hybrid taxis or buses.
- Car-polling programs, such as Flex-car.
- Food and beverage services that provide local, organic and vegetarian options and use china and linen service.
- CVB management practices that support sustainability. This could include:
- A sustainability policy for the CVB.
- Environmental purchasing policies and practices.
- A strategy to address the emissions associated with staff travel, particularly air travel.
- A progressive educational program for members that includes sustainability messaging.
- A partnership with a carbon offset provider that could be offered to meeting planners.
- Any municipal programs that support sustainability, such as recycling programs, green community plans, climate change action plans etc.
What would you look for?