“I’m thrilled to announce today that Exhibition Place has joined the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge. With more than 100 signatories, making this the most global and inclusive collaborative action tackling the challenges of climate change within the events sector,” said General Manager, Exhibition Place Laura Purdy. “We believe that through continued collaborative work throughout the global events industry, we will be able to make swift and essential progress towards reducing the overall carbon footprint.”
Exhibition Place boasts the award-winning LEED Platinum Enercare Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre, and the Beanfield Centre LEED Silver conference venue. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart, which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading-edge green technologies and practices across the site.
“We are proud to be united with a global network of events and industry players to fight climate change, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the industry’s greenhouse gas emission by 2050,” said Exhibition Place CEO Don Boyle. “Exhibition Place has a focus on sustainability, environmental stewardship and reducing carbon emissions throughout its daily operations and when considering pursuing new projects. Our renewable energy production, conservation, and waste diversion sustainable initiatives, as well as the 3,045 trees we have located on the grounds, all contribute to the carbon reduction efforts at Exhibition Place and have established Exhibition Place as a world leader in energy-efficient technologies.”
Exhibition Place’s environmental initiatives have resulted in award-winning recognition across North America, and are Silver 3RCertified, which is a points-based certification program of Recycling Council of Ontario that reviews how organizations manage the solid waste reduction and diversion operations. It assesses all aspects of a building’s waste management program, emphasizing material reduction and diversion, focusing on the commitment to 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
Exhibition Place has a Geothermal Plant installed on its site. This Plant replaced the conventional heating/cooling system with a ground source heat pump system. Geothermal heat pumps are technologies that leverage the nearly constant temperature below the earth (regardless of the season) to heat and cool buildings. The Geothermal Plant saves 110,000 kilowatt-hours per year of electricity and over 15,000 cubic meters of natural gas, resulting in a combined savings of approximately $18,000 and a reduction of carbon emissions by 34 tonnes.
At Exhibition Place, two green roof pilot projects successfully reduce HVAC costs in underlying structures, improve site stormwater management, and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Green roofs are lightweight, engineered rooftops designed to promote the growth of vegetation while protecting the roof’s structural integrity.
In June 2017, Exhibition Place installed beehives on the green roof of the Enercare Centre. The bees produce 20 kg of honey per harvest. In providing a home for a colony of bees, Exhibition Place impacts the urban environment by contributing to the pollination of the neighbourhood in a five-kilometre radius around the buildings.
The Wind Turbine located on the waterfront at Exhibition Place, installed in 2002, became the first urban wind turbine in North America, an initiative by Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative (TREC) and Toronto Hydro Energy Services. It can generate up to one million kilowatt-hours of power per year, which results in annual savings of approximately $120,000. It also helps displace some of the harmful chemicals responsible for smog and acid rain. The Wind Turbine at Exhibition Place offsets 226 tonnes of greenhouse gas reduction, equivalent to 41 typical households’ emissions or removing 48 cars off the road per year, and the electricity is enough to sustain the electrical requirements for 89 homes per year.
Sustainable development has long been a focus for the events industry. Connected to programs like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Guidelines (UNSDGs), industry initiatives have addressed everything from waste management and energy conservation to local sourcing and hiring practices. The Net Zero Carbon Events pledge is the result of global collaboration throughout the events industry. Over recent months, facilitated by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), with the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
By signing the pledge, Exhibition Place is committing to publish our pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, with an interim target in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Exhibition Place will collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers to drive change across the value chain. To track the progress towards the targets, Exhibition Place will measure and track its emissions of Greenhouse Gases according to industry best practices. Finally, Exhibition Place will report its progress at least every two years.
The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative brings together a wide range of event industry stakeholders to:
- Jointly communicate the industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
- Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
- Construct an industry-wide Roadmap towards net-zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement and climate science, with support and guidance on key issues
- Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches
- Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice.
The next step of the “Net Zero Carbon Events” initiative is to develop the roadmap which will support the objectives outlined in the pledge. More information about the initiative at www.netzerocarbonevents.org
Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment and convention venue, attracting over 5.5 million visitors a year. The 192-acre location is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario’s economy, particularly with respect to conventions, sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism. Exhibition Place boasts the award-winning, LEED Platinum Enercare Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre, and the Beanfield Centre LEED Silver conference venue. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart, which promotes sustainable development, environmental initiatives, and leading-edge green technologies and practices.