|May 10, 2007|
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Takes Prestigious Green Toronto Award
|The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) today announced that it has been bestowed with a prestigious Green Toronto Award by Mayor David Miller and the City of Toronto. The award was given out by Mayor|
Miller and Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone at a special ceremony held at City Hall on May 1st as members of City Council and over 400 special guests looked on.
The MTCC won in the Market Transformation Category, one of only 10 eligible award categories. A single winner was chosen for each category. The winners were selected from more than 178 nominations and 30 finalists. Each of the 10 Green Toronto Award winners will receive $5,000 to donate to the environmental organization of their choice.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be honoured and recognized in this way," said Barry Smith, President and CEO of the MTCC. "We have a long-standing commitment to being an environmentally-friendly facility," he added. "An important part of our mission is to provide leadership within our community as well as within the global meeting and convention industry. This award tells us that we are doing all the right things!" Smith also thanked Turtle Island Recycling, the MTCC's long-time recycling partner and the group which nominated the Centre for the Award.
The Green Toronto Awards were launched by the City just three years ago to honour outstanding achievements and contributions of environmentally active individuals and groups. The Awards are designed to recognize specific environmental initiatives that are changing the face of the city by contributing to its environmental health and sustainability.
"Green and healthy cities are better places to live, to do business in, and to visit," Mayor David Miller said. "It is our distinct privilege to help celebrate residents, community groups and organizations like the MTCC which are working hard to make Toronto a clean and beautiful place for all to enjoy.
"I am a believer in the importance of local initiatives in support of environmental well-being. Those efforts add up and really do make a difference. You are indeed a credit to your community and an inspiration to us all," he added.
The Market Transformation Award specifically recognizes the efforts of a manufacturer, retailer, NGO, marketing company or an individual to utilize market forces successfully to promote products, services and choices which lessen the impact on the environment and human health. It is based on the belief that in addition to traditional environmental activities which influence behaviour, there is a great opportunity to use the power of the market to change consumer behaviour to make better choices.
In selecting the MTCC as the winner for this award, the judges chose MTCC for its strong environmental track record, noting that the Centre has recycling levels averaging 64% and that it has achieved significant reductions (40%) in its energy consumption over the past five years alone. The judges were impressed by the diversity of the MTCC's various environmental initiatives, ranging from the building's enormous 300,000-sq.-ft. green roof and its partnership with Second Harvest for food leftovers (more than 2,000 lbs. donated annually), to programs such as computer and printing cartridge recycling.
MTCC a recognized leader in environmental innovation
The MTCC was also the first facility in Toronto to be on Enwave Energy's Deep Lake Water Cooling system. Launched in 2004, this unique system uses extremely cold water extracted from the depths of nearby Lake Ontario to cool its entire facility. This innovative HVAC solution results in a significant reduction in electricity consumption while removing carbon dioxide from the air and reducing ozone-depleting refrigerants.
In addition, in late 2005 the MTCC achieved an historic first within the meeting and convention industry by holding a large-scale Zero Waste event. The MTCC pioneered the Zero Waste concept, which successfully avoids adding to the existing landfill burden by preventing, eliminating or recycling virtually everything it generates.
The Centre has held five such "green meeting" events so far. The most recent was a four-day convention attended by over 3,100 people this past January, which achieved an astonishing waste diversion rate of 98.5%. A total of 16.016 metric tons of waste materials produced by the group were captured for recycling and composting, including organics, plastics, paper, metal, glass, textiles, wood and other materials. The MTCC calculates this saved 57 trees, approximately 75,000 litres of water, 39,310 kWh of energy, 16,200 litres of oil, 77 kg of air pollutants, and 85 cubic metres of landfill space.
"We have a very strong desire to be a good corporate citizen," said Vince Quattrociocchi, MTCC Vice President of Operations. "This means being environmentally responsible and sustainable, as well as continually striving to improve our environmental footprint in as many ways as possible. We want to be - and to be recognized as being - an outstanding example of a green facility, and this is what drives our many innovative environmenta linitiatives," he added.
The MTCC's efforts to lead the way in environmental stewardship have not gone unnoticed, with a variety of other recent award announcements. The Centre won the Gold Award in the Ontario Waste Minimization Awards competition held by the Recycling Council of Ontario in October, 2006. In December, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) awarded the MTCC its highly coveted "GO Green" designation, which recognizes commercial buildings across Canada that show environmental leadership and environmental best practices.