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 August 08, 2007
Metro Toronto CC Wins 2007 AIPC Environmental Leadership Award

 The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) announced that it has won a 2007 AIPC Innovation Award. The award was bestowed upon the MTCC by the International Association of Congress Centres, which is considered the industry association for professional convention and exhibition centre managers worldwide.

The AIPC Innovation Awards were just launched this year to recognize specific projects or initiatives that represent "innovation" in the true sense of the word: projects or initiatives that represent the development of new, more creative or more effective approaches to any aspect of congress centre management, operations or marketing. Emphasis in judging is on how effectively the initiative addresses its objectives, which may be to improve efficiency or market position, effect cost savings, or achieve environmental goals.

"I was very pleased that our panel of judges for the inaugural International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Innovation Award selected the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's Zero Waste program for this recognition", said AIPC President Barbara Maple. "We recognize that with the greening of the meetings industry of growing importance to our clients and communities, convention centres have a major role to play, and the leadership demonstrated by the MTCC will make an important contribution in this regard".

In presenting the award to MTCC CEO Barry Smith at AIPC's meeting in Austria, on July 17th, as his colleagues from around the world looked on, AIPC officials particularly congratulated Smith and the MTCC for recognizing the importance of "green" issues to congress centres and its leadership through the Centre's innovative Zero Waste program.

"Winning this important award from AIPC reaffirms the Centre's tradition of leadership as an environmentally responsible facility and a good corporate citizen," said a beaming Smith in accepting the prestigious award. "Being a green facility is the right thing to do and it's good for the Earth as well. We are doing everything we can to reduce our environmental footprint, and we hope others will follow our lead," he added.

The MTCC's Zero Waste program began in late 2005, when the Centre succeeded in mounting its first ever large-scale Zero Waste convention. This represented an historic first within the convention and trade show industry. The MTCC, together with its long-time recycling partner, Turtle Island Recycling, a highly respected recycling and waste management company, pioneered the concept of holding large "green" meetings and conventions that successfully avoid adding to the existing landfill burden by recycling everything they generate. Using its innovative Zero Waste approach, the MTCC is able to successfully divert from landfill a stunning 95-98% of all the waste materials generated during an event.

This means that by using the MTCC's Zero Waste method, a typical four-day event with 3,000 people in attendance, a total of approximately 16 metric tonnes of waste materials can be captured for recycling and composting, including organics, plastics, paper, metal, glass, textiles, wood and other materials. The MTCC calculates this saves 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.

Smith said that this newest achievement is just the latest in a series of environmental firsts by the Centre and that the facility is widely recognized for its "green" reputation. "We are highly committed to being a global leader in this area and providing opportunities for our clients and events to do the same," he added.

The MTCC is well known for its firm commitment to being a leader in environmental responsibility. The Centre has a solid record in recycling (64%), and energy conservation. The building also has an enormous 300,000-square-foot green roof, a partnership with Second Harvest for food leftovers (2,000 lbs. recycled annually), and a variety of other sustainability programs. In addition, the MTCC was the first facility to be on Enwave Energy's Deep Lake Water Cooling system, technology which provides the Centre's building cooling by using extremely cold water extracted from Lake Ontario.

These efforts have been recognized through a number of different awards in recent years. Last fall, the MTCC won the Gold Award in the 2006 Ontario Waste Minimization Awards competition held by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO). The MTCC also was recognized this past December by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada as a national leader in environmental stewardship. The MTCC was awarded BOMA's highly coveted "GO Green" designation, as well as "Building of the Year" and a "Certificate of Management Excellence". In May of this year the MTCC won a Green Toronto Award from the City of Toronto.