National plan will provide turnkey economic, social, and environmental sustainability programs to global clients to drive action and raise standards of business event sustainability in Canada
Vancouver, BC, May 31, 2022 - Destination Canada is pleased to announce the launch of its Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan, a first-of-its-kind national program aimed at improving the economic, social, and environmental sustainability practices of business events hosted in Canada. Actionable programs tailored toward the unique Sustainable Development Goals of individual cities will be rolled out to global clients to accelerate the industry’s progress toward net zero targets.
Coaching, training and education opportunities will be provided to more than 20 domestic partners to build on their existing sustainability programs and support the implementation of new programs across business events hosted in Canada. In particular, the plan will focus on international association conferences, trade exhibitions, workshops and seminars, as well as corporate meetings and incentive group events.
“Developing and launching sustainable business event programs is not an option anymore. If our industry is to meet net zero targets by no later than 2050, the entire supply chain must work in partnership to find and implement powerful solutions,” said Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director of Business Development, Economic Sectors, Destination Canada Business Events. “As one of the world’s first national sustainability plans for business events, Destination Canada’s Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan will provide a national support arm to this supply chain and be the figurative rising tide that lifts all ships.”
In-line with Destination Canada’s corporate strategy, the Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan will build on an evidence-based foundation established through a national destination assessment study. The study will evaluate where Canadian cities, as hosts for business events, stand today in terms of their existing sustainability initiatives and will be used to measure and track change in the years to come.
“We want to do this right and we want to hold ourselves accountable,” added De Visscher. “By establishing a baseline for impact and assessing the Sustainable Development Goals and actions already being taken by our domestic partners – like Tourisme Montréal’s new Harmonious Destination strategy in partnership with Aéroports de Montréal and the GHG Carbone Boréal offset program and Destination Vancouver’s program with Binners' Project which has already enabled the city to divert 75% of the waste generated by business events, out of landfills – we’re creating a marker for change. We all have a responsibility to economically, socially and environmentally benefit the host communities and global ecosystems we visit. We believe the Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan will empower our team, our partners and our clients to do just that and ultimately foster a regenerative tourism ecosystem that produces positive net benefits for all Canadians.”
In conjunction with its Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan, Destination Canada has commissioned a Legacy Impact Study. Led by MEET4IMPACT and Gaining Edge, the multi-year study will evaluate the beyond-tourism benefits international business events generate in host communities aligned with the core sustainability pillars of economic, social, and environmental enrichment.
"This plan gives us a real opportunity to move the needle on the sustainability of the business events industry. It's a milestone not only for Destination Canada but for our industry as a whole and we're so proud to be leading it."
Executive Director, Business Events, Destination Canada
"Now is the time for Canada's tourism renaissance. While we are focused on revenue recovery in the immediate term, Destination Canada is striving to foster tourism growth that generates true wealth and wellbeing for Canada in the longer term, while enriching the lives of our guests. With a smarter approach to future growth, we can strengthen business prosperity, enliven socio-cultural vibrancy, and lift environmental sustainability. Our Business Events Sustainability Plan is an important step toward a healthier, more productive, and more successful sector."
President and CEO, Destination Canada