We’re proud of our city’s main convention centre, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, right in the heart of the city at the crossroads between modern downtown and Old Montréal. And in part we love it because it’s a centre truly worth writing about – its innovative and sustainable approach to hosting large meetings has kept it on the forefront of the events industry for years. And this spring, the Palais des congrès’ future looks even brighter with the announcement it’s joining the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the process reducing its environmental footprint, leaving a more positive impact on society and pointing the events industry towards a greener future.
Real steps towards change
By embracing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Palais des congrès isn’t just making tangible change, it’s inspiring other convention centres around the world in doing the same. And to fulfill these goals, a group of Québec’s leading scientists and University academics have been invited by the centre to form the Sustainable Innovation Committee to keep the Palais des congrès up-to-date on the latest innovations and ideas in sustainability.
But more than just focusing on the Palais des congrès’ immediate vicinity, the centre is also working with the province’s universities in forest management best practices research and carbon emission reduction studies with a far wider reach.
Early education is key
While the Palais des congrès’ sustainability initiatives are intended to directly benefit the lives of future generations, they’re also taking it one step further by talking to them directly. Working with the Coop FA, the Palais des congrès is partnering with the Bourse du carbone Scol’ERE program in educating children in elementary schools to start the adoption of best sustainability practices early on. More than uniting just the business and event industry in greener practices, the Palais is aiming society-wide.
Put it in neutral – and keep it there!
But wait, there’s more! The Palais des congrès has also announced its position as one of the first convention centres in the Americas to go carbon neutral, offsetting GHG emissions by assisting in the maintenance and tree planting at the largest teaching and research forest in the world, the Université Laval Montmorency Forest.
And event organizers can also get in on the emissions offset action via the new Palais Boréal program. Planning activities and travel also have an effect, but Palais Boréal’s three offset options guarantee tangible change:
- The purchase of carbon credits that contribute to reducing GHG emissions while also funding educational activities in Québec schools
- Investing in offset projects including province-wide reforestation and other Gold Standard certified projects via Planetair
- Through supporting tree planting initiatives in collaboration with the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
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