The Vancouver Convention Centre has set a new bar in the event sustainability realm. Last month, the already greener-than-green convention center’sWest building was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification (version 4) for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance by the Canada Green Building Council.Coupled with its 2010 LEED Platinum certification for New Construction, the VCC now owns the bragging rights for being the only double LEED Platinum convention center in the world. “While the Vancouver Convention Centre was built to the highest environmental standard with features like our six-acre living roof and impressive green technology, our commitment to the environment is more than the building itself, significant as it is,” said Ken Cretney, president and CEO of BC Pavilion Corporation, which runs the VCC.
He continued, “When we opened our West building, we set out to be a global leader in sustainability to make a difference in our community and global industry. I am extremely proud of our team for its dedication and hard work to further our sustainability program, resulting in this prestigious second Platinum designation.”Platinum is the highest level of LEED certification that a green building can attain and v4 is the newest version of the rating system, which features a more flexible, performance-based approach that calls for measurable results throughout a building’s lifecycle.
According to VCC officials, the achievement of this additional green certification resulted from a rigorous process of re-examining all areas of operations at the facility, including engagement with stakeholders, clients and retailers to identify opportunities for enhanced sustainable performance, resulting in v4 Platinum for excellence in the areas of waste management, energy efficiency, indoor water use reduction and facility maintenance and renovations. For example, increasing the capacity of its onsite Blackwater Treatment Plant by 30 percent in combination with water-efficient fixtures made it possible for the VCC to use 38 percent less potable water annually compared to the LEED baseline.
Sustainably minded show organizers have certainly taken notice, including Tahira Endean, producer of the annual #BCTECH Summit / BC Innovation Council, British Columbia’s largest technology conference that attracts approximately 5,000 participants and was most recently held March 14-15 at the VCC.
“When planning the #BCTECH Summit, we begin with sustainability in mind and the Convention Centre being a double LEED Platinum-certified building supports the story we share with our participants and the world,” Endean explained.
She continued, “Among our participant base are a number of Certified B corporations with the mindset to build socially, environmentally and economically aware organizations. When we create and deliver an event that makes sense for people, with local food and beverage, natural light, space and air to learn and connect in, with decisions that make sense for the planet (including the selection of this destination and this venue) and where we drive business results, leading to the third triple-bottom line of profit, we have success. The choice of the Vancouver Convention Centre supports all our objectives and we are thrilled to meet here annually.