February March 2020

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Page 21 of 67

If you're going to produce an event to educate event planners about sustainability, you'd better practice what you preach. That was the modus operandi when Natalie Lowe, CMM, owner of Celebrate Niagara and The Sustainable Planner, and Candice Tulsieram, owner of 360 Events, partnered to produce The Sustainable Events Forum in Mississauga, Ont., last November. "Candice and I both believe there is no perfection— you need to be practical and realistic," says Lowe. "We took every action we could to make the event carbon footprint lighter, and there were some we could not. That just means we have work to do on the next one—but you do what you can!" THE MANDATE To bring together a group of like-minded individuals to educate, collaborate, inspire and act (the four pillars the event was built around). THE VENUE The Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale was a natural choice, due to its central location and the hotel's environmental policies (it's 4 Green Key Certifi ed). "The general manager, Peter Eriksson, is an incredible environmental leader," says Lowe. ENERGY CONSUMPTION AV Canada, a founding sponsor, contributed their solar powered generator, taking 98% of the energy required for audio visual off the grid. The remaining 2% of was offset by Bullfrog Power. ONLINE bonus: Read a Q&A with Tulsieram (left) and Lowe to learn more about the forum and how planners can increase their sustainability smarts. How a new event is making an impact by not making an impact by Laura Bickle THE INDUSTRY SINGLE-USE PLASTICS Water was supplied by Tabl'eau Filtered Water, offering both fl at and sparkling water throughout the event. Prior to the event, attendees were asked to bring their own reusable bottles. Tabl'eau estimates that attendees avoided using over 216 single-use plastic water bottles. The Hilton provided all condiments in bulk reusable containers, eliminating the use of individual packets. FOOD WASTE Leftover food was donated to a local food shelter or used in the employee staff room and food scraps were composted by the Hilton. PAPER REDUCTION The event was paperless—no name badges, agendas or handouts. Battery powered digital signage was used instead of foam core signs. Attendees were asked to bring their own notebooks or take notes on their phones or tablets. TRANSPORTATION The Forum partnered with ecoRIDES (an electric chauffeured car fl eet), who offered a ride discount. Speakers were picked up using this service as well. Pre-event communication encouraged ride-sharing: Lowe drove in with an attendee from Niagara, three of the sponsors carpooled and others took public transportation. Learn about upcoming events at tsef.ca. Greening S U S T A I N A B L E E V E N T S O L U T I O N S e a r t h f i r st NEW REGULAR FEATURE 22 | Ignitemag.ca | February | March 2020

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