Ignite Destinations

Waterloo Region Feature 2021

Our virtual "stockroom" of destination guides are loaded with insider tips and information to make planning your next meeting or event a breeze.

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WATERLOO REGION: The Sustainable Choice When the CanSPEP board was deciding where to host their 2021 annual conference, board member and Co-Founder of The Sustainable Events Forum (TSEF), Natalie Lowe, really hoped Waterloo, Ont., would win the bid. "All of the infrastructure that supports sustainability is really determined at a municipal or regional level. Waterloo already had that infrastructure in place," she says. CASE STUDY Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners Annual Conference October 27 29 Waterloo was eventually chosen as the host destination, so Lowe contacted conference organizer Bettyanne Sherrer with the idea of making the event completely sustainable. Lowe received the go-ahead from organizers, as long as she agreed to be involved. With that, she contacted Jennifer Eddings, Director of Sales at Explore Waterloo Region. "Natalie called me, and asked me to help the conference tap into our local sustainability partners," Eddings recalls. "I made one call to Kevan Marshall (Principal Planner, Transportation Demand Management, Region of Waterloo), and then it was this lovely domino e ect," says Eddings. "The local sustainability community gave me a big green hug and were so excited about what we were trying to achieve. Everyone wanted to know how they could help." The committee decided to focus its sustainability e orts on strategic food selection, reducing food waste and transportation. All members received a Terms of Reference document that outlined the conference's priorities and provided science-based information. Using that information as a guide, sustainability initiatives for the conference were chosen and included: • encouraging attendees to carpool and take public transportation. • asking attendees to pack light: luggage was weighed for data collection (no judgement allowed!). • the conference menu emphasized plant-based ingredients: beef, which has high emissions, was not served. DID YOU KNOW? • The world's fi rst curbside blue- bin recycling program started in Kitchener in 1981. • Waterloo Region's Climate Action Plan has won awards from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and is used as a blueprint by other municipalities. • The University of Waterloo is home to the largest Faculty of Environment in Canada. • Waterloo's evolv1 urban o ce building is the fi rst-ever project to receive a Zero Carbon Building Design certifi cation. • Opened in 2019, the ION light rail transit system provides fast, reliable travel, reducing emissions and urban sprawl. Chef Nicole Hunt Tapestry Hall, Cambridge, Ont. 2

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