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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• emphasis was put on sustainable and local procurement. • single-use items were limited. • extra food was donated. • water stations were provided for refi llable bottles, and glasses were available. In addition, the kitchen at the host venue—The Walper Hotel— incorporates its own sustainability initiatives, including a waste- separation recycling and compost program. While the goal of conference organizers was to have a carbon-neutral event, the greater measure of success was the conversations it sparked. "The whole conference was a dialogue between sponsors, vendors, attendees, planners and presenters," says Lowe. "One sustainable conference will not solve all of our environmental problems, but now we've got a template for change." Hosting the CanSPEP conference has changed planning and initiatives at Explore Waterloo Region too. "We're now committed to supporting sustainable business events and educating our venue and hotel partners about changes they can incorporate," says Eddings. "We plan to have a sustainability plan in place that aligns with what our region is already doing. We are taking a position on this, and we are passionate about it. For the good of our earth." "There are a lot of great initiatives in Waterloo Region, which is one reason that I love living here. All the bike lanes that you're seeing, public transportation and infrastructure is really important." —Jennifer Lynes, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo "We've always been a bit of a more environmental city. And I think with that, we have a lot of businesses and organizations that can help out by being more green." —Chloe Kruis, Co-Founder, Ekko "We've worked very hard and we still have more to do, day to day, to try to be a zero-waste restaurant. We might produce one garbage bag or two at most, every month." —Thompson Tran, Wooden Boat Food Company "I would argue that we are the sustainability innovation capital of Canada. A sustainable transition requires innovation….And so our ethos in Waterloo Region of innovation means that we are primed and ready to be those leaders. Leverage that and get to know people when you're here." —Tova Davidson, Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region "People are focusing and thinking about [sustainability] now. And that's something that you can expect to see when you hold your events here." —Rick Knapp, General Manager, The Walper Hotel "We make sure, in every situation that we can, that we're sourcing as local as we can. The little steps make a huge di erence. If we all just do our part and do a little bit extra, at the end of the day, we can all make a di erence." —Nicole Hunt, Head Chef, The Walper Hotel WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING Interested in planning a sustainable event in Waterloo Region? Let's chat! Jennifer Eddings Director of Sales T: 519.585.7517 ext.210 E: jeddings@explorewaterloo.ca explorewaterlooregion.com Jennifer Eddings and Natalie Lowe discuss sustainable events ION Rapid Transit Refi llable water station Watch our Sustainability in Waterloo video. 3

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