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Vancouver for CleanTech Conferences

Vancouver is charting a path to cleaner and greener meetings (and a greener planet).

Vancouver has long been ahead of the climate action curve—fueled by its Greenest City Action Plan 2020, the city’s green economy embraces local food, cleantech, green building practices, sustainable operations, and more to lessen the environmental impact in all aspects of urban life. A centre of excellence for Canada’s cleantech industry, the city not only leads in climate action, but it’s a prime location for global events focused on climate change and cleantech.

Ranked 3rd greenest city globally (with a keen eye on #1), Vancouver’s coastal beauty is a natural draw to attract conference delegates. Nancy Wright, former CEO of the Globe Series, an 8,000-delegate event that brings together business, government and youth from 50 countries to provide solutions to climate change, lauds Vancouver as an ideal destination for conferences focused on sustainability and the green economy, thanks to the wealth of local knowledge and the innovative cleantech businesses headquartered here.

“When delegates are here they can definitely take advantage of the fact they’re in Vancouver where there’s an abundance of cleantech companies. That creates many, many opportunities for sight tours,” said Wright.

Vancouver is home to 25 per cent of Canada’s cleantech businesses ranging from natural-gas engine manufacturers, to hydrogen fuel cell innovators, to wastewater management tech organizations. The city’s leadership on climate action, and the research being conducted at the University of British Columbia and the Clean Energy Research Centre are not only helping create a greener future, but they’re also on display during the event’s Innovation Expo and on the presentation agenda.

“People also like hearing about Vancouver’s plans for the future, what the city is doing related to things like clean transportation, and its many other clean initiatives,” says Wright. Indeed, there are plenty of local subject matter experts and thought leaders to provide such knowledge transfers. Vancouver is home to one of the world’s top ten CleanTech clusters, with hundreds of companies boasting global and cross-sectoral expertise. John McPherson, Sector Development Manager, CleanTech at the Vancouver Economic Commission notes, “Vancouver’s CleanTech industry is growing jobs at an annual rate of three times faster than the rest of the economy.”

With direct flights to and from more than 100 cities on four continents, and Canada’s gateway to Asia, Vancouver is one of North America’s most accessible destinations. In addition to the wealth of local CleanTech and sustainability resources available to engage in B2B exchanges, living lab tours and innovation expositions, planners will find nearly one million square feet of meeting space, and some 13,000 hotel guest rooms in Vancouver, many of which are clustered within steps of the Double Platinum LEED Certified Vancouver Convention Centre.


The VCC Sets the Green Standard in Sustainable Meeting Venues

The Vancouver Convention Centre, the world’s ‘greenest’ meeting space, and the world’s only Double Platinum LEEDS Certified convention centre. The West Building, whose six-acre living roof is the largest in Canada, and the largest non-industrial living roof in North America, features 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses which act as an insulator to reduce heat gains in summer and heat loss in winter. The living room is home to four beehives with European honey bees which not only pollinate rooftop plants, but create honey used in the centre’s recipes. A restored marine habitat was built into the foundation of the West Building improving water quality and aiding in the growth of diverse sea life. Meanwhile, a sophisticated black water treatment plant recycles grey and black water used in washrooms for toilet flushing and used for rooftop irrigation during warm weather. The centre’s unique sea water heating and cooling system takes advantage of the adjacent inner harbour cool in summer and heat in winter.