THE PALAIS DES CONGRES DE MONTREAL WANTS TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF EVENTS - Convention centre presented sustainability accomplishments and unveil new green event management standard



    MONTREAL, May 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Palais des congrès de Montréal held a
morning conference earlier today titled Changing the Course of Events, during
which it reported on its sustainability accomplishments and advancements
respecting the planning and staging of green events. The retrospective was
followed by a presentation on carbon offsets and the unveiling of the new
green event management standard launched jointly with the BNQ standards
council of Québec and the province's Sustainable Event Project.
    "Because the Palais operates on the frontlines of event planning and
business tourism, it must play a key role in promoting a new mindset that is
sustainability-driven," said Chrystine Loriaux, the Palais' Director of
Marketing and Communications. "We are therefore proud to open the way to
greener events for our clients by giving them the option of adopting
ecoresponsible practices that will have a positive impact on the future. Our
main objective is to ensure the evolution event planning from a greener point
of view."
    Three years ago, the Réseau des femmes en environnement (RQFE) raised the
idea of ecoresponsible events, along with the training and infrastructure
required to quickly help event organizers go green. This led to the RQFE
mandating the BNQ standards council of Québec to develop a green event
management standard, which will be open to public consultation on
www.evenementecoresponsable.com. "Over 2500 event planners across Québec have
already received training, and 75 partners have joined our initiative, clearly
demonstrating there is a lot of support for greener events," pointed out RQFE
President France Levert.

    A program that makes green practices available "à la carte"

    The Palais operates an innovative companion program for clients looking
to plan and stage greener events. Its Organizing a Green Event guide steers
event planners through the maze of green options and helps them isolate the
practices best suited to their event and means. The guide is available online
for free at www.congresmtl.com/environnement.
    The guide is inspired by best practices in the field and details the
options the Palais and its partners offer for the purpose of guiding clients
toward specific, concrete actions. The Palais' "à la carte" approach generates
tangible benefits for the environment. It makes the Palais' green expertise
readily available, without ever imposing any of the practices on event
planners, by guiding the client throughout the planning process. The
Zero-Waste and Zero-Carbon events options are still available at the Palais,
however many other intermediate options can also be interesting for planners
that want to be involved in a green event.
    Since 2007-2008, 10% of the events held at the Palais have included one
or more green practices. For example, during the World Environmental Education
Congress organized by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI), 90% of
residual waste generated by the event was either recycled or composted. MPI
had initiated their green approach at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and
has now adopted the British Standard 8901, the first international standard
for green event planning, which was developed for the 2012 London Olympic
Games.

    Overview of accomplishments

    The Palais began going green years before the Québec Sustainable
Development Act and Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2008-2013 came
into effect. In fact, it integrated environmental measures aimed at reducing
energy consumption as early as 2000-2002, during the convention centre's
expansion.
    The Palais adopted an environmental policy in 2005, and became one of the
first convention centres in Canada to be BOMA BESt(1) certified (formerly Go
Green) for its outstanding environmental management efforts.
    In 2008, the Palais' became a member of Hydro-Québec's Energy Savers'
Circle, which certifies large corporations as leaders in the area of energy
efficiency. The Palais reduced its electricity consumption by 15%, three times
what is required to be admitted to the Circle.

    About the Palais des congrès de Montréal

    The mission of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, which recently
celebrated its 25th anniversary, is to attract and host conventions,
exhibitions, consumer/trade shows, conferences, meetings and other events. A
public institution with a commercial vocation, the Palais generates important
economic spin-offs for Québec, and proudly contributes to the sharing and
transfer of knowledge and to the enhancement of Montréal's international
reputation as a first-class destination. For more information on the Palais
des congrès de Montréal, visit our website at www.congresmtl.com.

    
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    (1) BOMA = Building Owners and Managers Association
        BESt = Building Environmental Standards
    
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For further information:

For further information: Virginie Martel, Advisors, Communications and
Public Affairs, Palais des congrès de Montréal, (514) 871-5879,
virginie.martel@congresmtl.com; Amélie Asselin, Advisors, Communications and
Public Affairs, Palais des congrès de Montréal, (514) 871-5897,
amelie.asselin@congresmtl.com; Caroline Voyer, General manager, Réseau des
femmes en environnement (RQFE), (514) 843-2015, cvoyer@rqfe.org; Source:
Chrystine Loriaux, Adm. A., B.A.A., Director, Marketing and Communications,
Société du Palais des congrès de Montréal, (514) 871-3108


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