Vancouver-based Destination Canada has won an international award for its business-event sustainability plan, which so far has buy-in from 16 Canadian destinations, including Vancouver.
A global panel of judges awarded Destination Canada the IMEX-Events Industry Council Innovation in Sustainability Award. IMEX does not break down its acronym on its website but it is a an organization involved with worldwide exhibitions, incentive travel, meetings and events.
Destination Canada said that its plan, launched last year, aims to improve the "economic, socio-cultural and environmental sustainability practices of business events hosted in Canada."
The 16 destinations so far involved with the plan are using a benchmarking process that Destination Canada has devised, dubbed the Global Destination Sustainability Index. It measures and suggests how to improve sustainability at events by using 69 indicators to evaluate destinations on environmental and social progress, and supplier and destination-management performance.
Some key ways to make events more sustainable include:
• setting sustainability goals;
• choosing partners that can help enhance sustainability;
• using local products;
• eliminating food waste; and
• making attendees feel accountable, according to the plan.
"This is a remarkable recognition for Canada and our business events community," said Marsha Walden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada. "It signals that Destination Canada has laid down a marker for change, globally, alongside our city partners. We're on track to building a more resilient, sustainable and regenerative future for tourism."
The global panel of judges that determined Destination Canada to be the award winner based its decision on a set of criteria, including:
• economic, social-cultural and environmental impact;
• commitment to continuous improvement; and
• commitment to industry education.