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Case Study of a Green Meeting: the Canadian Medical Association


Dawn Baldwin, Director of Sales for the Halifax Convention Centre, recently wrote a case study detailing how the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) was able to green its 2015 meeting at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax. The four-day, 537-attendee meeting was held last August. CMA wanted its event to be a model of event sustainability by focusing on three areas: food, pollution and waste, and power. Creating a sustainable menu was the first step. According to Baldwin, the Convention Centre culinary team focused on sourcing local menu items that were organic, fairly traded, seasonal and not processed, helping to reduce the carbon footprint and support the local Halifax economy. A total of 45 percent of the food was locally or regionally sourced. The team also ensured that imperfect fruits and vegetables that might otherwise be thrown away were worked into the menu. And, when the delegates were fed and full, leftovers were donated to Feed Nova Scotia, helping to reduce food waste and support a great local community service.

It was easy to keep overall waste to a minimum thanks to Nova Scotia’s leading recycling and composting programs. Waste was reduced throughout the event by reducing on-site materials, reducing signage, printing on recycled materials and asking suppliers to reduce packaging. A total of 3,044 pounds of waste was recycled or composted.

CMA encouraged remote participation for its members who couldn’t attend the event, using technology to limit carbon footprint. For the first time ever, the CMA conference used 100 percent green energy thanks to a partnership between the host venue, the Delta Halifax, Prince George Hotel and CMA. Together, they purchased renewable energy through Bullfrog Power.

The case study includes tips for event planners thinking about planning a green meeting. “The first tip is that it is vital to start conversations with your venue early to ensure sustainability is a high priority,” Baldwin says in her article. “Talk to your venue early about ways to conserve energy, while maintaining an excellent event experience,” she adds. “Work with your venue and schedule to see if there are other simple ways to save energy—like making sure break-out rooms have their technology and lights powered down during breaks and at the end of the day.”

To access the complete case study article, click here.