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Photo Credit: Victoria Conference Centre

Carbon neutral conference centre

Destination Greater Victoria and the City of Victoria have announced that the Victoria Conference Centre (VCC) has been designated as “carbon neutral” by noted corporate sustainability management firms Synergy Enterprises and Offsetters.

Synergy Enterprises has measured and reported the VCC’s carbon footprint since 2009. Since then, the VCC has made significant efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency by implementing real-time energy management systems, installing LED lighting, purchasing renewable natural gas, improving water consumption and waste diversion efforts, and purchasing paper products with high post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. In 2019, VCC reduced their emissions by 66 per cent over 2012.

victoria_conference_centre
Photo Credit: Victoria Conference Centre

“The Victoria Conference Centre’s carbon-neutral designation is years in the making and is the result of the hard work and determination by staff to reduce and offset the Centre’s carbon footprint,” said Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria. “Efforts at VCC, and across City facilities, to reduce emissions have been successful, with an over 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2007. The City’s Climate Leadership Plan has set targets to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent and shift to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.”

“The carbon neutral designation for the Victoria Conference Centre is the culmination of years of work by City staff to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Nursey, CEO – Destination Greater Victoria. “This is yet another climate action milestone for Destination Greater Victoria. Our organization was designated carbon neutral by Offsetters in February of this year, but we also have co-founded the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference and created a new Sustainability Advisory Committee. We are committed to making Greater Victoria and the local visitor economy more climate-friendly now and in the years ahead.”

Through its offsets with Offsetters, the VCC supports The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project. The Great Bear Rainforest is home to the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest remaining in the world. The resources of the Great Bear are vast and valuable. Coastal First Nations, environmental groups, forest companies, and governments have adopted an Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) approach that values the forest not as a source of lumber alone, but as a balanced system that sustains biodiversity and contributes to an enriched community.

victoria_conference_centre
Photo Credit: Victoria Conference Centre

The VCC is owned by the City of Victoria and the leadership of sales and marketing of the facility is the responsibility of Destination Greater Victoria. With 77,000 square feet of meeting space, 21 multi-purpose meeting rooms, a large exhibit hall, and a 400-seat lecture theatre, the VCC can host up to 2,000 delegates or small, intimate gatherings. Destination Greater Victoria and the City of Victoria enjoy a close working relationship running the VCC, welcoming guests from across Canada, the United States, and around the world.