Green meetings

Simon Fraser University Vancouver is committed to environmental sustainability. Our management and staff continually monitor and improve our sustainable practices, as well as those of our suppliers, in order to provide an optimal environment for green meetings in our facilities.

Sustainable by design

The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is housed within the walls of a restored heritage building. Many of the original design features were incorporated in the renovation to allow for optimal use of daylight, lowering energy use. An energy-efficient displacement ventilation system means the supply air requires significantly less cooling. Lighting is 50% fluorescent, and all building lights are turned off when not in use.

The Segal Building renovation also incorporated many of the original windows, allowing rooms to be flooded with natural light and reducing the need for artificial lighting. Mechanical systems are designed to operate with very low energy use. Rooms and zones inside the building are equipped with air valves that close off the supply air if the room is not occupied, saving fan energy.

The Goldcorp Centre for the Arts is designed with high environmental standards, including significant recycled content and local sourcing for material selection. Direct digital controls for heating and cooling make the building more energy efficient. The Goldcorp Centre also uses the existing Beatty Steam Plant to convert steam to hot water radiant heating.

At SFU’s Harbour Centre campus, incandescent light sources are being progressively replaced with LED and fluorescent alternatives. A number of rooms receive generous natural light, limiting the need for artificial lighting. Heating and air conditioning systems are switched off when buildings are not in use for several consecutive days.

Accessible by Public Transit

SFU Vancouver’s downtown campuses are all within walking distance of major hotels and on main transportation routes, including bus lines, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express stations. The Canada Line provides direct access to the airport.

Getting the word out

SFU’s client communications, including newsletters, are primarily handled electronically. Post-consumer recycled paper is used for all printed promotional collateral.

Thinking about the future

All SFU Vancouver buildings have a recycling program for technological equipment run by the University’s Facility Management Central Receiving Department. All paper is reused or recycled. Janitorial cleaning products used in buildings are environmentally friendly, pH neutral, biodegradable and nontoxic to human and aquatic life.

Food products are purchased locally in BC, whenever possible, and food service is on optional china service or on biodegradable/compostable products. Unconsumed food, where possible, is donated to local charities.

SFU’s Zero Waste Initiative aims to double the amount of waste we divert from landfill by 2015 by recycling or composting it instead. For more information on this initiative www.sfu.ca/zerowaste.

Greening your meeting

Using the recommendations of the Green Meeting Industry Council, the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) and Environment Canada’s Green Meetings guide, we have identified ways we can work towards a sustainable future in the meetings industry. To assist us in lessening our impact on the environment, please consider implementing these steps towards greening your meeting:

  • Promote using public transportation or car-pooling.
  • Provide online registration rather than paper.
  • Correspond with your delegates via email.
  • Use USB sticks for conference materials.
  • Consider using electronic (LCD) signage instead of foam core manufactured branding signs.
  • When printed materials are necessary, always use double-sided copies on recycled paper.
  • Consider using blackboards and chalk or whiteboards with markers for breakout sessions and workshops instead of flip charts with paper.
  • Consider having water stations using Vancouver’s naturally clean fresh water instead of bottled water.
  • When possible, eliminate giveaways and prizes or ensure the items are useful and will not end up as waste. Consider consumable or edible gifts with minimal packaging.
  • Turn off all electronics and lights when not in use.
  • Recycle name tags and all conference materials.

Communicate sustainability goals for your meeting to delegates before they arrive and recognize them for their environmental efforts.

Please refer to Canada's Green Meetings guide for further suggestions on what to look for in a meeting venue, and how to green your event: www.greeninggovernment.ca.