The recent weather may be playing tricks on us – sometimes grey, sometimes blue but here at Exhibition Place we are always thinking green. As the largest convention, entertainment, festival, and public celebration venue in Canada, Exhibition Place takes its commitment to the environment seriously.
We consider sustainability a core value that touches on everything we do at the grounds. With more than 5.5 million visitors a year, that means working together with our stakeholders–clients, tenants, employees and event attendees to help us meet our targets.
In 2004, Exhibition Place adopted the GREENSmart program–a number of initiatives that allow us to reduce our environmental footprint by incorporating green technologies and practices throughout the grounds.
How else is Exhibition Place committed to environmental responsibility? Here are four (of many!) initiatives we have undertaken.
1. The world’s most environmentally responsible exhibition and convention facilities
We’re very proud of the fact that we have produced “two of the industry’s most environmentally responsible buildings”. By implementing several green initiatives, such as retrofits, award-winning waste diversion programs, a co-generation plant and using ‘EcoLogo products’, Enercare Centre has been awarded LEED Gold EB:O&M and Beanfield Centre was awarded LEED Silver–an internationally recognized green building ratings system with a set of established benchmarks that concern building design, construction and high-performance.
2. Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles
For guests with electric cars that may need a charge, we have five charging stations in the underground parking lot beneath the Enercare Centre. These stations help promote green transportation options. Given the high demand for these stations during events, we are tracking their usage to determine how we can increase the number of chargers to cater to the growing number of electric vehicle users that visit Exhibition Place. These stations also support our green Exhibition Place fleet.
3. We are Beekeepers
We are proud to say that we are home to two urban beehives. In June 2017, we started keeping honey bees on the rooftop of one of our buildings here at Exhibition Place. Our first harvest was last August and to date the bees have produced 20 kg of honey. The bees collect nectar from the flowers that we have here on the 192-acre Exhibition Place grounds. We look forward to harvesting the next batch of honey towards the end of the summer.
Fun fact: Last year we held a contest to name the honey produced from the rooftop beehives. After reviewing more than 100 suggestions, a team of judges selected "Second Chance Honey" to pay tribute to the bees that had found a new home in the hives here at Exhibition Place.
Did you know?
It’s believed that city honey bees are known to be happier than their country counterparts because we spray fewer pesticides in urban centres. Bees won’t typically travel more than three kilometers from their hives to pollinate so in urban centres they can access a more diverse range of flowers.
4. A Robust Waste Diversion and Recycling Program
As home to several hundreds of shows and events throughout the year, our Facilities team has their work cut out for them. Once a show moves into one of our many event venues across the Exhibition Place grounds, the Team works with them from start to finish identifying what can be reused, donated and diverted.
When it comes to working with shows, Exhibition Place has identified 29 different waste streams. Everything from cardboard, plastic, cans, paint, metal, bread trays and copper can be recycled or donated. As we have worked to become a more sustainable venue, we work with shows to let them know about their waste diversion numbers. We have happily noticed how many of our shows have adopted more green practices and have begun to use more sustainable materials and encourage their exhibitors to be mindful of the waste they produce.
Did you know?
Black plastics cannot be recycled so if you buy a coffee with a black plastic lid, it has to go into the garbage instead of the recycle bin. Find out how you can make small changes at home to make an impact by visiting the City of Toronto’s Waste Wizard website.
Exhibition Place takes sustainability very seriously. From finding ways to offset energy and water consumption, generate power through solar panels, recycle and divert waste from landfills and more, we strive to meet the City of Toronto’s Waste Diversion Task Force targets to reduce our environmental impact for a greener future.