The CAEM Give Back Award recognizes a member organization that has contributed to the enhancement of their community, within the past year.
“We are truly honoured to be recognized by our industry with such a meaningful award. With the size, scope and reach of our facility, along with our location in the heart of downtown Vancouver surrounded by business and local residents alike, we recognize the important role we need to play to enrich our community,” said Craig Lehto, general manager, Vancouver Convention Centre. “We hope this award shines light on the amazing local charities we work with and that our partnerships with them, along with our efforts in sustainability, will inspire others to make a difference in their communities.”
“The Give Back Award is awarded to a member organization who demonstrates that corporate social responsibility, and giving back to their community is an integral part of doing business,” said Jennifer Allaby, CAEM president. “Through the Vancouver Convention Centre’s efforts in energy and sustainability as being the world’s first double LEED platinum certified facility to their contributions to their local community through charities such as United We Can, among many other efforts, the Vancouver Convention Centre is undoubtedly the deserving recipient of this award.”
The Vancouver Convention Centre has a strong corporate social responsibility program, with partnerships with several local charities committed to supporting communities in Vancouver’s inner city. One such partnership is with United We Can, a local organization that creates self-sustaining social enterprises with a focus on environmental sustainability, while creating income and job training opportunities for people with multiple barriers to traditional employment.
The convention centre, through its hospitality partner Centerplate, donates 100 percent of its beverage recyclables to United We Can’s recycling depot. In the last year alone, the facility donated 241,246 bottles and containers, valuing more than $20,000.
Over the past year, the convention centre earned its second LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Platinum certification, for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (version 4). This achievement required a rigorous effort to build on the sustainable performance of the facility in the areas of: waste management, energy efficiency, indoor water use reduction, and facility maintenance and renovations among others.
The facility also works with event organizers to ensure goods and materials left from events are donated to local charities or community groups for re-purposing. To date, goods have been donated to:
- Vancouver Public Library;
- Vancouver Orphaned Kitten Rescue Association;
- Vancouver Food Bank Society;
- Union Gospel Mission;
- First United Church;
- Salvation Army;
- and social enterprises like Common Thread.