The 10th Annual SportAccord Convention was a first-of-its-class sustainable event made possible by the close collaboration with Sport Accord Convention's Sustainability & Legacy Partner CH2M Hill, with support from Takt-etik, overseeing on-site sustainable actions. Going above and beyond the status quo, the organizing committee opted for an anything but conventional approach. This led to many successful initiatives that were put in place and will provide a benchmark for all future editions of the Convention. Here are some of the highlights.

First things first: choosing a green venue

Choosing a sustainable destination and venue is the first step towards making an event sustainable. In this respect, selecting the Québec City Convention Centre was a winning decision. For over a decade, it has been committed to being one of the most sustainable convention centres in the world. It is recognized for its exceptional environmental management efforts through LEED-EB Silver certification, awarded by the Canadian Green Building Council. It also boasts a level 3 BOMA BEST Certification. During the SportAccord Convention, more than 90% of all energy used was from hydroelectric power and many delegates will have used the numerous water saving devices. 

Fresh, local, and really tasty

Choosing sustainable food is first and foremost about choosing tasty food! Fresh, local ingredients make for a great gastronomic experience and the SportAccord Convention delegates had the chance to taste Québec at its best. In addition to the Convention Centre's exclusive food and beverage partner sustainable actions, a special financial contribution was offered by a regional association (the Conférence régionale des élus de la Capitale-Nationale) to showcase and promote a wide range of local products including baked goods, spring vegetables, farm-raised meat, cheeses and wild mushrooms. Not only did local food come to delegates, they were invited to reach out to find it. Through a one-of-a-kind initiative, the SportAccord Convention created a "Québec City Dining Experience" that allowed the discovery of local cuisine in one of the 40 selected restaurants. It was an exquisite success!

Let it be remembered

Long after the SportAccord Convention is over, Québec City will remember its significant impact on the region. Following the event, the Local Organising Committee of SportAccord Convention 2012 in Québec City donated $25,000 to Québec's School Sport Concentration Program. This generous contribution will help ensure that Québec youth, from elementary school to university, will be encouraged to pursue their passion and practice their favourite sport while attending school. On a smaller, yet very significant scale, all unserved food (400 servings - five appetizers equals a serving) was distributed to local charities. Leftover promotional material from the exhibitors will take a similar route, with more than 1,600 pens finding a second life in local schools. 

A sound mind in a healthy body

Group Run, Walk with a Purpose, Tabata, Muay Thai were delegates' favourite morning activities! Escorted by athletes of the "Rouge et Or" track and field team of Laval University, these activities were organized with the support of Active Network. A great way for delegates to connect with locals, discover Québec City's unique parks and donate a significant contribution to the track and field development team.

Waste management: a second nature

Reducing, recycling and composting waste was crucial to making the SportAccord Convention more sustainable and it couldn't have been achieved without a true partnership with the Québec City Convention Centre. With a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle philosophy in mind, communication between event organizers and attendees were mostly done electronically. During the registration process, 13% of all delegates chose to only receive an electronic version of the programme. We are looking forward to seeing this number go up in the upcoming editions of the event helping reduce paper usage and ecological footprint. 

Thanks to an efficient waste management system, waste generated by the event was precisely tracked. On a daily basis, up-to-date information was collected by the Convention Centre's eco-advisor and displayed on the LCD screen system, making it possible for delegates to witness first-hand the evolution of the event's ecological footprint. 

Moving places

Moving around in a timely yet sustainable manner is always a challenge. To make this simpler, the SportAccord Convention set up a free airport shuttle service and regular transit from major hotels to the Convention Centre. Many delegates also chose their own two feet as the best way to travel between their hotel and the Convention Centre, adding to their experience of Québec City. Because transportation is often the biggest source of pollution associated with holding an international event, greenhouse gases emissions produced by the transportation of delegates, energy consumption and waste landfilling during the SportAccord Convention will be diligently calculated. This will provide a benchmark for future years as the Convention aims to decrease its carbon footprint over future events. 

Behind the scene

Many of you joined in on a special sustainability tour of the facility with the Québec City Convention Centre's eco-advisor. This tour took delegates backstage where the eco-advisor presented the Convention Centre's waste management system, SportAccord Convention's actions and achievements, as well as some sustainability highlights from large sporting events in Québec City. This tour was greatly appreciated and great discussions on sustainability between delegates from various countries took place during and after the tour. Let's hope this leads to even more sustainable large sporting events in the future

The full sustainability report from SportAccord Convention 2012 in Québec City will be available online mid-August.