January 15, 2007

Metro Toronto Convention Centre awarded BOMA Go Green designation

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) recently recognized the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) as a national leader in environmental stewardship, awarding the Centre its coveted "Go Green" designation.

BOMA's Go Green program is a national environmental recognition and certification program for existing commercial buildings. Established by BOMA's BC chapter in 2003, Go Green was rolled out as a national program in 2005.

Its criteria list ten minimum requirements in the five key areas of environmental responsibility, touching on all aspects of building management and operation. They include: resource consumption, including energy and water use; waste reduction and recycling; building materials, including materials selection, hazardous materials and ozone depleting substances; interior environment, including HVAC maintenance and indoor air quality; and tenant awareness.

MTCC CEO Barry Smith and vice-president of operations Vince Quattrociocchi said the BOMA Go Green award is a validation of efforts by all MTCC staff to make the Centre an environmentally friendly, sustainable facility.

Smith added that the BOMA certification is just the latest in a series of environmental kudos received by the Centre. In November, the MTCC won the Gold Award in the 2006 Ontario Waste Minimization Awards presented by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO).

In 2005 as well, the MTCC succeeded in mounting a zero-waste event, which industry experts say represented a Canadian first within the facilities management industry. The Centre has just repeated this achievement on an even bigger scale with the wrap-up on January 10 of the three-day annual meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association.

Smith said this conference marked the first time the Centre had applied zero-waste measures to an international event. These included composting food scraps and other organic wastes, sending leftover meals to local food banks, using non-disposal dishes, cutlery and cups, and recycling other wastes.

MTCC long recognized for being environmentally-friendly

The MTCC is already well recognized for its outstanding record as an environmentally friendly, "green" building. The MTCC has a solid record in recycling, which is currently at 64%, and energy conservation (overall average reduction of 40% in the past five years).

The building also has an enormous 300,000-square foot green roof, a partnership with Second Harvest for food leftovers (2,000 lbs. Recycled annually), and a variety of other sustainability programs. In addition, the MTCC was the first facility to be connected to Enwave Energy's Deep Lake Water Cooling system, launched in 2004, which uses cold water extracted from Lake Ontario to cool buildings.

Earlier this year, the MTCC succeeded in mounting a Zero Waste Event, which represented a Canadian first within the facilities industry, according to industry experts. Part of a growing international movement, Zero Waste focuses on waste prevention and even the total elimination of waste - all as part of sustainable economic growth. Using a multi-level strategy, the MTCC's waste diversion rate soared: the Centre was able to recycle 26 tonnes of waste from a major conference, compared to the previous year when the same conference produced 23 tonnes of waste, only 10% of which was diverted from landfill and recycled.

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