Sustainable Initiatives at the #BCTECH Summit

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The #BCTECH Summit is not only a place to learn and make connections, it is also a socially and environmentally responsible event. Here are some of the ways we all helped create a net positive impact:

Hosting the event at the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC), a LEED Platinum building is a great first step. There is an obvious impact when you bring thousands of people together. More information on the VCC’s many thoughtful initiatives in the building’s design and use can be found here.

What about those boxed lunches? Boxed lunches provide a reasonable portion commonly enjoyed, so there is typically little food waste and what there is can be composted. The plastic octagon containers are all separated and sent for recycling.

Additionally, all returnable beer, wine, liquor and soft drink containers are donated to “United We Can,” a social enterprise that provides work to people with barriers to employment in the inner-city. The VCC’s annual donation is currently valued at about $25,000 per year.

The VCC is a scratch kitchen, which means that everything you ate was made in-house, often using local ingredients with 62% of what they serve being grown and sourced locally.

Glasses for those in need. Each year the VCC collects eyeglasses you can no longer use and supports the Third World Eye Care Society Canada. This year, the drive dates were set to coincide with the #BCTECH Summit. Those of you who brought glasses can know they have been put to good use.

Hard Drive Recycling. The Electronics Recycling Association was on hand to take your old hard drives and securely recycle these and a good number of you took advantage of this service.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 1.01.18 PM copyTechnology support for local not-for-profit organizationsThank you to those of you who took the time at registration to choose a charity which will get support for their technology platforms. The two participating charities, the Neil Squire Society and the First Nations Tech Council, will be more productive moving forward thanks to Traction on Demand and their in-kind support. 

On March 13th, we hosted a makeathon in support of the Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 1.20.14 PM copyNeil Squire Society. Forty-six makers volunteered their time to create the LipSync, a mouth operated joystick with sip and puff control that enables people with disabilities to use a touchscreen. Seven recipients received LipSyncs to attach to their wheelchairs thanks to our makers!

Did you go for a test drive of an EV (electric vehicle) with Emotive? Emotive is a Metro Vancouver initiative supporting the use of EVs as our city continues to grow. If you had a chance to test drive, you would have felt the power beneath you with an EV. This is the future available now.

Digital and reused signage. We really saved materials from last year and brought them out again!  We have also put much of this year’s signage back into storage to reuse again next year. We took full advantage of the digital screens to assist you in way-finding and to recognize the many sponsors whose support made it possible for everyone to attend and enjoy so many wonderful experiences over the three days.

Bullfrog Powered. Bullfrog Power assessed the power anticipated we would use based on our event space and offset this with wind power from BC’s Bear Mountain Wind Park located near Dawson Creek being returned to the grid.

Production Technology. With a focus on using rentals, reusable items and technology to tell the story, low powered LED lighting options, digital signs and our mobile app, we worked to bring you all the content you needed in a responsible manner.

We will continue to create a spectacular experience and be responsible and thoughtful in the details. We live in a world where innovation, clean technologies and sustainable systems are a priority and we seek to be part of the solution, while ensuring you have an event where the intersections of ideas you need to grow your businesses happen. If you have a product or service that adds to this story for future years, please let us know!

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