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CMA is working to ensure our values are reflected in how we plan GC. You can read about our efforts at GC 2014 by reading our event report (link PDF). This year we hope to achieve even more through the efforts below, and with your help.


Healthy food

Providing fresh, healthy, seasonal and local food

CMA kept it local and seasonal at GC in 2014 by sourcing 80% of food at the Westin Ottawa and 34% of food at the Shaw Centre within 400km of Ottawa.

  • CMA is using local and seasonal Nova Scotia ingredients for meals at GC, including River View Herbs of Maitland, Dutchman’s Cheese of Upper Economy, Blue Harbour Cheese of Halifax, Off the Hook Community-supported sustainable seafood, Cosman and Whidden Honey of Wolfeville, Julien’s Bakery of Chester and fruit and vegetable produce from Hutten Family and Elmridge Farms.
  • All seafood is screened to ensure it is caught or farmed sustainably, considering the long-term health and stability of species, ecosystems and the fisheries that rely on them. Caterers are requested to follow Oceanwise approved choices, and avoid any not recommended options. Find Oceanwise approved restaurants and businesses across the country here.
  • Well-labeled, healthy menu options have been selected, addressing dietary and allergy needs.

Environment

Reducing pollution and waste

80% of GC waste was diverted from landfill in 2014, including 87% of waste recovered from the Welcome Reception through a first-time composting program for the event caterer.

  • GC is proud to be a Bullfrog-powered event. CMA, the Prince George Hotel, Delta Halifax and WTCC have partnered to purchase green energy for all event power needs. This injects clean, renewable power onto the grid to match the amount of energy GC will use, supporting energy projects that have been certified as low-impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogo™ program. Thereby helping reduce Canada’s reliance of polluting sources of energy like coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power.
  • Nova Scotia produces the least waste per capita and has the highest waste diversion rate in Canada. This means CMA is able to take advantage of good recycling and composting programs at GC venues! Landfill-destined waste is being minimized by using durable food service ware, reducing onsite materials (more materials online), ensuring event discards are recycled, composted and donated, reducing signage and printing on recycled materials.
  • Carbon emissions are being avoided by utilizing virtual technologies to reach broader CMA membership virtually (through webcasting, online polling and moderated chat room) to engage members without them needing to fly to attend GC.
  • Food, décor and furnishings for this event are sourced locally to reduce the carbon footprint from shipping.
  • Shuttles will conform to no-idling policies to help reduce air pollution.
  • CMA staff request suppliers to use less harmful materials. This means use of low-emitting maintenance materials and green-certified cleaning products at venues and hotels is verified. The WTCC and Prince George Hotel have converted to green certified cleaners for 90% or more of chemicals. The Delta Halifax have converted 75% of their chemicals to greener, safer alternatives. Caterers are requested to seek organic and pesticide-free ingredients. Use of disposable vinyl banners, signs, tabletops and badges is also avoided. So don’t forget to drop off your name badge for reuse at the end of GC!

Social Benefit

Supporting programs that build healthy communities

540 meals were provided to Shepherds of Good Hope in Ottawa as a result of food recovery at GC 2014.

  • CMA staff have been advocates for improved food donation programs in host cities for several years. This year any unserved nutritious prepared food will be provided to Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank or Hope Cottage in Halifax.
  • Caterers are serving ethically sourced coffee that complies with independently verified Fair Trade or C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity) practices, including fair wages and hours of work, worker access to housing, potable water and sanitation, education, medical care and safety training.
  • Health breaks are provided throughout GC, including several opportunities to get active. Join us for Walk the Doc and GC stretch breaks. We’ll also be organizing a walk to Fun Night to help you work up an appetite for dinner!

What you can do

Each step you take makes a difference

  • Opt into your hotel towel and sheet reuse programs, which can save an estimated 50 gallons of water per night and eliminates seven ounces of chemicals from the environment.
  • Reduce personal waste by reusing paper onsite, and taking advantage of online documents. Bring and reuse a beverage container, and take part in onsite recycling and composting.
  • Take only the food you need, and if you attend events regularly ask organizers what they’re doing to recover leftover food.
  • Drop your name badge off at registration before you leave so we can ensure it is recycled.
  • 81% of GC’s carbon footprint comes from air travel. Consider offsetting your flight through your airline. And remember: the carbon footprint of your onsite participation is already offset through CMA’s green energy purchases!
  • Complete the GC evaluation to let us know what you think about our healthy, sustainable practices, and use hotel comment cards to tell hotels you support green guest room practices.