Exhibition Place boasts the award-winning LEED Platinum Enercare Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre, and the Beanfield Centre LEED Silver conference venue. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart, which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading-edge green technologies and practices across the site.
Exhibition Place has officially signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, a global initiative to address climate change across the events and meetings industry, per the targets laid out in the Paris Climate Accord, to commit to achieving net zero by 2050.
The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative brings together a wide range of event industry stakeholders to:
- Jointly communicate the industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
- Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
- Construct an industry-wide Roadmap towards net-zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement and climate science, with support and guidance on key issues
- Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches
- Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice.
Exhibition Place’s environmental initiatives have resulted in award-winning recognition across North America, and are Platinum 3RCertified, which is a points-based certification program of Recycling Council of Ontario that reviews how organizations manage the solid waste reduction and diversion operations. It assesses all aspects of a building’s waste management program, emphasizing material reduction and diversion, focusing on the commitment to 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
The following are key elements of our program:
TREC's Wind Turbine
The Wind Turbine located on the waterfront at Exhibition Place, installed in 2002, became the first urban wind turbine in North America, an initiative by Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative (TREC) and Toronto Hydro Energy Services. It can generate up to one million kilowatt-hours of power per year, which results in annual savings of approximately $120,000. It also helps displace some of the harmful chemicals responsible for smog and acid rain. The Wind Turbine at Exhibition Place offsets 226 tonnes of greenhouse gas reduction, equivalent to 41 typical households’ emissions or removing 48 cars off the road per year, and the electricity is enough to sustain the electrical requirements for 89 homes per year.
At Exhibition Place, two green roof pilot projects successfully reduce HVAC costs in underlying structures, improve site stormwater management, and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Green roofs are lightweight, engineered rooftops designed to promote the growth of vegetation while protecting the roof’s structural integrity.
A major Cogeneration project that uses a natural gas-fired generator to satisfy approximately 30% of Enercare Centre Complex’s electricity, and heating needs. The project also provided an energy reduction of 7,400 tonnes of equivalent CO2 emissions by the end of 2006. The highly efficient space conditioning and electrical system, also lowers energy costs and provide greater energy security.
Exhibition Place has a Geothermal Plant installed on its site. This Plant replaced the conventional heating/cooling system with a ground source heat pump system. Geothermal heat pumps are technologies that leverage the nearly constant temperature below the earth (regardless of the season) to heat and cool buildings. The Geothermal Plant saves 110,000 kilowatt-hours per year of electricity and over 15,000 cubic meters of natural gas, resulting in a combined savings of approximately $18,000 and a reduction of carbon emissions by 34 tonnes.
Lighting retrofits to decrease energy consumption and improve exhibit halls’ overall light levels. The installation of energy-efficient ballasts and lamps in Enercare Centre’s main Exhibit Halls and public spaces will result in an annual reduction of 2.3 million kilowatt-hours of energy use. LED-technology was utilized in our exterior building naming signage for its superior energy efficiency. These projects were completed in June 2006.
A photovoltaic plant that uses the adjacent Horse Palace’s 130,000-square-foot flat roof to collect solar energy. This 100kw plant when constructed was the largest in Canada and our future plans to expand the plant to 1 to 2 megawatts will reduce CO2 emissions annually by 1,906 tonnes.
Exhibition Place has also installed a second 100 kw PV installation adjacent to the original installation on the Horse Palace roof. This was installed in the summer of 2012. In addition, a 150KW installation was installed on the roof of the East Annex also in the summer of 2012. We also host a 250 kw installation on the Better Living Centre Roof in partnership with Toronto Hydro.View the Horse Palace Solar Report
Use of LED streetlights at Exhibition Place. The new LED streetlights at Exhibition Place dramatically reduces city lighting costs and cuts greenhouse gas emissions. Each streetlight comprises 117 LEDs to produce the same intensity as a conventional streetlight. LEDs, however, use 50% less electricity and last 5 times longer.
The following are key elements of our program:
An urban forestry program, which preserves and renews the urban forest. There are over 3,018 trees across the site and the Sakura Tree Project and the naturalized garden are recent initiatives. The site is watered using lake-water irrigation piped from nearby Lake Ontario.
Linen Free Rooms
Linen-free meeting rooms. Classroom set-ups feature linen-free tables as a standard set at Enercare Centre. New T-leg classroom tables with an attractive melamine finish will serve to conserve water, and reduce environmentally harmful dry-cleaning of table linens.
The program has seen the introduction of initiatives on the premises to separate and recycle waste materials (including glass, paper, wood, plastic and food waste). Enercare Centre uses and recycles 100% PC hand towels for all of our public washrooms, and has recycling and safe disposal programs for special items such as batteries, fluorescent lamps, paint and toner cartridges. To date, the facility is already diverting 82% of its overall waste.
Environmentally-Friendly Food Packaging
Enercare Centre’s exclusive caterer; OVG Hospitality supports a food packaging recycling program that includes compostable or recyclable materials. All of the following packaging products are diverted from traditional landfills; hot and cold cups, lids and straws, plates, napkins, utensils, salad packaging & dressing containers, and wraps & sandwich packaging in all of the venue’s concession stands. Enercare Centre supports these recycling efforts by utilizing a 4-stream recycling bin in all event spaces which can accept; paper, plastic & cans, compostable food waste and litter.
Use of (Forestry Stewardship Council) FSC paper products. The office staff of Enercare Centre utilizes 100% post-consumer recycled paper printed with soy vegetable inks for letterhead, business cards, printed materials and envelopes. Printing of these materials was handled through an FSC certified printing company. Photocopy paper is also recycled.
We are proud to say that we are home to two urban beehives. The bees produce 20 kg of honey per harvest. In providing a home for a colony of bees, Exhibition Place impacts the urban environment by contributing to the pollination of the neighbourhood in a five-kilometre radius around the buildings. The bees collect nectar from the flowers that we have here on the 192-acre Exhibition Place grounds. We look forward to harvesting the next batch of honey towards the end of the summer.