BEC news release

Toronto gains international acclaim for sustainable meetings and events

First city outside the U.S. to receive prestigious certification -

Oct. 9, 2013: Tourism Toronto has become the first convention and visitors association outside of the United States to reach a new international sustainability standard.  The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Certification is awarded to destinations that achieve high standards in environmentally sustainable meetings, trade shows, and conferences. Tourism Toronto has been recognized as achieving Level One certification.

“Toronto and our partners in the convention centres and hotel industry place a high premium on being leaders in sustainable meetings and events,” said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “In a highly competitive market, achieving a prestigious certification like this can give Toronto, and more importantly our clients and guests, a meaningful advantage. This adds to our city’s strong reputation for hosting exceptional meetings and we are proud to be the first international destination to attain ASTM destination certification.” 

Introduced in 2012 to provide the event planning industry with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner, the certification is awarded to destinations that meet rigorous standards in areas such as waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners.  The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization.

“The City has been working for many years to be an environmentally sustainable place to live, work and visit,” said Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43 Scarborough East), Chair of the City's Parks and Environment Committee. “Being recognized for our achievements in this area underscores Toronto’s commitment to environmental responsibility and our success in becoming one of North America's most sustainable cities.”

“Having responsible environmental and social practices in the meeting industry is a global concern,” said Michael Luehrs, President of Green Meeting and Industry Council, the association that led the development

of the ASTM Sustainable Meeting Standards and oversees the certification program. “We are delighted to see Tourism Toronto lead the way in Canada.”

About Tourism Toronto - Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, representing the cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. For more information please visit www.seetorontonow.com.

About the City of Toronto- Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city.

About the Green Meeting Industry Council- The Green Meeting Industry Council is a) non-profit, membership-based professional organization which provides educational resources to planners, suppliers, and venues seeking to meet the ever-rising standards consumers set for sustainable meetings. www.gmicglobal.org

For Further information please contact:
luisa [at] axistravelmarketing [dot] com (Luisa Uruena) at Axis Travel Marketing Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)20 8686 2300 or visit http://uk-meetings.canada.travel/  and www.axistravelmarketing.com