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Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Good for business: Victoria Conference Centre now biosphere-certified

Certification is seen as a plus for those looking to hold conferences

Robyn Bell
January 17, 2024
Environment
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Good for business: Victoria Conference Centre now biosphere-certified

Certification is seen as a plus for those looking to hold conferences

Robyn Bell
Jan 17, 2024
Victoria Conference Centre (VCC). Photo: VCC Facebook
Victoria Conference Centre (VCC). Photo: VCC Facebook
Environment
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Good for business: Victoria Conference Centre now biosphere-certified

Certification is seen as a plus for those looking to hold conferences

Robyn Bell
January 17, 2024
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Good for business: Victoria Conference Centre now biosphere-certified
Victoria Conference Centre (VCC). Photo: VCC Facebook

The VCC became the second conference centre in North America to be biosphere-certified—following the Quebec City Convention Centre’s certification last month—when the Responsible Tourism Institute approved certification based on the centre’s alignment with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Certification is seen in the industry as a draw to businesses planning to host conferences, with environmental and tourism impacts increasingly playing important roles in deciding location.

Drawing conferences to the VCC has been a focus for the area’s post-pandemic tourism recovery, Destination Greater Victoria’s (DGV) CEO Paul Nursery said in a statement.

“One key DGV strategy was re-establishing and expanding foundational year-round business, particularly in the meetings and events sector.”

Business is starting to rebound

According to DGV’s business sector, the VCC’s 141 events in 2023 helped to generate $35M in local business sales and 22K hotel room nights. Nursey said this year he anticipates a 5% growth from 2023 for the business and events sector.

The carbon-neutral building downtown on Douglas, which at one point housed the city’s Crystal Pool before its move to Quadra, and counts pickleball as its latest feature, has had many tweaks over the years to get it to biosphere standard—200 sustainability focused actions were taken, according to DGV.

The VCC made important changes

Some steps taken to earn biosphere certification for the VCC:

  • Reduced carbon footprint by 70% in the last decade through improved recycling, LED lighting, upgraded equipment, and sustainable purchasing policies
  • Shares an annual sustainability report with stakeholders and the public
  • Conducts extensive training in emergency response protocols to keep staff and customers safe
  • Holds national green building certification, BOMA Best

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Robyn Bell
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