Metropolis 2011 and Our Sustainability Initiatives

Metropolis 2011 welcomes delegates from across Canada to beautiful Vancouver, BC. In an effort to provide the best for our conference guests and for the environment we all share, we would like to provide you with a message about our sustainability initiatives:

Accommodations and Conference Venue (The Sheraton Wall Centre)

The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel makes every attempt to contribute to a more sustainable community and continually work towards a "greener" corporate philosophy. Due to its industry leading commitment to the environment and sustainable practices, the hotel has been awarded 4 Green Keys by the Hotel Association of Canada's Eco-Rating Program. Here are some of the initiatives the Sheraton Wall Centre offers:

• Optional daily cleaning of guest linens and towels.
• Environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
• All un-served food is donated to local charities whenever possible
• Seasonal menus are developed highlighting locally available items to decrease the
“farm to table” footprint.
• Appropriate recycling and composting programs have been implemented for oils and biodegradable food items.
• In their recent renovation, they re-furbished using existing furniture instead of purchasing
new pieces.

Programs (Hemlock Printers)

Hemlock is committed to achieving the highest levels of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business practices. The company has a long-standing history of sustainable practices and are committed to producing the highest quality printing with the least social and environmental impact. Hemlock has been at the forefront of this work since the early 1970s. In 2004, the company created a Sustainability Committee to increase the momentum of improvements to environmental performance and to boost the introduction of sustainable business practices. They were the first printer in Vancouver to remove isopropyl alcohol from their press dampening systems in the late 1980’s, even though the use of harmful isopropyl alcohol in the printing process is not prohibited in British Columbia. They fostered the creation of CleanPrint BC and its promotion of environmental management among printers of various stripes in the mid 1990s. Today, environmental responsibility is an important consideration in all of Hemlock’s business decisions.

Delegate Bags (Common Thread)

Common Thread is a cooperative of Canadian organizations that have sewing programs and enterprises. The cooperative provides brokering and production coordination for their members and other producers.  Every Common Thread product is made in Canada from colourful, durable and washable re-purposed street banners or other similar recycled fabric. Common Thread produces high quality products that are both sustainable and support local social goals. The organizational members of Common Thread operate sewing programs and enterprises that provide a fair wage and meaningful, supportive work experiences. Some of these groups include:
Coast Mental Health started Sewing With Heart in 2003 as a way to provide work opportunities and skill development for people recovering from mental illness.
E.M.B.E.R.S. (Eastside Movement for Business & Economic Renewal Society) is based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where it provides programs and services that increase the sustainability of small business in the community.
Malalay, the Afghan Women’s Sewing and Craft Co-op was started with the support of the Immigrant Services Society of BC and other organizations in 2004. Members provide dress-making services to the Afghan community and produce other sewing products on contract.

Travel and Transportation (Translink)

TransLink (The Greater Vancouver Area’s Public Transportation System)  is  deeply  committed  to  developing  and  maintaining  a  sustainable  transportation  system  that  meets  the  needs  of  people,  organizations  and  businesses,  and  fosters  the  ecological,  economic  and  social  well‐being  of  the  Metro  Vancouver  region  and  beyond.  Translink advances sustainability by providing  and  promoting  sustainable  transportation  choices  in  the  region, by managing  and  operating  their  business  in  an  environmentally,  socially,  and  economically  responsible  manner , by using  their  business  leverage  to  advance  sustainability  and by promoting  land  use  and  transportation  infrastructure  decisions  that  are  supportive  of  sustainable  transportation.   The organizers of Metropolis 2011 encourage all delegates to use Translink when traveling to and from the hotel.  To further this end, one of the study tours uses the SkyTrain to explore immigrant-serving agencies along the route.

Simultaneous Interpretation Services (MOSAIC)

MOSAIC has succeeded in implementing a fee-for-service enterprise in a non-profit setting, a service based on the solid pillars of talent, workmanship, vigor, dedication, loyalty and the expertise of professional translators and interpreters. The vision and management of this small enterprise is for the most part left in the capable hands of newcomers to Canada. The Language Services department, including its contractors, offers a small example of the faith that MOSAIC places in immigrants and the opportunities the agency is willing to provide people “without Canadian work experience” to show they are valuable contributors to our economy and society – truly a win-win situation.