“Developing the citizens of tomorrow capable of the kind of collaboration and thinking we will need if climate catastrophe is to be averted is, at least in part, the responsibility of today’s schools, teachers, and educators.”
Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the International Baccalaureate
Source: SDG Action, Climate Action edition 2021
Sustainability is a key focus at the IB Global Conference, Toronto 2023. We recognize the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and are actively taking steps to reduce our environmental impact. Here's how we're incorporating sustainable practices at the conference:
Green conference venue
Sustainability is a core driving factor in Toronto. Many hotels and venues are driven by environmentally sustainable practices and eco-friendly initiatives.
The Metro Toronto Convention Center (MTCC), our chosen venue, implements sustainable practices such as waste diversion, energy conservation, and renewable energy. It is conveniently located near public transportation hubs, making it easier for attendees to choose sustainable transportation options.
The MTCC also diverts 90 percent of event waste from landfill and by decreasing its energy consumption. It was the first convention centre in Canada to give its customers the option to use clean energy. The venue also supports local farms and businesses by purchasing local ingredients in large volume.
Toronto's excellent transportation system offers subways, buses, and streetcars, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions. We encourage attendees to use public transportation, carpool, or walk to the conference venue. Find out about transportation to the MTCC here.
The Celebration Dinner will be held at the Roy Thomson Hall, which is a short 10-minute walk from the MTCC and nearby hotels. We encourage attendees to walk to the venue where possible. Shuttle vans will be provided, with priority given to individuals with accessibility challenges.
We prioritize serving sustainably sourced, local, and organic food options. We work with the venue to minimize single-use plastics and encourage the use of compostable or biodegradable food containers and cutlery.
To minimize waste, we provide reusable water bottles and promote the use of our conference app instead of printed materials. We also work with the MTCC to minimize food waste and donate surplus food to local charities.
Sustainable printing and production
We collaborate with vendors to use recyclable or salvaged materials for banners and signage. Giveaway items in IB welcome bags are made with recyclable materials. Attendees are encouraged to recycle lanyards at designated boxes.
We support local organizations including the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board by donating surplus food, leftover materials, and stationery. We partner with schools and organizations to provide meals, support learning programs, and help the unhoused population. Leftover office supplies and delegate bags will go to the Peel Region School Board and offered to teachers for their classrooms.
Education and awareness
Education plays a crucial role in sustainability, and this is closely tied to our conference theme, "Education for an Inclusive future". An inclusive education that considers diverse perspectives and encourages critical thinking can empower individuals to become responsible stewards of the environment, taking actions to address environmental challenges and create a sustainable future.
Look out for the sustainability posters at the conference venue, Consider attending the breakout session, “Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to inspire the community project”, and join your fellow educators in a dialogue on sustainable practices.
Do your part!
We invite all conference attendees to do their part in embracing sustainability. We encourage you to:
- Use the reusable water bottles in your delegate bag! You will be able to refill your water bottle at water stations provided around the conference venue.
- Avoid food waste by taking only what you can consume.
- Reduce paper waste where possible. Check the conference programme on the mobile app instead of printing out the programme.
- Take public transportation, carpool, or biking to and from the conference venue. You are also encouraged to walk to the celebration dinner venue (Roy Thomson Hall) which is located about 10 minutes away from the MTCC.
- Follow the waste segregation guidelines provided by the conference venue and make sure to dispose of your waste properly in designated recycling or compost bins.
Small actions collectively make a big impact. Together, we can create a more sustainable future and inspire others to do the same!