The Vancouver Convention Centre is strongly committed to strengthening the health and vitality of the local community. Conventions and events hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre are not only economic drivers for the city and Province. Through partnerships with the noted charitable organizations, the Centre also ensures that events help contribute a lasting social impact on the community.
In other words – sustainability isn’t simply an environmental value, but an economic and community goal as well. This commitment is reflected in the Convention Centre’s Service Standards to be “a role model both at work and in the greater community.” Among its industry-leading programs, the LEED Platinum Convention Center runs an all-scratch kitchen, composts organic waste, and targets a zero-landfill goal annually.
Seeing an opportunity to support the mission and vision, Centerplate’s executive team at the Vancouver Convention Centre executed a sustainability program that perfectly combined the dual goals of environmental and economic partnership and responsibility: United We Can. United We Can combines a 100% diversion recycling program with job training opportunities for people with multiple barriers to traditional employment, many living in extreme poverty and often homeless.
100 percent of the Convention Centre’s recyclables – wine and liquor bottles, and pop and beer cans and bottles – are donated to United We Can. Because many recyclables can be returned for money, this program capitalizes on this opportunity while creating full-time and part-time jobs for low-income residents. To date Centerplate, has donated nearly half a million beverage containers, making Centerplate largest single contributor to this charity.
Our contributions align with our own commitment to sustainability, ensuring that supplies used at events held at our facility do not end up in city landfills. But more importantly, our contributions have enabled United We Can to continue their invaluable work – employing 120 people from the Downtown Eastside who have multiple barriers to employment as well as carrying out social enterprises apart from the recycling depot that benefit the local community, including: