Home » Energy Policy »

Globe Conference Draws Business and Sustainability Leaders to Vancouver from around the World

GLOBE 2008-- If you know about Globe, then you know this is one of the biggest international events about sustainability. If you haven't heard of Globe, I can tell you it is not yet-another-upstart conference to tap into the environmental revival. The Globe 2008 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is also one of the longest-running conferences for sustainable business, having started in the early 1990s. (photos)

British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell opens the Globe 2008 Conference on Business and the Environment, in Vancouver. Approximately 10,000 people attended the conference.

This year 10,000 business leaders, environmentalists and government officials from 80 countries are converging here at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, downtown on the waterfront. The keynote addresses featured six speakers including British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and Prince Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium.

"Like British Columbia, Globe 2008 is focused on the business of the environment and reinforcing the idea that a healthy environment and a strong economy are not mutually exclusive," Campbell said at a press gathering after the opening plenary. "As B.C. welcomes business and government leaders from around the world to Globe 2008, we are eager and determined to find opportunities to work together to set the world on a new course towards sustainability."

Keynote speakers listen to remarks of moderator Dianne Dillon Ridgley (off camera) at the Globe 2008 Conference on Business and the Environment in Vancouver. Left to right: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium; Gordon Campbell, Premier, Province of British Columbia; Beth Lowery, Vice President of Environment and Energy, General Motors.

Globe 2008 Conference web site

Sustainability conference session tracks

The three-day event offers sessions on five themes. The "Building Better Cities" theme is all about green building and urban planning. The first session in that track was on net zero energy buildings. This was a popular session where the 200 seats and most of the standing room filled quickly.

Speakers at this session presented brief overviews of three projects -- one commercial and two residential -- that are in the design or early construction phases. The commercial example is designed to be carbon neutral. A home builder presented his firm's experiments in near-zero-energy single-family residences.

The "Climate Change and Energy" theme is the broadest track. Premier Campbell spoke again at a session about using major events to launch regional sustainability initiatives. John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Committee, outlined various efforts to promote green for the games. Vancouver will host the 2010 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

International environmental trade fair

A small trade fair features about 450 exhibitors in Vancouver's classic sail-roofed exhibition hall that gives the city's waterfront its trademark look. (The interior of the roof is visible above the Canada Pavilion in the photo montage.)

Left to right, top to bottom: Belgium Pavilion; Holland Exhibit; Province of Ontario Pavilion; Canada Pavilion; Switzerland Exhibit; Austria Pavilion; line through lobby to register; Israel Exhibit. At the Globe 2008 Conference and Trade Fair on Business and the Environment in Vancouver.

As the conference continues here at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, construction is underway on an expansion that boasts several green building features and will triple the size of the VCEC in time for the 2010 Olympic Games. The expansion will be a candidate for the Canada Green Building Council's LEED Gold rating.

What makes this expo different is the international flavor. Most "green" trade shows have a few exhibitors from Germany and Denmark, but here at Globe there are 5 exhibitors just from Switzerland, 7 from France, 13 from Austria, 15 from Belgium, and of course many companies from Asia, Canada and the United States.

The Vancouver Convention and Exposition Centre expansion, scheduled to open March 2009, will double the VCEC's function space and add a LEED Gold building to the City Centre. The facility will serve as a media center during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.


I was not even aware this conference was happening, thank you for your excellent coverage of it.My company is working on a sustainability strategy and we appreciate your guidance on this subject.