Montreal, The Greener Conference City

Montreal the eco-
friendly conference city

The SIL 2007 Conference is coming to Montreal from 12th – 18th August 2007. SIL stands for Societas Internationalis Limnologiae, or in other words the Society of Limnologists. They study inland bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and inland seas and are concerned with ecology. Clearly it follows that this will be a green conference. Bronwyn Chester in the Montreal Gazette this week tells us that this is just one example of conferences becoming more eco-friendly.

International conferences are big business in Montreal. The city is No. 1 in Canada and No. 3 in North America for such conferences, after New York and Washington, Tourisme Montreal says that an estimated $500 million is spent annually at such gatherings. They can also be major polluters, wasters of energy and natural resources and emitters of greenhouse gases. Montreal got the attention of conference organizers when the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change was held here in 2005.

The SIL 2007 Conference is a joint undertaking by GRIL, SIL and SCL. Yves Prairie, the coordinator for SIL 2007, and Genevi?ve Leclerc of JPdL, a Montreal-based conference-organizing firm, are paying particular attention to all the ‘green issues’ as they pull everything together. For this conference, Hydro-Quebec is a sponsor and working with the UQAC Eco-conseil will oversee carbon offsetting, particularly in compensating for carbon emitted largely by the air travel of delegates. One part of the solution is to plant sufficient trees.

SIL was founded in 1922 with the objective to further the study and understanding of all aspects of limnology. A primary means toward this end is through the organization of triennial congresses to promote scientific intercourse among those pursuing fundamental research and those concerned with practical fishery, pollution, and water-supply problems. Its commitment to Green Conferences states the following:

SIL 2007, as an ecologically responsible organization, is striving to minimize its environmental footprint in the course of organizing this event, as we are aware that any such gathering has huge environmental implications. As such, we are undertaking numerous actions to reduce our usage of resources and maximizing our sustainable actions.

In Montreal, they will find all the resources, skills and experience they need to help them do that.

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