The Metro Toronto Convention Centre was named last month as one of three recipients of the first annual Innovation Awards from AIPC, the International Association of Congress Centres.

The MTCC was recognized for its emphasis on environmentally sustainable (or "green") meetings, embodied in its Zero Waste Program. The other winners were the CCIB Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (Spain) for a new technology-management program and Seattle's Washington State Convention and Trade Center for a food-and-beverage program with service, marketing, and community relations elements.

The MTCC is able to divert at least 95 percent of all waste materials generated during an event from landfills. For a four-day event with 3,000 attendees, approximately 16 metric tons of waste can be captured for recycling and composting, including organics, plastics, paper, metal, glass, textiles, wood, and other materials. The MTCC calculates this saves 57 trees, approximately 75,000 liters of water, 39,310 kilowatt hours of energy, 16,200 liters of oil, 77 kilograms of air pollutants, and 85 cubic meters of landfill space.

The building also has a partnership with Second Harvest for food leftovers (2,000 pounds recycled annually) and a variety of other sustainability programs.