CUPE is committed to lowering the environmental impact of National Convention and showing leadership in the fight against climate change. With the help of CarbonZero, a company that focuses on reducing and offsetting emissions, CUPE has for the second time held a completely carbon neutral National Convention.
Emissions at the 2013 National Convention in Quebec City were trimmed down by reducing printed materials, eliminating plastic bottles from the convention floor, encouraging national staff to travel by rail, and running a Green Stewards Program to promote greener choices by delegates and raising the environmental consciousness of delegates and guests.
Still, some 2090.70 tonnes of carbon were produced, with the bulk stemming from delegate, guest and staff travel. At $20/tonne, CUPE has donated $41,814.00 to four leading environmental organizations, each receiving an equal amount of 10,453.50$. The National Executive Board of CUPE chose the following organizations as recipients:
Green Economy Network
Climate Action Network Canada
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Some recommendations were also put forward by CarbonZero to help further reduce National Convention’s carbon footprint. These include utilizing teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies, reducing the number of days of the event and looking into the possibility of moving to a three year convention cycle.