The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) is revising its strategic plan and making environmental sustainability a guiding principle. The 2021 conference organizing committee has also selected environmental sustainability as one of its foundational values. Because the annual conference is CES’s largest and most resource-consumptive event, greening the conference is an immediate priority. Following the lead of the 2019 conference organizing committee and of the CES Sustainability Working Group, C2021 commits to sustainable practices that will minimize our environmental footprint. Our objective is to run a carbon-neutral conference and to support the sustainability of the community in which the conference is taking place.

The main areas of action are:

  • Choosing a conference venue that supports sustainability (energy efficiency, waste management, local and sustainable food sources, accessibility).
  • Selecting a sustainable conference hotel (energy use, waste reduction, minimized travel).
  • Improving the sustainability of the conference transportation (pollution management, identification of alternatives, carbon offsets).
  • Incorporating green factors and equity into all conference activities (green event planner, promotion of cultural safety and inclusion, waste reduction).
  • Using green communications and conference materials (electronic systems, materials reduction).
  • Cultivating the participation in and support for greening through communication and engagement (leadership, volunteer education, communications to delegates).

Key aspects that will affect delegates directly for 2021 include:

  • Offering of vegetarian cuisine that meets Canada food guide requirements and that is locally sourced (some references: 1, 2, 3).
  • Charging every delegate $25 as part of their registration fee to purchase carbon offsets that will equal the travel and event management impacts (some references: 1, 2, 3).
  • Promoting personal water bottles to avoid one-time use containers (some references: 1, 2, 3).
  • Making all documentation easily available electronically to avoid printing (some references: 1, 2, 3).

Here are some carbon, food, and plastic footprint calculators to support delegates to make greener choices during C2021 and every day:

Carbon Footprint Reduction  

Carbon Handprint Promotion  

Sustainable Food Choices

Plastic Footprint Reduction

Using a custom evaluation rubric, we will report on our efforts and we will provide a benchmark for future improvements.