If you’re looking for an event venue that aligns with your company’s commitment to sustainability or you just want your next event to be as environmentally friendly as possible, then we’re here to help. Over the years, the term “green” has become cliche, and while all Vancouver venues have been mandated by the City to reduce waste, recycle and separate compostable organic materials, some event venues have taken sustainability to the next level. With the City aiming to become a zero-waste city by 2040, new certifications and governing bodies have been created to evaluate the environmental impact of buildings and encourage more sustainable operations within those buildings. The Living Building and LEED certifications as well as the Canada Green Building Council play an important role in reviewing and regulating both new buildings as well as upgraded facilities. Here are our top picks of TRULY green event venues.

Note: The event spaces featured here are either newer buildings or upgraded facilities in the Vancouver area that have met the rigorous certification standards mentioned above. 

Feel good about planning your event at one of these 6 certified green event venues:

#1 VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Recently dubbed “The most sustainable building in Vancouver“, by Vancouver Park Board Chair, Sarah Kirby-Yung, after receiving the very first Living Building Challenge Petal Certification in the Lower Mainland, the most advanced measure of sustainability within the building industry, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Visitor and Events Centre is the epitome of green event venues. Set within a stunning 55 acre garden, this space not only impresses upon first glance of its surroundings but the features of this living building are quite impressive as well. The facility is completely water independent meaning that 100 percent of the building’s water use comes from precipitation capture or reused water that is purified (without chemicals of course!). All the energy the facility consumes is supplied by onsite renewable sources, and ultra energy efficient systems have been incorporated to keep the building’s energy use as minimal as possible.

green event venues #1: VanDusen Botanical Garden

Event Space Highlights:

  • 3 halls with views of Livingstone Lake and the Woodland Garden which can accommodate 30 – 60 guests for seated dining
  • Special rates for garden visits when booking the event space

#2 The Nest at UBC

With a strong commitment to sustainable event practices, The Nest at UBC is the perfect venue for the environmentally conscious planner. Their facilities were upgraded to become Platinum LEED Certified by integrating solar water heaters, creating an in-vessel composting facility, adding a reflective roof to reduce heat island effect, displacing ventilation and solar powered cooling systems to name just a few. They have a strong commitment to using sustainable food, purchasing only local, in-season, certified organic and fair trade items. The Nest also implemented waste reduction policies to ensure everything that can be recycled is, everything organic is composted, and where possible only recycled items are selected and used at the facility.

green event venues #2: The Nest at UBC

Event Space Highlights:

  • 8,800 square foot Great Hall with 600 guest capacity for seated dining
  • Three storey rock climbing wall for team building activities or a mid-meeting adrenaline rush
  • 33 state-of-the-art architecturally designed break-out rooms
  • A few dozen additional unique event spaces ranging from 100 – 11,000 square feet

#3 Vancouver Convention Centre

Having won many design and environmental awards, the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) is the world’s first LEED Platinum Certified convention centre. With living building elements such as a 6-acre green roof that’s home to 400,000 indigenous plants, grasses and 4 bee hives, to innovative solutions like using surrounding seawater to help cool and heat the building as well as an integrated black water treatment plant that recycles used water for future use as toilet water or irrigation on the rooftop, VCC was designed with the environment in mind. Their commitment to sustainability extends far beyond the facility with their extensive recycling program, use of green certified cleaning products and just recently, they received Healthy Venue Accreditation from the World Obesity Federation, for their commitment to providing a healthy environment for both visitors and their staff.
green event venues #3: Vancouver Convention Centre

Event Space Highlights:

  • Over 466,000 square feet of highly flexible event space between two buildings, VCC was designed to meet the needs of any event imaginable
  • 7 ballrooms ranging in capacities from 280 – 900 guests for seated dining
  • 6 flexible exhibition halls that can be combined to create larger event spaces for tradeshows and conferences
  • Over 70 meeting rooms, outdoor plazas, and pre-function spaces & foyers

#4 Creekside Community Centre

Opening around the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver’s newest sustainable community Olympic Village, Creekside Community Centre is the first Canadian community centre to obtain a Platinum LEED Certification for it’s green building initiatives. Like many new and upgraded buildings across the city, the facility harvests rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing, uses solar power for radiant cooling, is made of 25% of recycled content and consumes 50% less energy than a standard building.

green event venues #4: Creekside Community Centre

Event Space Highlights:

  • 7,500 square foot Gymnasium with capacity of up to 300 guests for seated dining
  • 1,950 square foot Multi-purpose Room with capacity of up to 100 guests for seated dining. Located on the second floor, this space has a nearby kitchen and attached balcony overlooking the water.
  • 3 other small meeting areas that can accommodate up to 30 guests for seated meetings

#5 GLOWBAL at Telus Garden

When Telus Garden opened last year it was the first Vancouver office tower to become LEED Platinum Certified, more impressive though is the fact that they submitted the highest ever LEED scorecard to the Canada Green Building Council. Telus Garden has approximately 300 solar panels on it’s roof which helps the building draw less power from the grid as it generates about 65,000 kilowatts of energy per year. It also features a high-efficiency motion sensor lighting system that helps to further reduce the building’s energy consumption and a fully integrated smart building program that controls all systems including cooling, heating, fire alarms and security. While only a tenant in this impressive facility, GLOWBAL benefits from all of the state-of-the-art features this building has to offer, making it a perfect green event venue.

green event venues #5: GLOWBAL at Telus Garden

Event Space Highlights:

  • 3 elegantly styled private dining spaces equipped for presentations accommodating anywhere from 12 – 60 guests for seated dining
  • A semi-private mezzanine area accommodating up to 170 guests for seated dining
  • A large outdoor patio area that accommodates up to 125 guests for seated dining

#6 Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is the first zoo or aquarium anywhere to obtain a Gold LEED Certification and has made every effort to become a more environmentally friendly facility by incorporating a roof that harvests rainwater for use in low-flush toilets, installing an energy-efficient elevator and reduced use of chemical paints. They are also committed to sustainable event practices and have a philosophy called “Return to Earth Events” which includes diverting waste from landfills to composting facilities, sourcing sustainable local and organic ingredients, reducing the impact on our oceans by limiting detergent use, providing fair trade coffee only, exclusively offering Ocean Wise seafood, and in general minimizing an event’s impact on the environment.

 green event venues #6: Vancouver Aquarium

Event Space Highlights:

  • 10 areas to host events with capacities ranging from 80 – 600 guests for seated dining
  • Tropic Zone, Canada’s Arctic Gallery, Treasures of the BC Coast Exhibit, and Canaccord Financial Exploration Gallery allow guests to experience the event in the company of aquatic friends
  • The Vancouver Aquarium also offers event enhancements such as a beluga or dolphin show, a 4-D experience theatre taking guests on a cinematic adventure with thrilling sensory effects, and the Barker Interactive Learning Lab where attendees can see and in some cases touch marine animals such as crabs, sea anemones, sea stars and more.


Sage Advice

Selecting from these awesome green event venues is just the first step. There are many other things you can do to create a truly sustainable affair. Here are some other resources to help you down the eco-friendly planning path:

  1. How to Plan a Sustainable Event
  2. A Supply List For Your Sustainable Event
  3. How to Plan a Zero-Waste Event

Or if you’re looking for some fresh ideas or need a little planning advice, our Sage Support team of professional event planners can help! Email us today at sagesupport@eventsage.com to get a quote.


Vanna Bailey

Vanna Bailey

Having worked the majority of my career in experiential event marketing for large brands, I appreciate spreadsheets and all the small details that go into putting on an event. I understand how a simple plan can turn into a chaotic mess and hope to give helpful insights into how it can be done better. I am also the new Marketing Coordinator here at Eventsage.

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