Sustainable Biz Canada

Conflux Canada pushes sustainability, green buildings agenda


Getting Conflux Canada off the ground was a bit nerve-wracking. But as founder James McNeil prepares for Year Two, he’s already looking for ways to grow the event, which focuses on sustainability, clean tech and green buildings.

ConfluxCanada300“The main reason for getting it started was a very deep desire to make a difference and try to push this any way I know how,” McNeil said. The second annual Conflux Canada is set for May 10 at the Ottawa Conference and Events Centre.

“Going into the (inaugural 2017) event I will be honest; I had deep concerns whether we could pull it off. But in the end, we ended up with about 200 attendees and an absolutely stellar group of speakers.

“But what really drove me to do it again was the incredibly positive feedback after the event. Now we want to grow it. It’s a unique Ottawa event and next year (2019) and in the future we’d like to push it to two days and get a trade show happening.”

Three themes for attendees

Each of the themes offers a dedicated group of speakers during the day, but attendees are able to mix and match which sessions they want to attend, be they from the Corporate Sustainability Responsibility, Clean Tech or Green Buildings sectors.

More than two dozen speakers will offer presentations during the day, including BGIS CEO Gordon Hicks, Bentall Kennedy vice-president of sustainability Anna Murray, PwC chief corporate responsibility officer James Temple, and Canada Green Buildings Council (CaGBC) president and CEO Thomas Mueller.

“We’ve tried to create a good cross-section of speakers to touch on all the different variations in the space,” McNeil said. “We want to make sure we are able to appeal to as large an audience as possible.

“More importantly, what are we trying to do here? We are trying to get all the players in the space into the same room so they can have a meaningful dialogue.”

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Learn, share experiences, best practices

The idea is to learn from the experts, as well as sharing experiences, best practices, knowledge and driving forward the agenda forward in all green and sustainability sectors.

“What is changing and where are we moving with sustainability and green?” McNeil said. “What it comes down to is, we are seeing sustainability become a best-class building practice and organizations are starting to really recognize how it contributes to profitability in the organization.

“But it’s a very, very fragile thing because you can easily get called out in the greenwash.”

McNeil said learning about the most up-to-date strategies and how to embed these practices into a company’s culture is critical to success – especially for smaller or medium-sized entities which might not have the resources of a larger company.

“Each organization might have a little, peepy voice but as a collective, we have a baritone which helps drive that forward.”

Registration is open for the conference, which also incorporates the CaGBC Ottawa Chapter awards dinner that night (separate fee applies for the awards dinner).

The early bird fee for Conflux is $235 and available until March 23 ($270 including the CaGBC dinner). After that date, registration is $350 (plus $50 for the dinner).

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Don Wilcox

About the Author ()

Don is a veteran editor and journalist with three decades of experience in print and online news, including 20 years at the Ottawa Sun. Most recently, he was the Sun’s Sr. Online Editor. Don has also been a part-time professor at Algonquin College, teaching digital writing and social media in the Mobile and Social Media Management program.

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