Sustainability is at the heart of how C2 Montréal operates as an organization. It’s both a value and a significant concern of ours, as we believe that an event welcoming north of 6,000 participants every year should lead by example and strive to minimize its ecological footprint. Furthermore, our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our event — it encompasses the C2 Montréal organization as a whole. To ensure consistency in our sustainability efforts, we have adopted a two-part objective:

  • We aim to rank among the most ecologically responsible events in the world
  • We aim to uphold and communicate a coherent vision of what sustainability consists of, which will inform every action taken by C2 Montréal.


A continuous effort involving our entire organization

Our sustainability efforts are anchored in steady, incremental improvements. Taking a coherent approach is a fundamental principle, and C2 Montréal aims to implement standards of sustainability throughout its organization centred around four priorities:

Actions that…

  1. Favour and contribute to the local economy
  2. Encourage the preservation and optimal use of resources
  3. Reduce our carbon footprint
  4. Put the well-being of people at the centre of the C2 experience


Sustainability in event management

Since 2016, C2 Montréal’s annual flagship has been a BNQ 9700-253/2010 certification, the Bureau de la normalisation du Québec’s standard for ecologically responsible event management.


Timeline: C2 Montréal’s efforts in sustainability


Engagement, objectives, plans, vision — at this point you may wonder how we walk all that talk. In the spirit of demonstrating that C2 Montréal is committed to its sustainability goals, here’s a look, in numbers, at what we accomplished during C2 Montréal 2018.


Local economy

90%of providers are local businesses

of ingredients sourced within 300 km of Montréal

90%small- and medium-sized businesses invited to the event through entrepreneurship programs

of partners based in Quebec


​​Preservation and optimal use of resources

​​​​more compostable waste processed than in 2017, with an 8% increase in participants

cigarette butts recycled in collaboration with the Mégot Zéro program

90%​​​​refundable bottles and cans directed to Coop les valoristes

less residual waste generated between breaking ground for the site and it’s dismantling


Carbon footprint

of people transportation-generated greenhouse gas emissions offset by purchasing Gold Standard carbon credits

electric cars to transport speakers


Contributing to the greater good

surplus food portions redistributed in collaboration with local charity La Tablée des chefs

“Ideate for Impact” programs that engaged in a social cause



For transparency’s sake, here are C2 Montréal’s sustainability reports since obtaining BNQ 9700-253/2010 certification:

C2 Montréal 2016 (french only)

C2 Montréal 2017

C2 Montréal 2018

Specific objectives for 2018

Here are the three targets we set for ourselves for C2 Montréal 2018:

Waste per participant

Target: Cap total waste per participant, per day, at 1 kg*
Outcome: Success – we limited waste per participant, per day, to 1 kg*

Waste management

Target: Hit a material reclamation rate of at least 70% during the event**.
Outcome: The material reclamation rate for C2 Montréal 2018 was 56%. This was due to a lesser overall volume of residual waste and a decrease in reclaimed construction materials compared to 2017. We did, however, divert more compostable and recyclable matter from landfills than we did the previous year.

Certification level

Target: Maintain our level 3 BNQ 9700-253/2010 certification, but with a higher score than in 2017.
Outcome: Success – C2 Montréal 2018 is certified BNQ 9700-253/2010 level 3 and scored at least 18 more points than C2 Montréal 2017***.

* Total waste per participant per day is determined by weighing final waste (what is sent to landfills) generated from the outset of the event to the day the site is returned to its original state, dividing that by the number of participants (excluding staff, providers and speakers), and dividing the total by the length of the event (in days).

** Material reclamation rate refers to the proportion of residual waste diverted from landfills by recycling, composting, etc.

*** The definitive score for 2018 will be confirmed in the near future. 


How to be a stakeholder in our sustainability efforts

Significantly reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions requires a collective commitment. Luckily for us, it’s easier than ever to do your part. Here’s how you can be a part of the movement during C2 Montréal 2019.


Frequently asked questions about C2 Montréal 2018

Air climatisé

Isn’t air conditioning in the 360 Big Top contrary to your sustainability efforts?

All the energy used at C2 Montréal is from hydroelectric power, allowing us to limit usage of fossil fuel-powered generators. The whole site is air conditioned for your and our speakers’ comfort, but we ensure doors are kept closed as much as possible.

Why do you use disposable dishes?

A lot of the dishes used onsite are reusable. All remaining non-reusable glasses, dishes and utensils are either recyclable or compostable. Sorting stations on the Plaza and the Dock ensure that the various types of matter are properly separated.

Don’t single-use coffee pods create a lot of waste?

Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum, an infinitely recyclable material. Thanks to its recycling program, Nespresso ensures that the aluminum is repurposed and coffee grounds are composted. Every capsule used during the event will be recycled.

Verre écoresponsable

Are Ecocup glasses reusable?

Yes. Ecocup glasses that mistakenly end up in the trashcans are retrieved, thoroughly washed and reused. We don’t enforce any rules on the matter—, rather, we rely on participants’ common sense when it comes time to dispose of their Ecocups at the end of the day.

A majority of the signs found onsite are made out of Coroplast, which is non-recyclable. Doesn’t that go against your values?

Coroplast (corrugated polypropylene) panels are recyclable if taken to sorting centres capable of processing them. Our team transports all the Coroplast panels used onsite to Écocentre Lasalle.

How are badges handled after the event?

All badges returned by participants will be reused to the full extent possible by our provider, who uses them for tests and tryouts. If their condition permits it, lanyards will also be reused.

Where do cigarette butts end up?

We partnered with Montreal cigarette butt recycling program Mégot Zéro. A cigarette’s paper and tobacco are both compostable, while the filter, made out of plastic, is recyclable.

Every year, asphalt – which is not environmentally friendly – is used onsite while an enormous wooden deck is built for the event. Are these construction materials used only once?

No. The wood used to build the Dock and the Plaza in 2017 was almost entirely reused for the same purpose in 2018. All the recoverable wood will be stored for future use. After the event, the asphalt will be crushed and recycled, and the gravel reused.

Is the paper you use environmentally friendly?

All paper used comes from the eco-friendly Rolland Enviro100 line, which is made out of recycled fibres, are FSC and ÉcoLogo certified and 100% chlorine free.

Impact sur la flore

What happens to the plants after the event?

All potted plants used onsite are redistributed after the event and will resume their lives in a happy home elsewhere in Montréal.

Déchet dans le canal Lachine

How do you protect the Lachine Canal?

We take particular care to ensure no refuse ends up in the Lachine Canal before, during or after the event. When on a boat ride or walking along the waterway, make sure to bring any waste back to the site and dispose of it appropriately.

Impact sur la faune

How do you mitigate C2 Montréal’s impact on wildlife?

We build C2 Montréal’s site on a vacant lot through which stray cats, groundhogs, foxes and other small animals pass. These furry friends have plenty of time and space to adjust their itinerary when site construction begins, and no animals have been hurt before, during or after the event.



If you have questions about our sustainability efforts or wish to submit an idea, a project or a joint venture, please get in touch with:

Maude Lamarche
Sustainability Project Manager