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McMaster Biz School Studies International Centre Sustainability Initiatives

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, recently featured The International Centre as a case study within a new undergraduate course: Corporations and Society.

Conducted by Professor Brent McKnight, the segment focused on three business cases outlining the sustainability strategies and practices in play at The International Centre, host to more than 500 events annually. It directed attention squarely on the venue’s mutli-year journey developing a comprehensive strategy from the ground up.

Trevor Lui, The International Centre’s director of operations and sustainability, was invited to participate in a class at the school. He and McKnight discussed how the Centre identified the sustainability opportunity, gained management buy-in, and then spread awareness while encouraging participation, both within the company and among its customers.

“Our sustainability program began with a single question: What are we doing to identify our responsibilities to the environment, employees and local community with the events we host at our million-square-foot facility?” says Lui. “From there, we had countless discussions and actions to evaluate before we could develop a more long-term operational policy. In the class session, we discussed our war room strategies, the partners we brought in, what worked and what didn’t, how we’re engaging all our stakeholders including owners, employees, supply chain and customers.”

“The story of The International Centre’s journey towards sustainability is an inspirational one for my students who are seeking to understand how firms develop and maintain a successful sustainability trajectory,” says McKnight. “Writing this three-part case with Trevor and The International Centre has created a valuable learning tool for students. Classroom discussions of the case highlighted both pitfalls and pathways towards building more sustainable organizations.”


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