Allstream Global Forum – Al Gore presents case for technology in fight against climate change

On Tuesday November 24th, the “two green giants” and Canada’s biggest political proponent of ‘green energy’ graced the stage at the annual Allstream Global Forum in Toronto.  Held at the recently refurbished Automotive Building (now named Allstream Centre) at Exhibition Place the Allstream Global Forum annually features innovative thinkers and international leaders.  Past speakers have included Steve Forbes and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The evening began as Canada’s Dr. David Suzuki introduced his friend Al Gore and was wrapped up by comments from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.  This evening’s keynote, presented by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, was titled “Thinking Green: Economic Strategy for the 21st Century.”

This event was not just another attempt by a big multinational to trumpet it’s green initaitves.  In fact, Allstream, the Forum and the Centre are at the forefront of innovation and clean technology.

Allstream is based out of Manitoba and was recently selected as one of Canada’s Top 10 employers.  In my opinion, Allstream is not one of those companies participating in green washing.  They are actually ‘greening’ themselves via employee initiatives and utilizing technology in simple ways.

For example:

  • 85% of printers are enabled and set for double-sided printing
  • 185 tonnes of paper recycled in 2008
  • 599 tonnes of GHG emissions reduced through employee teleworking initiative in 2008
  • 25,536 number of wireless devices reused or recycled between 2006 and 2008, with the proceeds contributed to Resource conservation Manitoba starting in 2008
  • 67,000 estimated kilometres not driven in 2008 by employees who participated in community events to promote alternative transportation options to work
  • 8 consecutive years on the Jantzi Research Social Index, a grouping of 60 Canadian companies that pass a comprehensive set of environmental, social and governance screens and
  • #1 ranking in 2007, in the Canadian technology and media sector, for corporate social responsibility on the Macleans list.
  • The state-of-the-art Allstream Centre has been billed as the most environmentally responsible conference and exhibition facility in Canada as a result of it earning the first LEED Silver certification conference centre in Canada.

The Allstream Global Forum is one of Canada’s premier thought-leadership events.  The event reflects Allstream’s commitment to providing their customers with insight into the role of networking in achieving their business goals.

At this event Mr. Gore shared his views and perspectives on the evolution of the clean economy and what it means for creating a sustainable future.  The evening’s talk was based on his new book, ‘Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.’  Unlike his book/movie/rock-music inspired tour ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, ‘Our Choice’ provides the tools to solve the climate crisis.

Throughout his talk Mr. Gore argued that renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and nuclear, partnered with the latest technological developments could completely replace carbon-rich fossil fuels.  As he wrapped up his talk, he challenged Canadians to lead the way in the fight against climate change. 

I look forward, in the coming months, to highlighting some Toronto-area based start-ups that are investigating various technologies to help fight climate change.

The evenings net proceeds – tallying $100,000 – were donated to the David Suzuki Foundation which works with government, business and individuals to conserve the environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work.