October 20, 2009

The Regional Municipality of York presents The Environment First Symposium: The First "R" - The First Discussion 


One-day workshop focuses waste management’s evolution into resource management


Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York presents our third annual Environment First Symposium: The First “R” – The First Discussion.  This one-day event presents speakers addressing extended producer responsibility and the challenges and benefits of introducing reduced packaging in an environmentally-conscious marketplace.

Waste is one of the leading challenges faced by our society.  Each year, North Americans generate nearly one tonne of garbage per person, and with the consumption of goods escalating, there is an ever-increasing challenge to find sustainable solutions.

Industry decision-makers, government officials, non-government organizations and product developers, marketers and engineers involved in the packaging and waste reduction/diversion industries will take part in the symposium to help identify strategies to improve waste reduction efforts. 


The Environment First Symposium includes thought-provoking presentations, hands-on workshops and an exhibition featuring innovative products and sustainable strategies.


WHEN:             Wednesday, October 21st

                        8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE:           Le Jardin Conference & Event Centre

8440 Highway 27

City of Vaughan 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Andrew Winston, author, motivational speaker and owner of   

Winston Eco-Strategies will discuss the benefits of green thinking and a strong environmental strategy in today’s economic climate.

SPEAKERS:      Andrzej Dominski, Director of the Ministry of the Environment’s Sector

Compliance Branch, highlighting Ontario’s 3Rs Regulations for the industrial, commercial and institutional sector, as well as the Ministry’s approach to compliance and enforcement.

Guy McGuffin, Wal-Mart’s Vice President of Supply Chain will review Wal-Mart’s Sustainable Value Network, helping integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of Wal-Mart’s business.

Nina Goodridge, Alcan Packaging’s Director of Sustainnovation discusses where packaging belongs in a product's life cycle and what steps can be taken to make packaging more sustainable.

Scott Bell, Chief Operating Officer of Arthur’s Fresh will address the opportunities and threats that are unique to small and medium enterprises that are trying to be environmentally responsible, using insights from the Arthur’s Fresh experience. 

The Environment First Symposium will feature break-out, roundtable discussions during both the morning and afternoon sessions for attendees to present and discuss best practices. 

In addition to the speakers and workshops, an extensive exhibitor gallery and original artwork by York Region high school students will be displayed.  Grades 11 and 12 students were invited to participate in a competition focusing on the elements of waste reduction.  Creators of the winning entry, The Tree of Life, will be attending the event to discuss their art.

Following the environmental theme of the day, the Environment First Symposium has purchased green-sourced power from Bullfrog Power to offset what is used for the day and carbon credits have been purchased based upon calculation of the carbon footprint generated for the event’s travel and shipping. 

For more information on the Environment First Symposium, please visit www.york/ca/environmentfirst

Event is by invitation only; media is welcome to attend.

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Media Contact:            Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications, York Region

Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1237 / Cell: 905 505-5775

                                    Email: barbara.moss@york.ca
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