The eighth edition of AMERICANA, the International Environmental Technology Trade Show and Conference, initiated and organized by RÉSEAU environnement, welcomed some 8,000 participants from every sector of the environmental industry, 400 exhibitors and more than 230 speakers and delegates from 60 countries. AMERICANA 2009 gave professionals an opportunity to present the latest developments in the areas such as water, air, soil, solid waste, energy and sustainable development, and to discuss subjects ranging from life cycle analysis and biofuels to environmental management and sustainable transportation and development.
The distinguished guests who came to Montreal to present and exchange their point of view with the participants included Jim Prentice, Minister of Environment Canada , Raymond Bachand, Quebec’s Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Anthony Cary, British High Commissioner, Felipe Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez, Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and honorary president of AMERICANA 2009, Alain Cousin, president of Ubifrance, Maria J. Aubrey, Senior Vice President, Operations, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), and Dr. Roberta Bondar, astronaut, Canada’s first woman in space, neurologist and photographer.
“Since AMERICANA was created in 1995, we have always focused on technical innovations associated with major issues in sustainable development,” said Ann Lajoie, chair of the board of RÉSEAU environnement, which spearheaded AMERICANA. “In the current economic context, we believe the time is especially right to further integrate environmental concerns within the major infrastructure projects which will be undertaken in the coming years.”
AMERICANA 2009 was made possible by the support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec as well as financial contributions from our partners: Alcoa, British High Commission, Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, Golder Associates, BPR, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, SNC-Lavalin Environment, City of Montréal, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and Solution EAS.
Technological fair and business matchmaking forum
In an exhibition area of 7 750 m2, several hundred companies and organizations presented their recent products and services in environmental technologies. Along with companies and organizations from most Canadian provinces, AMERICANA 2009 featured the pavilions of countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
More than 650 business meetings took place as part of the International Business Matchmaking Forum. These meetings provide an opportunity for Quebec, Canadian and foreign companies to meet potential business partners. By facilitating discussions between buyers and distributors, the Forum generated benefits of close to $10 million this year and has become a not-to-be-missed feature of AMERICANA.
AMERICANA 2009: a green event
For several years now, AMERICANA has made a point of demonstrating that it is possible to present a world-class event by creating Option verte, which aims to reduce the event’s environmental footprint to a minimum. The AMERICANA 2009 organization will compensate for greenhouse gases generated by the steering committee and speakers’ travel by buying certified Gold Standard credits. For the 2009 edition, these emissions were estimated at about 100 tonnes of CO2. Participants were also encouraged to carpool facilitated through the information on the AMERICANA website www.americana.org
In addition, RÉSEAU environnement aimed to produce a zero garbage event by minimizing waste. Paper use was limited since participants registered online only. The event program was printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. Dishes and utensils were reusable and water was served in pitchers. Recycling bins were placed in many locations throughout the convention centre for paper, cardboard, cans, glass and organic waste. As well, eco-consultants were on site for the three days of the event to help participants reduce their environmental impacts of their daily activities at the Trade show.
New president of RÉSEAU environnement
At the General Members’ Assembly on March 18, 2009, Michel Lamontagne was elected president of RÉSEAU environnement for a one-year term. He succeeds Ann Lajoie, president of RÉSEAU environnement for two terms, since 2007. “In addition to ensuring that I address members’ needs and concerns, my priority will be to promote new environmental technologies that will contribute to stimulating the economy, within a sustainable development perspective,” said Mr. Lamontagne.
Michel Lamontagne has been a leading figure in Quebec environmental circles for more than 40 years. A biologist by training, he has held several senior positions, including assistant deputy minister of Environnement Québec. Over the course of his career, he chaired the Bureau d’audiences publiques en environnement (BAPE) for four years and headed Environment Canada’s St. Lawrence Centre. He was also vice-president, environment, at SNC-Lavalin and director of Montreal Nature Museums.
About RÉSEAU environnement
RÉSEAU environnement is the driving force behind the AMERICANA International Trade Show for Environmental Technologies and the Salon des technologies environnementales du Québec (STEQ). It is the largest association in Quebec’s environmental industry, with a mission to bring together environmental specialists, business people, municipalities and industries for the advancement of technologies and science, promotion of expertise and support for environmental activities, in the context of view sustainable development. Active since 1962, RÉSEAU environnement today has more than 2,000 members, inc
luding 400 companies and nearly 200 municipalities.