Vancouver is becoming a globally recognized hub for high-tech, forward-thinking conferences centered around innovation, never-before-seen technologies and initiatives that carry worldwide impact – but it’s also a city passionate about the natural world, and ensuring we take steps to preserve it not only for ourselves but also for the creatures with which we share it. In 2018, a series of conferences will take place in the city focused on key issues around sustainability as well as fascinating findings about our fellow Animalia, from the tiniest insect to the biggest mammal.

The year of “back to nature” kicks off with GLOBE, a worldwide network headquartered in Vancouver whose mandate is to help businesses create a meaningful and actionable culture of sustainability. The 2018 conference, taking place between March 14 and 16, will bring together nearly 10,000 senior business, government and civil society representatives to advance issues at the nexus of sustainability agendas. The conference is complemented by the Innovation Expo, which showcases clean-tech products ranging from electric vehicles to life cycle analysis tools.

Sustainable Brands will meet in Vancouver between June 4 and 7 for the second phase of its three-year global conversation about brands redesigning products and services to meet a new social economy dedicated to conservation, CSR and a healthy future for humanity. Case studies that will be presented feature brands such as Amazon, Nestle, Ford Motor Company and UPS, which are claiming success by adeptly responding to changing societal needs.

In July, the American Society of Animal Science will meet for its 2018 Annual Meeting, during which its members will discuss new research while engaging in a sustainable meeting mode.

Later in the summer, the International Ornithological Union will convene in Vancouver for its 2018 International Ornithological Congress. The congress has been held since 1884, though Vancouver is the first host city located along the Pacific Coast of the Americas – a region rich for bird-watching. Vancouver-based Robert Elner, Science Emeritus with Environment and Climate Change Canada and Adjunct Professor at SFU, was instrumental in bringing the event to his home city. “Vancouver is wonderfully positioned to host this event as home to some of the most diverse bird species in Canada,” he said. “We have birds in the mountains, on the sea, in estuaries and forests… it’s such a wonderful motivation for people to explore nature.” The congress will also leave a lasting legacy in the city: bird tours organized for delegates will be made available to the public throughout the rest of the year. In 2018, the city’s annual Bird Week will coincide with the Congress so attendees, speakers and bird-lovers alike can experience this green, bird-friendly together. After all, birds of a feather…

Even the smallest insect makes an impact on this world, proven by the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. The event will feature sessions combining science and storytelling, spotlighting insects in motion pictures and delving into the world of invasive species. “Vancouver has everything we look for in a host city – direct flights for U.S. and international attendees, quality hotels at affordable rates and top-notch restaurants around every corner,” said Patrice Bouchard, President of the Entomological Society of Canada. “The convention centre is gorgeous and fits our meeting perfectly. I know our members will particularly love exploring the green living roof!”