In December 2019, the Bagotville International Air Show (SAIB) confirmed its status as a world pioneer in eco-responsible air events. The event won the Platinum Pinnacle Award at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) annual convention for its global leadership in event eco-responsibility.
In 2018, the event adopted a structured eco-responsibility approach in accordance with the ISO 20121 international standard to improve its environmental, economic and social impacts. SAIB 2019 was certified as a level 2 eco-responsible event by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec and as carbon neutral by Planetair.
SAIB 2021, with the collaboration of the Environmental Compliance and Greening Office (ECGO) at CFB Bagotville, is continuing those efforts in order to maintain its certifications. The two organizations are working together in a continuous improvement process aimed at enhancing the responsible management system. This work will mainly make it possible to improve practices for all activities that are essential to organizing and holding this major event.
SAIB 2021 will be carbon neutral and the classification level targeted under the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) standard is level 2. Very few events of comparable scale to the SAIB are certified according to the requirements of this standard. By maintaining its certifications and its management system in compliance with the ISO 20121 international standard, SAIB 2021 will remain the most eco-responsible air show in the world.
The SAIB’s international reach
The SAIB became the world leader in event eco-responsibility at the ICAS. This title was recognized at the 2019 ICAS in Las Vegas with a Platinum Pinnacle Award demonstrating military air show excellence and innovation in North America in 2019.
European Airshow Council
The SAIB organizers were invited to present their structured eco-responsible approach at the European Airshow Council held in Belgium in February 2020. A delegation consisting of the SAIB director and its president, as well as the ECGO’s manager and head of eco-responsibility, took part in the convention to share their experiences.
During this presentation in Belgium, ECGO representatives were invited by France Spectacle Aérien to participate in a working group to help them improve their eco‑responsible process, in Lyon, during their convention held in November 2020. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 situation, the meeting had to be postponed.
BNQ Standard 9700-253/2010 – Sustainable Development – Responsible Event Management
Through the ECGO, CFB Bagotville is certified with the BNQ for its responsible event management system, as it meets the requirements of the BNQ 9700-253/2010 standard. The target classification level for SAIB 2021 under this standard is level 2. There are very few events of comparable size to the SAIB that are certified according to the requirements of the BNQ standard for responsible event management.
The BNQ 9700-253/2010 standard sets requirements for responsible event management practices that an organizer must meet to demonstrate its ability to produce an event that follows through on its commitments and takes recognized sustainable development principles into account.
The BNQ is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada as a standards development organization. It is a world-class organization and the only body representing Quebec’s interests in this field that has the capacity to follow these rules and develop standards on this basis.
A carbon neutral event is one that is organized and carried out in order to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and offset non-reducible emissions by purchasing recognized carbon credits that neutralize the impact on the climate. For SAIB 2021, ALL greenhouse gases produced by the organizers’ and participants’ activities, before and during the event, will be offset through carbon credits.
ISO Standard 20121:2012 – Event sustainability management systems
The Environment Office, under the authority of the Commander of CFB Bagotville, is the organization responsible for developing, implementing and updating the responsible event management system. Its mandate is to provide advice and guidance for any event or part of an event held on the base that could be subject to the standard.
This international standard specifies requirements for an event sustainability management system. The goal is to provide guidance to ensure that events are managed based on the principles of sustainable development. Applying this standard involves taking on challenges designed to optimize the planning and operation processes and reflecting on how the performance of event sustainability management can be continuously improved.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent international non-governmental organization whose members are national standards bodies.
The Environment Office at CFB Bagotville
The Environment Office is leading the way in protection and responsible management of the environment on CFB Bagotville property. It is making sustained efforts to comply with environmental laws and regulations, reduce the Air Force’s ecological footprint, resolve legacy environmental issues, implement all possible measures for recovery and protection of species at risk, and support the initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as set out in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
By becoming the manager of CFB Bagotville’s responsible event management system, the Environment Office is contributing to achieving Canada’s sustainable development objectives and to successfully implementing the new Defence Energy and Environment Strategy, which applies to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
The SAIB’s social involvement in the community
The SAIB promotes wider distribution of positive spinoffs in the community. To that end, approximately 85% of the SAIB’s suppliers are located within 100 km of the event site. In addition, any unused food supplies will be redistributed free of charge to organizations such as the Maison d’accueil (a homeless shelter) and the Soupe populaire (soup kitchen), both in Chicoutimi.