iCompli Sustainability

04 Aug

Detroit’s Cobo Center achieves international green meeting certification Featured

Written by  iCompli Sustainability


Shelton, CT July 14, 2015 – Thom Connors, SMG regional vice president and general manager of Cobo Center, announced that Cobo Center has received the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) certification, by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), a non-profit, membership-based professional organization spearheaded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which provides educational resources to planners, suppliers, and venues seeking to meet the ever-rising standards consumers set for sustainable meetings.

The GMIC award is the fourth for Cobo Center related to sustainability efforts. In 2012, Cobo became the largest Green Venues Michigan facility. In 2014, Cobo was designated an EcoWorks Sustainable Communities Champion. Earlier in 2015 the Detroit Free Press named Cobo Center a Detroit Green Leader.

We are proud to take the lead in advancing the convention center’s responsible environmental and social practices and hope this will encourage others in making Detroit a more sustainable meeting destination.
Thom Connors

Connors was thrilled with the venue’s accomplishment. “Achieving certification to the industry’s global standard is clear proof of the Cobo Center’s commitment to sustainability,” he said. “We are proud to take the lead in advancing the convention center’s responsible environmental and social practices and hope this will encourage others in making Detroit a more sustainable meeting destination.”

Soon to complete a $279 million renovation project, Cobo Center offers 723,000 square feet of exhibit space and is the 19th largest convention center in the country. Cobo is one of four SMG managed facilities to achieve GMIC’s APEX/ASTM certification.

The APEX/ASTM Venues Standard delineates the procedural requirements for venue selection -- the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an event. The standard specifies distinct performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization.

"Achieving certification to this standard doesn't just stop with Cobo Center," said Larry Alexander, chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) and president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This is a huge achievement for the region and the DRCFA as we continue to promote Detroit as a true destination city – not just in the Midwest, but around the U.S. and international markets."

iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organization headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut developed the certification protocols for the ASTM standards and performed the independent third party certification of Cobo Center's compliance with the Venues standard. Glenn Hansen, President and CEO of BPA Worldwide, commented, "Our certification of the event sustainability standards driven by GMIC and now adopted by Cobo Center continues our long-standing partnership with the event industry to promote transparency."

The certification application was a coordinated effort by Cobo Center’s Green Committee, made up of members from every department and vendor company in the center. The committee created 85 separate required documents to substantiate the development of multiple policies and “best practice” procedures initiated to support sustainable events in Cobo. Over a six-month period, significant Green practices such as composting and environmental purchasing policies were implemented to attain the certification and go on to support Green events in the center.

"This certification is one more step in Cobo Center’s effort to become an industry leader in sustainability," said Connors. "In the last four years, and despite the ongoing major renovations, we have substantially reduced utility costs while increasing the event schedule and expanding the footprint of the facility. At the same time, we reduced water usage by 17 million gallons.",/p>

Roger Simons, President GMIC added, "Responsible environmental and social practices in the meeting industry is a global concern. We are delighted to see a major US facility such as Cobo Center step up and make a commitment to sustainable meetings."

About BPA Worldwide

BPA Worldwide is in the business of providing assurance. For 80+ years as a not-for-profit assurance service provider, BPA was originally created by advertisers, advertising agencies and the media industry to audit audience claims used in the buying and selling of advertising. Today, in addition to auditing audience claims, through its iCompli service, BPA verifies compliance to defined government, industry, and organizational standards as well as adherence to privacy, data protection and sustainability guidelines and best practices. Performing nearly 3,800 audits in over 20 countries, BPA is a trusted resource for compliance and assurance services. Its latest offering, Ad iCompli, measures and scores online ad campaign performance for business and consumer marketers. For more information on BPA and its services, please visit the website.

About Cobo Center

With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, Cobo Center boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and is the 19th largest convention center in the country. Visit online at www.cobocenter.com View the Cobo Green Initiatives.



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