Cobo Center’s Green Efforts Rewarded with Sustainable Brands Conference Moving to Detroit

May 23, 2016

The Cobo Center’s green efforts are paying off, with the Detroit-based venue snagging the Sustainable Brands conference next year, which previously was held in San Diego.

“Sustainable Brands has been committed to reducing and managing the environmental impact of our flagship conference for years now and we are excited to be bringing our community to Cobo Center in May 2017,” said David Fiss, executive producer of Live Events at Sustainable Brands.

He added, “In 2013, we were the first event organizer in North America to achieve conformity to the ISO 20121 Standard requiring event organizers to identify and understand the effects that their activities have on the environment, society and the economy. We embrace the opportunity to work with the team at Cobo in the coming months and support their continued sustainability leadership in this industry."

In 2015, Cobo was the 9th convention center to achieve the Green Meetings Industry Council’s APEX/ASTM standard certification.

“We are having a terrific year for events in Cobo,” said Claude Molinari, the center’s general manager. “And with the improvements in our sustainability program, including kitchen and food court composting, we expect to attract more green events in the near future.”

Local recognition for the venue’s sustainability efforts includes awards from Detroit EcoWorks, Keep Michigan Beautiful and recognition as a Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press.

The number of events at Cobo Center continues to increase year over year, as reflected in the increase in total event income of approximately 15 percent after the first six months of the 2016 fiscal year. Customer satisfaction also is at an all-time high at 90 percent or above in all areas of operation, according to the recent quarterly customer survey report, compiled by e-autofeedback, a standard event industry survey provider.

“We consider our sustainability measures part of our overall technology offering in Cobo,” said Greg DeSandy, director of sales and event services at Cobo Center.

He added, “Every aspect of technology in Cobo now creates an integrated tool set for event branding. Green events and all events can use these branding tools to promote sponsors, generate revenue and report event sustainability data to their constituents.”

In 2014, Cobo Center added giant exterior digital signs and 100 meeting room message boards to the technology offering and both are used to eliminate paper use and highlight sustainability to local, national and international attendees and media. 

“We believe it's important for a facility, that generates such a great amount of waste, to do something to offset its carbon footprint,” Molinari said. “This came to the forefront of our operation as something to differentiate Cobo from our main competition in trying to procure events. Green event support at Cobo is provided at no charge to the customer.”

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