By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Cobo Center recently became one of only nine facilities in the Untied States to achieve the International Green Meeting Certification.

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Cobo has received the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) certification, by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) which is a non-profit, membership-based professional organization.

“Achieving certification to the industry’s global standard is clear proof of the Cobo Center’s commitment to sustainability,” said Thom Connors, SMG regional vice president and general manager of Cobo Center, in a release. “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.”

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The GMIC award is the fourth for Cobo Center related to sustainability efforts. In 2012 Cobo became the largest Green Venues Michigan facility. Two years later, Cobo was designated an EcoWorks Sustainable
Communities Champion. This year it was named a Detroit Green Leader by The Detroit Free Press.

These honors come as Cobo Center nears completion of a $279 million, four-year renovation project. During this time, the Center has “substantially” reduced utility costs while increasing the event schedule while reducing water usage by 17 million gallons.

“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.”

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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 – which created 85 separate required documents to substantiate the development of multiple policies and “best practice” procedures initiated to support sustainable events in Cobo.