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Cobo Center to Host Green Event Certificate Training

The Cobo Center will host the Events Industry Council’s training for the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate on Sept. 11-12. This is the first offering to event planners for the certificate in the state of Michigan. Mariela Mcilwraith, director, industry advancement for the Events Industry Council is set to conduct the SEPC training for Cobo Center employees and other event professionals as part of the Cobo Center Green Committee’s efforts to implement new and innovative green initiatives throughout the facility and community. The committee was established in 2011, and has garnered several community awards for Cobo, including the Keep Michigan Beautiful President’s Plaque in 2016.

“The sustainable practices that the Cobo Center has implemented over the last several years, including energy management, food recovery and intensive materials reuse and recycling, are potent examples to all institutions, businesses and residents in Detroit that we can, and indeed we must, all play a part in creating a sustainable future in Detroit for current and future generations,” says Joel Heeres, director of the Office of Sustainability for the city of Detroit. “I laud their leadership on these issues.”

Cobo Center became the ninth US convention center to achieve the Events Industry Council’s ASTM/APEX Sustainable Event Standard Certification in 2015. Venues are certified after implementing a set of voluntary standards to create more sustainable meetings and events. Cobo successfully re-certified in 2017 and will apply again for re-certification in 2019.

“Organizing our facility operations around the EIC sustainable event standard helps us create an ecosystem for our events that supports sustainability and encourages the industry to engage in green efforts,” says Claude Molinari, Cobo’s general manager. “We set audacious goals each year for the Green Committee, and hosting the SECP training was one of them. Helping our employees achieve this certificate strengthens our commitment to the environment.”

Combining active learning and experiential elements, the SEPC program is designed to enable participants to implement their own sustainable events. Topics are set to include understanding the business value of sustainability for the events industry; practical solutions for improving your environmental performance in areas such as food and beverage; transportation; supply chain management; and effective methods for achieving corporate social responsibility goals. As part of the program, the participants plan to  customize a roadmap for their own sustainable event.

“The Events Industry Council is pleased to be offering this certificate program for the first time in Michigan,” says Karen Kotowski, CEO for the Events Industry Council. “Hosting the event in Detroit’s Cobo Center, a venue that has received our third party audited venue certification, will allow us to reinforce the sustainability curriculum with experiential elements.

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 17th largest convention center in the country. For more info, visit cobocenter.com.


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