Lofty Goals in Sustainability
Cobo Center’s green efforts are landing it new business. The Sustainable Brands conference will relocate to Detroit in 2017, after five years in San Diego.
Cobo achieved the Green Meetings Industry Council’s APEX/ ASTM rigorous standard certification in 2015. (It was just the ninth convention center to do so.) Its green initiatives have been numerous, and the center has earned several awards for its efforts, including the 2015 Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leader Award. It recently added food composting to its sustainability program.
Tourist spending in Rockford and Winnebago counties has continues to rise year after year—in 2015 it reached $349.91 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism.
"We are delighted to see such strong results again this year for the tourism economy in Winnebago County," says Roberta Holzwarth, board chair, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Sustained economic growth is crucial as we transform our region.”
In fact, the American Society of Association Executives’ Convene Green Alliance recently published an article dispelling myths surrounding green events. The organization’s director, Kristin Clarke, says the biggest untruth is that green events cost more to produce. “That’s just not the case anymore,” Clarke says. “You don’t need a bigger budget to have a green meeting. The prices on many things, including recycling services and compostable products, have gone way down.”