1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
Business: Convention Center
Cobo Center is a meeting place centered around you. Both Center and the city of Detroit are vibrant with energy. At Cobo, service sustainability, technology and community are prioritized and incorporated into various angles of each event. Cobo aims to provide an exceptional event experience, every time. Home to unsurpassed views of both the Detroit river and the skyline, Cobo is centrally located and within walking distance of more than 40 local businesses and restaurants. The Detroit People Mover has a stop located inside the convention center – connecting it to other businesses in the central business district. In addition to the Detroit People Mover, Cobo is near the Congress QLine stop, a streetcar connecting downtown to Midtown along Woodward Avenue – and is home to a MoGo station, Detroit’s new bike share program. In 2015, Cobo completed a $279 million renovation, upgrading the total footprint to 2.4 million sq./ft.
You can learn more about Cobo’s Green Initiatives here.
Each organization featured on Detroit Green Map has the chance to tell the story about why they are a sustainable “green” business.
Cobo Center took on the challenge to become a green-certified venue in 2014. Since then, Cobo has implemented comprehensive practices that have earned the venue a it’s ASTM GMIC APEX certification. Cobo engineering tracks and monitors all heating/ cooling activity; recycles all possible materials from events and daily operations; limits escalator use; utilizes natural light; donates and composts leftover food and organic waste; as well as uses compostable materials in all food service functions.
Energy management is a priority at Cobo Center. Due to the scale of the facility, minor adjustments lead to major savings. Recent energy efficiency initiatives include reducing the brightness of the exterior LED walls, and incorporating METASYS, an integrative control software system that monitors the HVAC system. This program allows the engineering department to control and monitor all energy use and offers reporting that can be used in facility operations or reported out to the events. Curtain walls are additionally used to contain hot or cool air in dock areas, and escalators are turned off when not in occupied areas of an event.
This level of monitoring creates a streamlined process for efficiency recommendations that can be implemented in future operations and events. Cobo Center uses induction lighting in exhibit halls, conserving 40% electrical usage (compared to metrics prior to installation). There are daylight harvesting sensors throughout the building that turn off lights when there is enough sunlight to service occupied areas and rooms.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Cobo Center was the 9th convention center to become GMIC ASTM/ APEX. Cobo Center was certified in 2015 and re-certified in 2017. Cobo has also received other certifications and recognition for sustainable business practices:
• Keep Michigan Beautiful President’s Award
• Detroit Free Press Metro Detroit Green Leader’s Award
• Detroit EcoWorks, Sustainable Communities Champion
Cobo has a Green Committee with members from each department and vendor companies that participate in monthly meetings to plan and execute on new practices for sustainable event operations. Members of the Green Committee have proposed ideas that have become practice, such as a honey bee hives and an herb garden on the Cobo Center Green Roof. Cobo is home to a 10,000 sq./ft. living green roof, home to 60,000+ honeybees
Waste diversion is a top priority for event operations at Cobo Center. It is the baseline for the green program performance. Aggressive efforts are made to ensure maximum waste diversion through donation, recycling and compost programs.
Cobo’s catering company, Centerplate partners with local farmers and grocers for fresh items as they are available by season. Centerplate makes every effort to locally purchase all items for catered events. Herbs and honey come directly from the Cobo Center green roof. During the recent renovation, many materials were locally sourced – including lighting for the 700,000 sq./ft. of exhibit hall space – and 19,000 square feet of Michigan-sourced glass.
By prioritizing sustainability with green business practices, the Cobo Center team hopes they will serve as sustainability ambassadors and industry leaders – in both the local business community as well as in the global tourism and hospitality industry.