TCF Center Receives 2020 USGBC Leadership Award for Sustainability Achievements

November 24, 2020
TCF Center

It isn’t easy being green, but convention centers that remain steadfast in their commitment to sustainability can certainly reap the rewards from time to time. Case in point: Detroit’s TCF Center, which received a 2020 U.S. Green Building Council Leadership Award during the closing event of the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held Nov. 10-12 in a virtual format this year. Awarded annually, the USGBC Leadership Award recognizes exceptional work advancing sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable buildings, cities and communities.

According to USGBC officials, the 2020 award recipients represent leaders who are driving the adoption of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) across business portfolios, higher education and green affordable housing, as well as helping to advance environmental, social and governance performance, resilience planning and innovative waste management solutions. 

“USGBC’s Leadership Award recipients are a model for how LEED and other sustainability practices can be used to improve communities, support business and contribute to a better future for all,” said USGBC officials in a statement.

TCF Center is the only U.S. convention center to receive the award among the 10 companies, projects and individuals recognized this year, according to TCF officials.

“We realize that the TCF Center is an economic engine for the Detroit community,” said Claude Molinari, general manager of ASM Global/TCF Center. “We take this responsibility seriously and do everything we can to include the local and event communities in our efforts to hit as many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as we can each year, reducing our carbon footprint and enriching the lives of residents and visitors.”

Molinari added that TCF Center has been growing its green initiatives for a decade, and that by organizing its green event program and sustainable operations protocols, the venue works to continually adapt to global facility and event sustainability advancements.

The convention center achieved LEED Gold certification in October 2019 under LEED v4.1 Operations +Maintenance and is one of only a few convention centers in the world to certify under that rating system. Not only is TCF a high-performing green building, with a team dedicated to ongoing performance measurement, it also invests in educating employees, vendors, customers, partners and visitors on its efforts and the importance of sustainable practices. 

Additionally, the center is also a steward of human health. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility was designated an alternate care site where it remains prepared to provide medical care space for the overflow of local Detroit hospitals. Meanwhile, it continues to clean and sterilize PPE for local hospitals, has distributed 2.5 million pounds of food to the local Detroit community from its docks in partnership with Food Rescue US and is periodically a site for Red Cross blood drives as needed.

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: