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Jul. 3, 2013

Chicago Becomes First Top Tier City to Earn Certification as Sustainable Destination for Meetings and Events

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The City of Chicago has become one of the first cities in the world and the only top-tier convention destination to-date to achieve certification as a sustainable destination for meetings and events. The announcement was made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago.

“The City of Chicago is one of the world’s premier convention and tourism markets, and a leader in global sustainability,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s sustainability as a destination is a key competitive advantage, and part of a strategy to achieve my goal of 50 million annual visitors by 2020. This certification will bring more events and trade shows to the City, boosting local economic development and job growth.”

In April, McCormick Place was certified as a sustainable venue under the APEX-ASTM standard pertaining to the evaluation and selection of venues for environmentally sustainable meetings, events, trade shows and conferences, becoming the world’s largest convention center to achieve this distinction.

Choose Chicago also recently announced that the City of Chicago hosted a near-record 46.2 million visitors in 2012, an increase of 6.1 percent over 2011. The sustainable certification is expected to play an important role in attracting even more visitors in the future and help achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 50 million annual visitors.

The accomplishment is the latest in a number of recent environmental achievements for Chicago after in June Chicago was ranked as the top U.S. city for Environmental Governance by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2025 Global City Competitiveness Index. In May, Mayor Emanuel’s Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda was awarded the Emerald Award by the US Green Building Council Illinois Chapter for outstanding work in sustainability, including for having the most Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rated buildings.

Photo Courtesy of: www.mccormickplace.com