Environmental & Sustainability Initiatives

SMG is committed to our corporate environmental responsibility.  This commitment to the communities where we do business is based on the principles that the company was founded on in 1973.  SMG is an international company doing business around the world and is proud of its Green Initiatives in the venues that we manage and in the communities that we live and serve.  We are committed to ensuring that we are a ‘socially responsible’ company and take our commitment to the environment and the communities in which we operate seriously.

We have a responsibility to our guests, suppliers and partners as a leading facility management company to do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment.  We are committed to building a culture where our clients, employees, guests, suppliers and contractors recognize our commitment to ensuring that our facilities operate successfully in our communities, and that we achieve our goal as a company of long-term sustainable success.

By taking steps to reduce waste from our daily facility operations and actively seeking ways to reduce our carbon footprint, we can do our part to help preserve the earth’s natural resources and enhance the quality of lives in our community.  SMG actively seeks opportunities to minimize our environmental impact.  The SMG management staff of the DeVos Place Convention Center believes that to achieve its goals of becoming the premier venue in Michigan, it must lead not only economically, but environmentally and socially as well.  The company understands that it is in a prominent position to affect the environment of Michigan.  Its objective is not only to sustain the environment for its descendants, but also to rehabilitate the damage previously done.

Every effort is made to conserve resources throughout operations.  The purchasing department seeks products and services of local origin and that are environmentally sound. DeVos Place Convention Center’s success is monitored on an annual basis with a commitment to continual improvement.  Furthermore, SMG strives to meet or exceed existing environmental laws and regulations, and continually seeks efficiencies in the day to day operation of the facilities that we manage. 

Maintaining a Recycling Program in the Facility

Simply put, whatever is recyclable is recycled.  SMG works with local companies and the City of Grand Rapids recycling programs to properly separate and handle all recyclable materials, ensuring reuse as their final destination.  This endeavor extends to not only the ground level, but also to guests who are provided labeled containers throughout the facility to dispose of waste in their proper receptacles.

Promoting Near Term Green Energy, Water, Food, Waste and Packaging

SMG works with our caterer and other local organizations to sustain a program utilizing food and facility waste.  This practice helps local farmers enrich the soil while reducing the need for chemical additives, which enhances local farm equity and product freshness.  Additionally,  we insure that our catering partners are adopting environmentally friendly utensils, serving pieces and packaging made from corn and potato starch that quickly biodegrade.  From concessions to catering, all packaging and utensils are used with this policy whenever possible.

Local Network of Green Partners/Vendors

SMG Actively seeks/contracts suppliers and vendors who make green initiatives a priority in their daily business.  These suppliers include local companies dedicated to environmentally sound practices, as well as national vendors who have undertaken green/sustainable practices as an everyday objective.

Promote Sustainable Programs to New and Existing Clients

SMG consistently communicates our environmental policies in various ways (i.e. via electronic newsletters and on our website) to engage all employees, suppliers, customers, attendees, stakeholders and the media.  We also ensure that our staff is informed of the most current event planning environmental strategies and initiatives.

By implementation of these environmental policies, we are better able to serve our customers, while supporting sustainability and enabling cost reductions in the community that we serve.

SMG - Managing Globally - Acting Locally

Current Sustainability Practices at DeVos Place:

  • Reduced energy costs by installing automated faucets and flushing systems (reduces water use and energy approx. 40% compared to traditional fixtures)
  • Building has a membrane style roof that is light in color to reflect heat away from building
  • Minimizes power usage by using computer controlled lighting and HVAC system
  • Uses recycled office products and eliminated desktop printers by utilizing one central printer/copier whenever possible
  • Is transitioning to use of green chemicals for cleaning and soap products in restrooms
  • Initiated a single-stream recycling program with recycling stations positioned throughout DeVos Place
  • Enacted Energy Management Programming in building supports systems
  • Enacted Employee Energy Conservation Awareness Program
  • Donates computers to non-profit organizations after office updates to reduce waste
  • Promotes employee battery recycling with the support of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation

As the exclusive food/beverage provider for DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel has also adopted the following green initiatives:

  • Allowing majority of condiments, beverages, and other food items at buffets and restaurants to be offered in bulk instead of individually packaged
  • Buying food products from local farmers, including free range and organic products
  • Offering vegetarian meal selections in all restaurants which consumes less land base and energy to produce
  • Recycling leftover catering meals to “Oscars”, the in-house cafeteria for staff and donating food to Mel Trotter Ministries, God’s Kitchen, and other local soup kitchens
  • Using locally based company “Spurt Industries” to process leftover food waste into compost (approx. 18,000 lbs of waste per month gets processed; largest food waste recycler in downtown Grand Rapids)
  • Utilizing reusable cutlery, dishware, and linens as well as silk centerpieces and soy-based tea lights to prevent unnecessary waste

Other Sustainable News about Grand Rapids

DeVos Place Convention Center was awarded Green Venues Michigan Certification in 2010.  Green Venues Michigan is a statewide "green" certification program for entertainment venues, convention centers, and similar facilities.  It is designed to encourage (and assist) facilities to adopt cost saving, green practices which conserve natural resources and prevent pollution.  It was created by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) and is administered by the Bureau of Energy Systems.  The Green Venues Michigan program was modeled after the Green Lodging Michigan program. 

DeVos Place finished in second place in the 2nd Annual Michigan Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit in 2016. The Michigan Battle of the Buildings Program is an awards recognition program that was created with the purpose of reducing energy use in all Michigan commercial and industrial buildings. The program, along with partners such as Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, encourages energy-efficient practices by rewarding building owners and operators for their forward-thinking energy operations in this free, friendly competition. The Michigan Battle of the Buildings is the only state-wide energy competition in the country and Michigan is being recognized on a national level. 

DeVos Place is one of the founding members of the Grand Rapids 2030 District, which aims to meet the 2030 Challenge that will dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations.

Grand Rapids has been named Green Generation Customer of the Year by Consumers Energy, May 2009.

The City of Grand Rapids was inducted into the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club.  The induction recognizes organizations that have significantly exceeded the EPA’s minimum purchase requirements of green energy, February 2009.

FastCompany, a national business magazine, has named Grand Rapids "America's Greenest City," saying the region has more green buildings per capita than any other U.S. city, October 2008.

Additional Sustainable Meeting Resources can be found online at the following websites:

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