Member News

The Cartagena de Indias Convention Center first in South America with a solar rooftop

CARTAGENA, Colombia, May 2018 - Grupo Heroica SAS, venue management company for the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center (CCC) since 2010, has decided to bet big on sustainability through a strategic partnership with Celsia, a leading company in non-conventional renewable energy in Colombia, in order to implement environmentally friendly technologies and improve energy efficiency throughout the facility.

As part of this partnership, 1,656 photovoltaic modules, also known as solar panels, were installed. The panels have a capacity of 444.14 kWp, which is equivalent to a total production of 514,165 kWh per year; this will supply 18% of the energy currently consumed by the Convention Center.

This system of panels, installed in three stages, covers an area of 2,743 square meters, which mainly corresponds to the rooftops of the Barahona ballroom and Getsemaní auditorium. This technology makes the CCC the first convention center in South America to generate clean energy. As a result, the Convention Center will emit 188.6 fewer tons of CO2, which is equivalent to planting more than 31,200 mature trees annually.

"This project confirms our commitment to promoting the meetings industry by managing a sustainable facility, maintaining a high level of environmental awareness, and positively impacting the city and region where we operate," remarks Juliana López, CEO of Grupo Heroica.

Internationalization through renovation

This new development opportunity adds to the work that Grupo Heroica, the venue´s management company, has been bolstering since 2010. The objective of recent investments, exceeding $5 million US dollars, is to increase the venue´s competitiveness and have a facility with a strong environmental commitment.

This investment focused on the implementation of new technology in line with current market demands and energy efficient systems for environmental protection. For example, all the CCC lighting was replaced by LED lighting and 70% of the air conditioning equipment was replaced with more efficient technology. The meeting rooms were fully modernized with technology according to international trends, with lighting, video projection, and audio integrated into an automated system. Room signage was replaced with digital screens and interactive digital signs were purchased for event promotion and information.

In addition, renovations were made in the main kitchen, which not only improved the space according to GMP standards (good manufacturing practices) but also increased the capacity to respond to food service demands. For example, refrigerators, freezers, industrial dishwashers, tilt skillets, and other equipment that streamlines the area’s internal processes and lowers energy consumption were purchased and installed.

Last but not least, the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center is currently the only one in Latin America that holds the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) Gold Quality Standards Certification as well the quality certification awarded by Bureau Veritas for excellence in its management procedures.

"All the effort and investments made in the Convention Center point to the development of an efficient and safe operation for collaborators and visitors, focused on generating shared value with a high level of environmental awareness, which is governed by the guidelines of the World Tourism Organization in matters of sustainability and competitiveness," adds Juliana López, CEO Grupo Heroica.

Member news by: Cartagena de Indias Convention Center