Global Destination Sustainability Index Releases Its Second City Ranking 

December 4, 2017

The Global Destination Sustainability Index has released its second sustainability performance ranking of 40 meeting and events cities throughout the globe.

The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that promotes the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations through knowledge sharing, capacity building and benchmarking across four key areas: city environmental strategy and infrastructure; city social sustainability performance; industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centers) and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives.

The 2017 results were announced at the 56th annual ICCA Congress, held Nov. 12-15 at the Prague Congress Center in the Czech Republic.

With a score of 92 out of a possible 100 points, Gothenburg topped the list of GDS-Index meeting and event cities, landing it the Overall Leadership Award, as well as the Innovation Award for its pioneering app designed to facilitate greater accessibility for events.

“The goal for Gothenburg is to be in the absolute top league in sustainability,” said Camilla Nyman, CEO of Göteborg & Co.

She continued, “All the initiatives that the city takes in collaboration with local business contribute to this success. This is very much in line with our ambition to keep on pushing every aspect of sustainability.”

Glasgow was recognized with the Most Improved Award for its achievement in engaging stakeholders through its “People Make Glasgow Greener” campaign and for driving sustainability performance in the last year.

“This is a fantastic achievement for the city which would not have been possible without the collaboration between the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors, academic and business communities, and local government partners,” said Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at the Glasgow Convention Bureau.

She continued, “It’s hugely motivating to see our efforts in this area being recognized. Glasgow is working towards becoming one of Europe’s most sustainable cities by 2020 and in order to maintain our position as one of the world’s premier conference destinations, we recognize the importance of enhancing our sustainable business tourism offering. Glasgow is at the forefront of developments in the energy, sustainability and low carbon industries and in turn, this has had a hugely positive impact on the volume of conferences we’re attracting in these sectors.”

Below are the cities with the 10 highest overall scores on the GDS-Index:

  1. Gothenburg 92%
  2. Oslo 85%
  3. Copenhagen & Reykjavik 82%
  4. Glasgow 80%
  5. Stuttgart 79%
  6. Helsinki 78%
  7. Uppsala 77%
  8. Zurich 76%
  9. Malmö 74%
  10. Västerås 69%

“I am proud to say that this year’s awards and ranking prove that the GDS-Index delivers results for the CVB, for clients and for participants,” said Guy Bigwood, GDS-Index project director.

He continued, “Destinations with a sustainability strategy for the MICE sector increased by 25 percent (and) average CVB sustainability performance rose by 11 percent, with destinations such as Oslo, Aarhus and Malmö increasing their overall performance by more than 20 percent. Five new cities joined the GDS-Index in 2017 including Brussels, Goyang, Dublin, Lausanne-Montreux and ICCA Congress host city Prague. I would like to congratulate the award-winning destinations for their achievements and for being beacons of leadership. I also want to recognize all the destinations in the program for their commitment to driving performance in their destinations. They are all leaders.”

Founded as a grassroots Scandinavian initiative that evolved into the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide, GDS-Index is a collaborative partnership between the International Congress and Convention Association, European Cities Marketing, IMEX and MCI Group.

For the full list of GDS-Index cities and scores go HERE.


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