The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) releases their second white paper "Sustainable Destination Management Trends and Insights: The Road to a Circular Economy" following the success of their first white paper on benchmarking and how it can drive sustainability performance. The GDS-Index is a collaborative partnership between ICCA, ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter, IMEX, ECM and MCI Group. Originally initiated by ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter and MCI, the Index aims to drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in business tourism in our cities. The GDS-Index is the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide, created specifically to help destinations, event planners and suppliers to evaluate the sustainability strategies of destinations and their events industry.  

Their second white paper focuses on how destinations, by implementing active and well-designed sustainability strategies that support their city’s overall social, environmental and economic development contribute to creating a circular economy, while enhancing competitive positioning. The report draws from analysis of 40 cities who participated in the 2017 GDS-Index benchmarking study. Through case studies and comparative data, the research – conducted by MCI Sustainability Services – highlights how destinations contribute to creating a circular economy though leadership, focused strategy and collaboration for education and co-innovation. These essential characteristics are supported and implemented through solid local community and supplier engagement as well as targeted communication about sustainability, making destinations an agent of change on the road to a circular economy.

According to Sébastien Tondeur, MCI Group CEO, "The GDS-Index is becoming a very well established and recognised supporting tool for destinations and cities to advance sustainability across the meeting and events industry. It helps them engage their local community, businesses, and internal resources around a meaningful and inspiring project that contributes to a more circular economy."

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, said, "I am particularly delighted and inspired to see how this project has grown and how the participating cities are using the research for further improving their strategies and sustainability performance."

Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, ECM President, commented, "Sustainability is an increasing concern for our members. With the growing environmental and social pressures facing cities, we need greater action and collaboration to accelerate the development of more sustainable destinations. The GDS-Index is a practical and tested benchmarking approach already used by 40 of our members. It has been proven to help DMO create, improve and promote destination sustainability strategies."

View and download the white paper here.