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Accelerating change: Global Destination Sustainability Index releases 2017 results

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has released today its second ranking of the sustainability performance of 40 meeting and events cities worldwide.

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 centres); and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives.

The 2017 results were announced at the International Congress and Convention Association Congress, with the Overall Leadership Award going to Gothenburg, who also won the Innovation Award for their pioneering app which facilitates greater accessibility for events. Glasgow was recognised with the Most Improved Award for their sterling achievement in engaging stakeholders through their “People Make Glasgow Greener” campaign and for driving sustainability performance in the last year.

Listed below are the cities with the 10 highest overall scores. For the full list of cities and scores please click here.

Rank

City

Overall Score

 

Rank

City

Overall Score

1

Gothenburg

92%

 

6

Helsinki

78%

2

Oslo

85%

 

7

Uppsala

77%

3

Copenhagen & Reykjavik

82%

 

8

Zurich

76%

4

Glasgow

80%

 

9

Malmö

74%

5

Stuttgart

79%

 

10

Västerås 

69%

 

 

 

 

 

With a score of 92 out of a possible 100 points, Gothenburg came top of the list of meeting and event cities in the GDS-Index. Camilla Nyman, CEO of Göteborg & Co. shared: “The goal for Gothenburg is to be in the absolute top league in sustainability. 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.”

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, commented “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. It’s hugely motivating to see our efforts in this area being recognised. 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 recognise 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.

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”, commented Guy Bigwood, GDS-Index Project Director. Destinations with a sustainability strategy for the MICE sector increased by 25%, average CVB sustainability performance rose by 11%, with destinations such as Oslo, Aarhus and Malmö increasing their overall performance by more than 20%. 5 new cities joined the GDS-Index in 2017 including Brussels, Goyang, Dublin, Lausanne-Montreux and ICCA Congress host city Prague. Guy Bigwood added “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 programme for their commitment to driving performance in their destinations. They are all leaders.”

ENDS                                                                                                              

Download a high res version of the image.

For more information on the GDS-Index please contact:

Jennifer Ching
GDS-Index Programme Manager
MCI HQ | Geneva
jennifer.ching@mci-group.com

Full picture caption: "2017 Global Destination Sustainability Index Award Winners receive their trophies at the ICCA Congress in Prague. From Left: Nina Freysen-Pretorius – President of ICCA, Annika Hallman – Director of the Gothenburg Convention Bureau, Aileen Crawford - Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, and Martin Sirk - Ceo of ICCA."

ABOUT THE GDS-INDEX

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) is a prize-winning grassroots Scandinavian initiative that evolved into the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide. A collaborative partnership between ICCA, European Cities Marketing, IMEX and MCI Group, that promotes knowledge sharing, capacity building, and benchmarking. In a world increasingly focused on responsible business, social development and addressing our environmental impact, the GDS-Index helps destinations to engage clients with sustainability, align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in their city. Find out more at www.gds-index.com.

ABOUT ICCA

ICCA - the International Congress and Convention Association - is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in almost100 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities. Find out more at www.iccaworld.org

ABOUT IMEX

IMEX in Frankfurt 2018 will take place at Messe Frankfurt from 15 -17 May 2018, with EduMonday, its pre-show day of learning and insights on Monday 14 May. www.imex-frankfurt.com. IMEX America 2018, America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings & events, will take place from 16 – 18 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo®, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 15 October. www.imexamerica.com.

ABOUT MCI

MCI is the global leader in engaging and activating audiences. Our business is founded on a simple human insight: When people come together, magic happens. This magic is called community. Since 1987 we have been bringing people together through inspiring meetings, events, congresses and association management. MCI helps organizations harness the power of community by applying our strategic engagement and activation solutions to build unforgettable online and offline experiences that foster change, inspire, educate and enhance business performance. MCI is an independently owned company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and a global presence. Our 2,100 professionals in 63 offices and 31 countries work with clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa. Find out more at www.mci-group.com.

MCI’s pioneering and award-winning Sustainability Consultancy advises cities, governments, associations and corporations on how to accelerate transformation, catalyse innovation and enhance brand reputation. With over 850 high-profile environmental, social and governance (ESG) projects managed to date and industry-wide recognition for our pioneering sustainable event management, ISO certification consulting and sustainability reporting, we have become the world’s leading organiser of sustainable events and events about sustainability. Find out more at www.mcisustainability.com.

ABOUT EURPOEAN CITIES MARKETING (ECM)

European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of the leading cities of Europe. ECM provides a platform for Leisure, Meetings Industry and City Marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practices and widen their network to build new business.

European Cities Marketing believes that whether in Portugal or in Poland, Ireland or Italy, DMOs are uniquely placed to project vision, ambition and a message to the rest of the world about their place. Equipped with the right tools and knowledge, strengthened by deep and meaningful private sector partnerships, we believe that DMOs should feel confident about asserting their position in city government, becoming an indispensable resource for all of those who wish to invest time and money in a city.

ECM members are official tourist boards, convention bureaux and multi-functional urban marketing agencies established by cities in Europe. They are official in the sense that they are constituted either as departments of city government or public-private partnerships (i.e. companies, foundations, etc.). Find out more at https://www.europeancitiesmarketing.com/