Global Destination Sustainability Index Releases First Ever City Ranking


Gothenburg, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Reykjavik


Gothenburg/Photo by: Visit Sweden

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

Oslo/Photo by:

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.

Copenhagen/Photo by: AARP Travel


Listed below are the cities with the 10 highest overall scores

Reykjavik/Photo by: Pixabay

 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.»

Glasgow/Photo by:

«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%.

Stuttgart/Photo by: 1ZOOM.Me

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.»

Helsinki/Photo by:

For the full list of cities and scores please visit:


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