Today we are proud to announce the launch of Global Destination Sustainability Index: the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide. Initiated by ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter and MCI, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI-Index) is supported by IMEX and ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association). The GDS-Index aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. In a world increasingly focused on responsible business and 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.
The GDS-Index will evaluate the sustainability performance of cities and bureaus in four key areas:
- City environmental strategy and infrastructure
- City social sustainability performance
- Industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres)
- Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives
“Our vision is to have over 100 cities benchmarking and collaborating together by 2020. Today I am pleased to announce we have 25 Scandinavian cities based in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, as well as our first wave of global cities including Barcelona, Geneva, Stuttgart and Sydney,” said Guy Bigwood, MCI Group Sustainability Director and GDS-Index project leader”.
Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, continued: “The unique feature of the GDS-Index is that this is a bottom-up phenomenon, driven by the destinations themselves. The ICCA members in Scandinavia have invented a powerful engine to improve their destinations’ sustainability and business competitiveness, and we are delighted that they want ICCA to help them share this with the whole world. We believe this is an excellent platform for leaders in sustainability from every region to showcase their policies and good practices, and for any destination to swiftly improve their competitiveness.”
Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, ICCA Scandinavia Chair and Director of Exhibitions and Events at the Reykjavik Convention Bureau, explained: “The Meetings and Events Industry needs to be a champion for the development of local economies, the environment and society. Participation in the Index helps bureaux and cities focus attention on developing sustainability programs which can benefit us all in the long run. Furthermore it also helps in terms of positive market profiling and positioning.”
“Our industry requires greater focus and efforts to make sustainable events easier, cheaper and totally widespread,” added Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “IMEX is proud to support the development of our industry and this ground-breaking initiative to pioneer sustainability globally for meeting and incentive destinations.”