The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has published its 2019 rankings, with Gothenburg and Copenhagen maintaining their top two positions.
Glasgow has jumped to fourth in the rankings, aiming to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030. The Scottish Government has set a net zero emissions target for Scotland by 2045. It has also hosted 25 energy, sustainability and carbon reduction related conferences in the 2018 and 2019 financial year.
The GDS Index was launched in 2016, and promotes responsible business tourism best practice. Its data analyses 60 cities based on four key criteria:
- Environmental strategy and infrastructure
- Social sustainability performance
- The strategy of the host city’s convention bureau
- Industry supply chain support
In this fourth year of benchmarking, the GDS Index developed and aligned a more demanding set of criteria with other significant stakeholders including the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Social Progress Imperative and the Events Industry Council.
With the help of an external technical advisory board, this process has brought transparency, rigour and additional value to the GDS Index, further embedding its use in the meetings, events and tourism sectors.
The 2019 GDS-Index results demonstrate that DMOs are in action on sustainability with a 29% increase in terms of overall performance from 2018. New destinations who advanced into the top 10 included Aalborg and Dublin, with significant jumps in performance for Glasgow, Sydney and Zurich.
Annika Hallman, Director at Gothenburg Convention Bureau, commented: “The GDS-Index has been a powerful lever in our sustainability work. It has helped us to improve performance and inspire others to become more sustainable. We have lectured and received study visits from other cities and used our top position to drive the sustainable development of the global meeting industry, as well as strengthening Gothenburg’s profile as a leading congress and convention destination”.
Guy Bigwood, managing director, GDS-Index, said: “Glasgow as a meetings and events destination has made a significant jump in sustainability performance in 2019. We are delighted to see that a UK city has risen to number 4 in the Global rankings and has a strong strategy to develop even further. Glasgow is in the first division of pioneering cities that is defining what sustainability leadership stands for.”