The Global Destination Sustainability Index 2021 awards were presented at the ICCA World Congress in Paris, 26 October, with Gothenburg ranking at the top for the fifth time in a row.
GDSI is a broad measure of how cities are at working with sustainability. Assessment and scoring are based on 69 different criteria that cover everything from recycling, greenhouse gas emissions, accessibility, inclusion, safety and security, sustainability-certified hotels and restaurants to whether there are sustainability strategies for both public and private actors.
Peter Grönberg, CEO of Gothenburg & Co, said: “This is a great award to receive and a huge recognition. Gothenburg has for many years successfully driven the development of a more sustainable meeting industry and hospitality industry. GDSI was born in our city, and the fact that there are now over 70 cities that have joined is in line with our ambition to be an international role model in sustainability.”
In recent years, Gothenburg has received great international attention for its sustainability work. In 2020, the EU Commission named Gothenburg the capital of smart tourism and in 2021, Lonely Planet named Gothenburg the ‘Best sustainable city stay’.
The main awards went to:
- Leadership award: Gothenburg- Goteborg & Co
- Innovation award: Copenhagen- Copenhagen Legacy Lab
- Most Improved award: Lyon - Office du Tourisme & des Congres du Grand Lyon
Melbourne, Australia, also had a successful performance at the awards, cementing its number one position as a sustainable city in the Asia-Pacific region for business events in the GDS-Index.
Julia Swanson, Melbourne and Melbourne Convention Bureau’s chief executive, said: “Supporting Melbourne as a sustainable destination for international business events is a key goal for MCB. Together, we’re taking proactive steps to ensure that business events in Melbourne result in positive social and environmental impacts that are sustainable and leave a lasting legacy.”
The results of the awards demonstrated the bounce back and advancement of sustainability after the pandemic. In 2021 there were 24 more destinations participating than in the previous public benchmark of 2019, with performance coming back to pre-pandemic levels (average of 61.74 in 2019 and 61.68 in 2021). The top 10 destinations even outperformed pre-pandemic levels.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will take place, 31 October-12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
To learn more about the GDSI, please click here.