The Global Destination Sustainability Index has released its second city ranking. The GDS-Index is a collaborative business initiative created to help destinations, convention bureaus, event planners and MICE suppliers drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry. The GDS-Index does this by measuring and comparing the social and environmental sustainability strategies, policies and performance of participating destinations and by sharing best practices from around the world. A key element of the GDS-Index is to determine a destination’s environmental performance. They do this by examining aspects like a destination’s air quality, their use of renewable energy sources and the performance of their public transport and waste disposal infrastructure. In a holistic approach to sustainability, the GDS-Index factors in the social performance of a destination, including elements such as the city’s United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) and ranking in global corruption indices. For an events industry specific analysis, the GDS-Index evaluates the sustainable practices of industry suppliers such as hotels, caterers and venues. The role convention bureaus play in the sustainability performance of their destination is a central to GDS-Index benchmarking. Convention Bureau performance is based on their sustainability strategy and reporting, the client support offered and their role in promoting sustainability in the industry.
In this year’s ranking, only one U.S. city landed in the top 30: Houston. The top five global cities included: Gothenburg, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Reykjavik, Iceland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about the GDS-Index, click here.