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Gothenburg ranked as the world leader in sustainability among conference destinations

Annika Hallman, to the right, recives the award from the president of ICCA Nina Freysen-Pretorius.
Gothenburg was the highest scoring city when the results of the Global Destination Sustainability Index were revealed this year. The index compares the sustainability efforts of conference cities around the world.
“This is fantastic news for Gothenburg as a city of meetings and events. We aim to lead the way and this is confirmation of our successful partnership between trade & industry and the city,” commented Camilla Nyman, CEO at Gothenburg & Co.


With a score of 83 out of a possible 100, Gothenburg took first place, ahead of several well-known conference destinations. The Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index compares cities to determine how well they meet a long list of sustainability criteria in three different categories: social, economic and environmental. This is the first year that the GDS survey has been completed.

The Index was launched at the start of 2016 by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in collaboration with the MCI Group. The Meetings business area at Göteborg & Co, which includes Gothenburg Convention Bureau, has been committed to improving sustainability in partnership with the meetings industry for many years, and played an active role in developing the new index.

Today, Wednesday, Annika Hallman, Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau, had the honour of accepting the award at the annual ICCA world conference in Malaysia, where she also spoke about Gothenburg’s strategic approach to sustainability. Gothenburg Convention Bureau also celebrates 30 years as a member of ICCA this year.

“We are enormously proud of our city. This is the result of several years of dedicated sustainability efforts in collaboration between the city and trade & industry. It makes all our work even more worthwhile,” says Annika Hallman.

All the cities were benchmarked on their ability to meet criteria in four different areas, with a maximum score of 100 per cent. Gothenburg gained the highest scores in all four areas.
• Environmental sustainability: 74%
• Social sustainability: 100%
• Supplier sustainability: 96%
• Convention bureau sustainability: 78%

All aspects of sustainability are becoming increasingly important for organisers of large conventions. Achieving first place in the index is clear confirmation of the efforts of all the major conference facilities in the city.

“We are very delighted that Gothenburg has been awarded first place in the ICCA GDS Index as a destination and conference city,” says Carin Kindbom, CEO and President of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, of which Gothia Towers is part.

“Sustainability is incredibly important to us as an international meeting place, and sustainable development has been a natural part of everything we do for many years. First place gives us recognition that will reinforce our position and that of Gothenburg in the international market.”

But to gain a high ranking in the GDS Index it is not enough to ensure that the visitor industry, conference facilities and hotels are involved; the city as a whole must also be engaged in sustainability issues.

“Almost all our hotels have environmental diplomas and all major conference facilities have the highest environmental classification, as well as Landvetter Airport. Gothenburg also leads the way in the city’s environmental efforts, and in social and economic sustainability, all of which are assessed by this index,” says Camilla Nyman.

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