This past March 2016, the ICCA, MCI and IMEX Group announced the launch of the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index): the first-ever worldwide sustainability ranking for event destinations.
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 impacts, 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), and convention bureau strategy and initiatives.
Reflecting on the importance of developing the Index, 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. Participating in the Index helps bureaus and cities focus attention on developing sustainability programmes that can benefit us all in the long run. Furthermore, it also helps in terms of positive market profiling and positioning.”