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How new global index can make our industry a 'sustainability champion'

MCI and ICCA's Scandinavian Chapter hope Global Destination Sustainability Index will attract 100 cities by 2020

Pictured: MCI's Guy Bigwood

A new global sustainability ranking hopes to have more than 100 event destinations signed up to by 2020, following its launch.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI-Index), initiated by the Scandinavian Chapter of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) and professional conference organiser MCI on Thursday, aims to 'promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations', by highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. 

It 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.

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, ICCA Scandinavia Chair and Director of Exhibitions and Events at the Reykjavik Convention Bureau, said: “The meetings and events Industry needs to be a champion for the development of local economies, the environment and society. Participation in the Index helps bureaux and cities focus attention on developing sustainability programs which can benefit us all in the long run. Furthermore it also helps in terms of positive market profiling and positioning.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, added: “Our industry requires greater focus and efforts to make sustainable events easier, cheaper and totally widespread. IMEX is proud to support the development of our industry and this ground-breaking initiative to pioneer sustainability globally for meeting and incentive destinations.”

Guy Bigwood, MCI Group sustainability director and GDS-Index project leader, said: "Our vision is to have over 100 cities benchmarking and collaborating together by 2020. Today I am pleased to announce we have 25 Scandinavian cities based in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, as well as our first wave of global cities including Barcelona, Geneva, Stuttgart and Sydney."

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, said the GDS-Index would be be driven by destinations themselves.

"We believe this is an excellent platform for leaders in sustainability from every region to showcase their policies and good practices, and for any destination to swiftly improve their competitiveness," he said.

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