The 2019 Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS Index) explores the world’s most sustainable business, tourism and event destinations.

Gothenburg was ranked first for the fourth year in a row, with a score of 89.64 from a possible 100 points. And, with a 7 percent improvement as opposed to 2018, Gothenburg earned the 2019 GDS-Index Leadership Award.

The index is intended to promote the sustainable growth of individual destinations, regions and nations, and is employed on a political level to permit area governments to assess their sustainability progress.

The index benchmarks performance in four key categories: environmental strategy and infrastructure; social sustainability performance; industry supplier support; and the destination management organisation’s strategy and initiatives.

Annika Hallman, presiding director at the Gothenburg Convention Bureau, said that the GDS Index was a powerful lever in their sustainability efforts, helping them to enhance performance and inspire others in their own ecofriendly efforts.

New destinations introduced to the top 10 included Aalborg and Dublin, with major performance boosts for Glasgow, Sydney and Zurich. Australian cities Sydney and Melbourne ranked eight and ten, respectively; the list also included Reykjavik, Malmo, and Uppsala.

Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at the Glasgow Convention Bureau, said that it is Glasgow’s goal to stand at the forefront on climate action, and that the city intends to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030 as well as a world-leading centre for sustainable policy and innovation. She sees their designation among the world’s top five sustainable conference and business events destinations by the Global Destination Sustainability Index as a major step in that direction.

The GDS Index Best Improver Award was for the first time given to a region, with the honours awarded to the Meet in Ireland Partnership representing Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.

The GDS Index is a collaborative partnership between ICCA, ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter, IMEX, ECM and MCI Group.

Read the full GS Index here.