Glasgow is the only city in the UK to be included in a new sustainability ranking of leading international conference destinations.
The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), initiated b y the Scandinavian Chapter of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in collaboration with professional conference organiser MCI Group, is geared at driving the growth of sustainable meetings destinations worldwide.
The initiative, which has gathered data from 21 participating cities since the creation of the Index in March this year, aims to bring destinations together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of their respective meetings industries by highlighting best practice and promoting responsible business tourism.
Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the GDS Index helps cities and convention bureaux to progress the adoption and recognition of sustainable practices locally.
Evaluation criteria covers 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.
Glasgow is leading the way in the UK in its commitment to sustainability following the launch of Sustainable Glasgow in 2010 – a public / private partnership bringing together Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the Wheatley Group and the city’s academic and industrial sectors to champion a programme designed to make Glasgow one of Europe’s most sustainable cities.
Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow is at the forefront of developments in the energy, sustainability and low carbon industries, with a growing reputation for business and academic excellence in these areas.
“We’re home to some of the world’s biggest energy companies and we’re internationally recognised as having one of the healthiest and most diverse energy industries globally.
“This in turn has had a hugely positive impact on the volume of conferences that we’re attracting in these sectors, which is reflected in our position as the only UK city to be featured in the GDS Index.”
In the next two years Glasgow will host 20 energy, sustainability and low carbon industry-related meetings, which will deliver nearly 60,000 delegate days and boost the city’s economy by more than £23 million. Beyond this, some 40 new conferences won by Glasgow in the last financial year, for future years through to 2022, came from those sectors. That represents 8% of all conference business secured by Glasgow in 2015/16 and 48% year-on-year growth.