Global Destination Sustainability Index releases Whitepaper
The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has announced the release of its second Whitepaper: Sustainable Destination Management Trends and Insights: The Road to a Circular Economy. The GDS-Index is a collaborative partnership between ICCA, ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter, IMEX, ECM and MCI Group.
The Whitepaper focuses on how destinations contribute to creating a circular economy, with the implementation of active and well-designed sustainability strategies to support their overall social, environmental and economic development, overall increasing their competitive advantage. The report draws from analysis of 40 cities who participated in the 2017 GDS-Index benchmarking study.
Through case studies and comparative data, the research – conducted by MCI Sustainability Services – highlights how destinations contribute to promoting the change from linear to circular economythough leadership, focused strategy and collaboration for education and co-innovation. These essential characteristics are supported and implemented through solid local community and supplier engagement as well as targeted communication about sustainability, making destinations the ‘agents of change’.
According to Sébastien Tondeur, MCI Group CEO: “The GDS-Index is becoming a very well established and recognised supporting tool for Destinations and Cities to advance Sustainability across the Meeting and Events industry. It helps them engage their local community, businesses, and internal resources around a meaningful and inspiring project that contributes to a more circular economy”.
Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, said: “The GDS-Index is accelerating sustainable development via knowledge sharing of its best practices and innovations. Building on the inspiration of the programme’s Scandinavian founders, the Whitepaper collects and shares these pieces of wisdom with the ultimate goal of supporting other destinations to focus on sustainable growth”.
Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, added: “I am particularly delighted and inspired to see how this project has grown and how the participating cities are using the research for further improving their strategies and sustainability performance”.
Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, ECM president, comments that “Sustainability is an increasing concern for our members. With the growing environmental and social pressures facing cities, we need greater action and collaboration to accelerate the development of more sustainable destinations. The GDS-Index is a practical and tested benchmarking approach already used by 40 of our members. It has been proven to help DMO create, improve and promote destination sustainability strategies”.