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Liverpool commences GDS-Indexing

After declaring a climate emergency in 2019, and initiating 2030 Hub, Liverpool now joins the GDS-Index 2021 to guide its path towards net-zero and delivering a more sustainable and inclusive economy.

The GDS-Index's set of seventy-one criteria equips destinations to identify, measure, and action sustainability strategies and initiatives at source. The benchmarking aims to bring together the city, DMO, and tourism service providers to ensure more effective economic, social, and environmental regeneration through the tourism and events sector.

Championing this regeneration are Marketing Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and the Liverpool Convention Bureau.

The city has already seen regenerative projects. For example, the newly completed Spine building is a climate-conscious workspace with a focus on sustainability and well-being. Its eco-credentials include communal, low-carbon heating, and biophilic design principles such as natural lighting and oxygenating indoor plants.

There has also been an investment into carbon literacy training from the Carbon Literate Communities project. This training provides adults with a free and accredited training programme.

Jenny Jensen, head of business tourism for Liverpool City Council, commented: “This is a journey the whole city is taking together. Going through the GDS-Index submission process, we realise we’re doing so much but need to bring it all together and we are hopeful that the auditing and benchmarking process of the GDS-Index will help identify areas we are performing well in, and also areas for improvement which will then help shape our policy development in future."

Councillor Dan Barrington, cabinet member for climate emergency, transport and environment, Liverpool City Council, said: “I’m delighted that Liverpool is adopting the GDS-Index 2021 to inform and shape our path to becoming a carbon net zero city. The city’s tourism and events sector has boomed in the past 15 years and by measuring and analysing its footprint, we can identify new ways of working which will have a huge impact on creating a more inclusive and sustainable economy. I look forward to working with partners on this exciting programme and using the data to make Liverpool a better city all round – for our citizens, our visitors, and the planet.”

Guy Bigwood, chief changemaker at the GDS-Movement, commented: “The GDS-Movement is delighted to welcome Liverpool as a key city to the GDS Index - the first in England, and third in the UK. The GDS-Index benchmarking data provides excellent guidelines for tailoring strategies to meet targets that can lead to social, environmental, and economic regeneration. Having witnessed the commitment in Liverpool to respectful and regenerative practice, we are certain that their inspiring examples can motivate other UK destinations to scale up and speed up their sustainability strategies.”