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Geneva, 3rd March 2016. Today we are proud to announce the launch of Global Destination Sustainability Index: the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide. Initiated by ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter and MCI, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI-Index) is supported by IMEX and ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association).

Launch of the new Global Destination Sustainability Index

Geneva, 3rd March 2016. Today we are proud to announce the launch of Global Destination Sustainability Index: the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide. Initiated by ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter and MCI, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI-Index) is supported by IMEX and ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association).

The GDS-Index aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism.  In a world increasingly focused on responsible business and environmental impact, the GDS-Index helps destinations to engage clients with sustainability, align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in their city.

The GDS-Index 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)

-       Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives

“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,” said Guy Bigwood, MCI Group Sustainability Director and GDS-Index project leader”.

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, continued: “The unique feature of the GDS-Index is that this is a bottom-up phenomenon, driven by the destinations themselves. The ICCA members in Scandinavia have invented a powerful engine to improve their destinations’ sustainability and business competitiveness, and we are delighted that they want ICCA to help them share this with the whole world.  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.”

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, ICCA Scandinavia Chair and Director of Exhibitions and Events at the Reykjavik Convention Bureau, explained: “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.”

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

ENDS

                         

For more information please see: http://GDS-Index.com            

Sylvia Andre
Vice President Marketing & Communications
Sylvia.andre@mci-goup.com
+41 79 637 37 54
or 
Guy Bigwood
Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index
Guy.Bigwood@mci-group.com

Photos and Testimonial Quotes

“Being involved in this project has been a great inspiration to Gothenburg. Through the benchmarking and sharing of best practices, we have improved and elaborated our services towards our clients and congress delegates, and made sustainability a key part of what Gothenburg stands for.”

Lennart Johannsson, Deputy CEO and Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau

2012 and 2013 Index Award Winner

 

“Helsinki works continuously to be a model city of smart and sustainable development. The GDS-Index challenges us to reflect on our values as a member of the society. It encourages us to improve our performance in all matters related to environmental, social and financial responsibility including transparency and open democracy.”

Kaiju Pitkänen, Convention Director at Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau

“One of the main hurdles for Convention Bureau professionals is the threat of ‘another thing on my to-do list and another bill to pay’. CVBs need to understand that participating in the GDS-Index actually saves time and money, and helps them in their role of promoting their destination.”

Anna Lindström, Convention Bureau Manager Uppsala, Sweden

2013 Index Award Winner

“The GDS-Index is a unique example of how collaboration, including the sharing of best practices and expertise, can improve performance of destinations for the benefit of both our clients and our communities. It has provided us with opportunities and inspiration that has helped position Copenhagen as a leader in Sustainable Meetings.”

Jonas Wilstrup, Deputy CEO and Convention Director at Wonderful Copenhagen


“The GDS-Index has helped Stockholm become better as a destination. It’s easy to say you care about sustainability, but when you dive down into the Index, you can learn about your own destination and it all becomes clear where and how we should focus to improve ourselves, and the service we offer our clients.”

Karin Mäntymäki. Director Stockholm Convention Bureau

“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.”

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, ICCA Scandinavia Chair and Director of Exhibitions and Events at the Reykjavik Convention Bureau

 

“The GDS-Index is an exciting approach towards a global sustainability benchmark for meetings destinations. It will help identify future improvements and position Stuttgart on an international level.”

Karina Grützner, Business Development Manager, Stuttgart Convention Bureau

“Geneva has a commitment to improve to be a sustainable destination. By participating in the Index we aim to better engage our clients and suppliers as well as our local community to work together and make sustainability a standard way of working in our city.”

Anja Loetscher, Director, Geneva Convention Bureau


“The unique feature of the GDS-Index is that this is a bottom-up phenomenon, driven by the 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 ambitious destination to swiftly improve their competitiveness.”

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA

 "The GDS-Index represents a good oportunity to highlight the cities that are committed to sustainability also in the area of tourism and meetings. And Barcelona wants to participate."

Jordi William, CEO Turisme de Barcelona.

ABOUT MCI

MCI is the world’s largest provider of strategic engagement and activation solutions and has been a key driver of innovation in the meetings, events, association and congress industries since 1987. Through creative live experiences and digitization, globalization, brand enhancement and content strategies, MCI helps multinational companies and international associations enhance organizational performance, grow globally, energize communities and drive business results. An independent, privately held company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, MCI’s 1,800 professionals in 60 cities and 32 countries help clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa unlock their potential and deliver real change.

MCI’s pioneering and award-winning Sustainability Consultancy advises cities, governments, associations and corporations on how to accelerate transformation, catalyse innovation and enhance brand reputation. With over 700 high-profile environmental, social and governance (ESG) events managed to date and industry-wide recognition for our pioneering sustainable event management, ISO certification consulting and sustainability reporting, we have become the world’s leading organiser of sustainable events and events about sustainability.

Find out more at www.mci-group.com and www.mcisustainability.com.

ABOUT ICCA

ICCA - the International Congress and Convention Association - is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.

Find out more at www.iccaworld.com

ABOUT IMEX

IMEX in Frankfurt, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events takes place at Messe Frankfurt from 19 – 21 April 2016. For press releases - http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/press/news-releases/ .

For high resolution photography – http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/press/images,-audio-video/press-photos/  

The IMEX Group also runs IMEX America, America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings & events, which will take place 18 – 20 October 2016 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo®, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 17 October.

For further press information, please contact: Emma Ward: emma.ward@imexexhibitions.com Or Chris Lewis: chris.lewis@imexexhibitions.com


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