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Global Destination Sustainability Index releases 2019 results

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has published its 2019 rankings, which revealed Glasgow as one of the top five cities for its commitment to sustainable business tourism.

The GDS Index was launched in 2016 and promotes responsible business tourism best practice. Its data analyses 60 cities based on four key criteria:

  • Environmental strategy and infrastructure
  • Social sustainability performance
  • The strategy of the host city’s convention bureau
  • Industry supply chain support

The full list can be viewed below:




Glasgow aims to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030. The Scottish Government has set a net zero emissions target for Scotland by 2045.

It has also hosted 25 energy, sustainability and carbon reduction related conferences in the 2018 and 2019 financial year, which has increased the city’s economy by nearly £8m. 

Glasgow’s ranking recognises the ‘People Make Glasgow Greener’ campaign, which launched by the Glasgow Convention Bureau in 2017.

The campaign identifies the city’s sustainable businesses and aims to simplify the process of organising a sustainable conference in Glasgow.

Aileen Crawford, head of conventions, Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “Glasgow’s ambition is to be at the forefront on climate action and we are determined to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030 and a world-leading centre for sustainable policy and innovation.

“Glasgow is 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; particularly in terms of low carbon industries, which has had a hugely positive impact on the volume of conferences that we’re attracting in these sectors.

Kathleen Warden, director of conferences sales, SEC, said: “This is fantastic news for the city, and we are proud to play a key role in helping to position Glasgow as the world’s 4th most sustainable conference destination. At the same time, being named a finalist for the GDS-Index’s Leadership in Sustainability Award is testament to our ambitious goals as a city.

Guy Bigwood, managing director, GDS-Index, said: “Glasgow as a meetings and events destination has made a significant jump in sustainability performance in 2019. We are delighted to see that a UK city has risen to number 4 in the Global rankings and has a strong strategy to develop even further. Glasgow is in the first division of pioneering cities that is defining what sustainability leadership stands for.”


Picture credit: Glasgow Life