‘Pioneering’ Glasgow is top four global city for sustainable business tourism

Glasgow, home to the Scottish Event Campus, is the only UK city in the top ten list of global eco-friendly conference venues. Picture: Marc Turner
Glasgow, home to the Scottish Event Campus, is the only UK city in the top ten list of global eco-friendly conference venues. Picture: Marc Turner
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Glasgow has been recognised as one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities for its commitment to sustainable business tourism.

Scotland’s largest city is the only UK location included in the top ten of this year’s Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index, climbing three places from seventh to fourth.

The study was launched in 2016 and aims to promote responsible business tourism best practice. Gothenburg, one of three Swedish cities to feature in the top ten, scooped the number one spot, followed by Copenhagen and Zurich.

The GDS Index recognised the city’s People Make Glasgow Greener campaign, which was launched by Glasgow Convention Bureau in 2017 and updated this year.

It aims to make arranging a sustainable conference in Glasgow simpler by identifying helping organisers to find suppliers and service providers with green objectives.

GDS ranks nearly 60 cities worldwide based on key criteria: environmental strategy and infrastructure; social sustainability performance; the strategy of the host city’s convention bureau; and industry supply chain support, from convention centres and meetings venues to hotels, restaurants and transport operators.

The index was unveiled at the close of the 58th annual International Congress and Convention Association World Congress in Texas.

£8 million boost

Glasgow hosted 25 energy, sustainability and carbon reduction related conferences in the 2018/19 financial year, estimated to have boosted the city’s economy by nearly £8 million.

The news comes as Glasgow, which has pledged to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030, prepares to host the United Nations’ 26th Conference of the Parties Climate Change Conference next year.

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Kathleen Warden, director of conferences sales at the Scottish Event Campus, which will host the United Nations event, said: “This is an incredibly important event for Glasgow, Scotland and the UK at a crucial time for governments across the world as they address climate change.

“We’re looking forward to working with partners across the city to build on our sustainability efforts and ensuring that we provide the best ­possible environment for world-class events.”

Guy Bigwood, MD of the GDS Index, added: “Glasgow as a meetings and events destination has made a significant jump in sustainability performance in 2019.

“[It] is in the first division of pioneering cities that is ­defining what sustainability leadership stands for.”