gds_logo_dark

The GDS-Index is a destination-level programme that measures, benchmarks, and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of tourism and events destinations.

The GDS-Index is aligned with international standards; UN SDGs, GSTC Destination Criteria, UNWTO.

Click here to read more about the benchmarking methodology including data collection and verification, the four benchmarking categories, governance and criteria development and performance scoring methods.

This page highlights each destinations sustainability journey and will showcase their journey.

Performance Overview

The 2023 GDS-Index comprises 69 indicators across four categories. Here is the total score and the score for the four categories for this destination.

Total

0%

Environmental

Social

Supplier

Destination Management Organisation

Environmental

Includes a city's performance pertaining to its policies and infrastructure, such as climate change commitment, carbon emissions, renewable energies, resource and water management, public transport, and air pollution levels.

Social

Indicates the performance of the city against indicators of SDG integration, Corruption, Personal Safety, Access to Information and Communications, Health and Wellness, and Inclusivity, using external sources such as the Social Progress Imperative Index, and Corruption Perceptions Index.

Supplier

Addresses the sustainability commitment and performance of the local meetings' industry supply chain, including airports, events agencies, hotels, venues, and restaurants.

Destination Management Organisation

Indicates the sustainability commitment, including questions pertaining to maturity of a destination's sustainability and regeneration strategy, leadership, communication of sustainability initiatives (to support client planners), and the accuracy of their reporting on sustainability operations.

Sustainability Journey

Summary
Environmental
Supplier
Social

The sustainability program for Destination Nord 2023-25 aligns with the national agenda for sustainable growth in Danish tourism. It aims to maintain Denmark's attractiveness as a tourist destination while fostering environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable growth. This entails transitioning Danish tourism towards a model that benefits businesses, tourists, local communities, culture, nature, and society at large. Destination Nord supports the national strategy by spearheading local tourism promotion efforts and creating optimal conditions for sustainable tourism development in Aalborg, Frederikshavn, Brønderslev, and Læsø municipalities. Additionally, it seeks to influence sustainable development across national tourism organizations, inter-municipal destination companies, and the business sector. Destination Nord’s purpose is to foster responsible development and have a significant positive impact on the economy, environment, and society. Sustainability is integrated into Destination Nord’s core business strategy, focusing on developing a new tourism geography based on unique landmarks, narratives, and initiatives that generate long-term business and sustainable growth through partnerships, branding, marketing, and knowledge sharing. Destination Nord’s sustainability ambitions encompass environmental, social, and economic aspects, guided by the principles of resilience and regenerative development. Destination Nord aims to contribute more to society than Destination Nord consumes, protecting and benefiting the local environment and culture. The strategy incorporates the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ten principles of the UN Global Compact into Destination Nord’s three focus areas: environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Environmental Sustainability: Destination Nord monitors and reduces its environmental footprint internally and supports tourism stakeholders in transitioning to sustainable practices, with a focus on climate action and waste reduction. Social Sustainability: Destination Nord prioritizes human rights, diversity, and inclusion, aiming to create decent employment opportunities, promote safety, health, and well-being, and educate stakeholders on sustainability and diversity agendas. Economic Sustainability: Destination Nord works to achieve long-term economic growth while minimizing environmental impact and social inequality. Destination Nord support businesses in adopting circular practices, fostering innovation, and improving infrastructure. The sustainability efforts are overseen by the top management team and a cross-functional sustainability committee led by a Sustainability Manager, ensuring alignment with the organization's overall strategic direction and goals. Detailed action plans with short and long-term targets have been developed for environmental and social sustainability, aiming to make a positive difference in the local community and beyond.

Does Destination Nord have a Sustainability Strategy?

Does Aalborg have a sustainable destination certificate?

Does Destination Nord report on its sustainability performance?

The city of Aalborg has had sustainability on the agenda for many years with the establishment of “Aalborg Charter”, and continues to push its development towards a more sustainable future. The ‘Aalborg Charter’ (1994) is an urban environment sustainability initiative approved by the participants at the first European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns in Aalborg, Denmark. It is inspired by the Rio Earth Summit’s Local Agenda 21 plan, and was developed to contribute to the European Union’s Environmental Action Programme, ‘Towards Sustainability’. The Charter is based on the consensus of individuals, municipalities, NGOs, national and international organisations, and scientific bodies. More than 3000 local authorities from more than 40 countries have signed the Charter. This has resulted in the largest European movement of its type. In addition to this, Aalborg and the Univ. of Aalborg (AAU) is one of the world's frontrunners in the research and development of green technology. Every year Aalborg holds a sustainability festival week where the city and the municipality invite everyone to showcase their sustainable projects in the city and surrounding area.

50%

OF ELECTRICITY
FROM RENEWABLES

51%

OF WASTE
RECYCLED

17389 ha

HECTARES OF GREEN
AREA PER 100 000
POPULATION

From the very beginning, Destination Nord (formerly known as VisitAalborg CVB) has been a supporter and a part of the development of the ICCA Scandinavian Sustainability Index, now extended to the Global Sustainability Destination Index. More than half of the hotels in this destination have a certification in sustainability. The largest conference venue of the city, Aalborg Congress & Culture Center (AKKC), obtained the ISO 20121 certification in 2017, and other venues are aiming for environmental certifications in the near future, as well! In addition to this, Destination Nord/Aalborg provides information for clients on how to host a sustainable meeting in Aalborg and North Denmark.

58%

OF HOTEL ROOMS
SUSTAINABILITY
CERTIFIED

100%

OF VENUES
SUSTAINABILITY
CERTIFIED

100%

OF PCOS/DMCS
SUSTAINABILITY
CERTIFIED

Aalborg is ranked as one of the absolute top cities of Denmark when it comes to social sustainability – which says a lot in a country that is known for its.... Social Welfare System: Denmark has a robust social welfare system that provides comprehensive healthcare, education, and social security benefits to its citizens. This ensures a high standard of living and promotes social equality. Education and Healthcare: Denmark invests heavily in education and healthcare, providing free education up to university level and universal healthcare coverage. This ensures access to quality education and healthcare services for all citizens, contributing to social well-being. Social Cohesion and Inclusion: Denmark promotes social cohesion and inclusion through policies that aim to reduce inequality and promote integration. Strong social safety nets and inclusive policies foster a sense of community and reduce social disparities. Work-Life Balance: Denmark prioritizes work-life balance, with policies such as flexible working hours, generous parental leave, and ample vacation time. This helps reduce stress and promote well-being among its citizens. Gender Equality: Denmark is known for its commitment to gender equality, with policies promoting women's participation in the workforce, equal pay, and representation in decision-making roles. Low Levels of Corruption: Denmark consistently ranks as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, fostering trust in government institutions and ensuring effective governance.

SDG IMPLEMENTATION SCORE

SCORE ON SOCIAL PROGRESS INDEX

SCORE ON CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX

Go to Top