Geneva was the first Canton to adopt a public law on sustainable development. Determined to keep its commitment, Geneva has implemented a sustainable strategy in response to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The city has many ambitions with regards to waste and energy, for example, the city’s public areas will become free of single use plastic as of January 2020. The Geneva Convention Bureau pursues this vision by being a pioneer with respect to the GDSI benchmark. Setting a strategy and implementing training sessions for hotels and venues has become a key focus for the team. The Convention Bureau promotes its local craftspeople and producers at every opportunity through video clips, and with freebies at events, conferences and training sessions This policy is part of a continuous improvement plan for the sustainable development of the destination.
Geneva is proud of its landscape and meets the highest standards in terms of protecting the environment.
The State department for Sustainable Development has established a strategy to improve the environment as well as the sustainability and quality of life. Many projects relating to air quality, renewable energies, social issues, equality and diversity have been undertaken. Geneva is ranked 9th in terms of quality of life in the latest Mercer report. Its 50 peaceful parks make it one of the greenest and relaxing destinations in Europe. Many describe Geneva as the “smallest of the largest capitals”. Free public transportation is offered to any guest staying in a hotel for the entire duration of their stay.
Geneva takes 80% of its drinking water from Lake Geneva and 20% from water tables. Holder of the European Energy Award since 2014, Geneva has been rewarded for its commitment to a sustainable energy-based future.
Geneva is well known for the large number of international organisations that have their headquarters there. Most secretariats of international organisations working in the field of environmental protection are also based in Geneva, ensuring the close collaboration and coordination of activities focused on the global issues that affect our planet (WMO, UNEP, IRENA).
The destination’s sustainable portfolio is wide and legitimates the fact that many sustainable events already take place here. Many stakeholders are committed to improving sustainability programmes and are involved in different labels such as GRTA for restaurants (locally grown products) or GreenGlobe for hotels. Palexpo, the largest exhibition and convention centre in Geneva, has set up the largest solar panel surface in Switzerland, covering the equivalent in energy consumption of 1350 households. Palexpo recently renewed its ISO 20121 certification.
Aside from sustainability issues, social concerns are also taken into account. Discover a city where Human Rights are a long-lasting tradition. Famously known as the “Capital of Peace”, the city hosts the European seat of the UN as well as the headquarters of the Red Cross.
Culture in Geneva has always been an important aspect and most of the city’s museums and public attractions are free. The city also emphasises access to culture for people with special needs. Furthermore, a section in the Geneva Convention Bureau’s website, called “Geneva affordable for all”, provides tips and information to visit and enjoy the city on a limited budget.