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BENCHMARKING, IMPROVING AND RECOGNISING THE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY, PERFORMANCE AND REGENERATION OF DESTINATIONS
The vision of the GDS-Index is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more regenerative and sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.
How do we help to co-create more sustainable destinations?
Benchmarking
Assessments
Consulting
Communication
Why should a destination join the GDS-Index?
Key benefits of joining the leading sustainable destination benchmarking and performance improvement program include:
Benchmark to drive better decision making.
Gain expert advice to improve strategy.
Catalyse collaboration and innovation within a destination.
Offer clients a trusted third party endorsement.
Promote your destination's sustainability story.
Save money and time - we know what is necessary to become a regenerative destination.
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 local communities. It has provided us with opportunities and inspiration that has helped position Copenhagen as a leader in sustainable practices.
Kit Lykketoft - Director of Convention, Copenhagen
Being involved in the GDS-index has been a great inspiration to Gothenburg. Through the benchmarking and sharing of best practices, we have improved and elaborated our strategy and services towards our clients and community. Sustainability is now part of the Gothenburg DNA.
Annika Hallman - Director, Gothenburg Convention Bureau
Our work with the GDS-Index has helped us to identify areas of excellence in our city and industry, while also identifying opportunities for improvement. It gave us actionable ideas to continue to progress our destination’s sustainability initiatives through our award-winning Sustainable Destination Partnership with the City of Sydney.
Lyn Lewis-Smith - CEO of Business Events Sydney
Washington DC’s sustainability efforts have positioned the city as a leader in the United States. The GDS-index help us to assess our strategy, benchmark our initiatives, and provide input to drive performance.  The credibility of the GDS-Index provides us with a respected way to communicate our commitment and achievement to our stakeholders and clients. This allows us to use sustainability as a competitive advantage in our sales efforts.
Melissa A. Riley - Destination DC, Vice President of Conventions
We identified the GDS-Index as the most valuable platform of its kind in the industry. We consider it as a genuine opportunity to promote the sustainability initiatives of our destination. The GDS-index provides real support in setting a strategy and boosting commitments from the meeting industry actors and relevant authorities.
Olivier Mathieu - Lausanne Congress & Meetings Manager
We are aligned with UN SDGS

Our work is aligned with the 2030 Agenda, and we are working to mainstream the integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the management and strategies of destinations globally.

 

We are an official partner of the UN One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme and on their working group for “Circularity in tourism”.
Our Methodology
The GDS-Index uses 69 indicators that evaluate destinations sustainability performance across four key areas.
City Environmental
Performance

Sustainability Strategy

Energy and Emissions

Resources

Air Quality

Transportation

Green Areas

Water

City Social
Performance

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Social Progress

Corruption

Personal Safety

Access to Information

Health and Wellness

Inclusiveness

Supplier
Performance

Hotels

Airport

Agencies (PCOs & DMCs)

Restaurants

Venues

Academia

Destination
Management
Performance

Destination Strategy

Policy and Certification

Governance

Capacity Building

Measurement and Reports

Marketing and Comms

Client Support

Accessibility

Generating Impact