World Tourism Organization publishes report featuring Scandinavian Sustainability Index
21 July 2017
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released its publication Innovation in Tourism – Bridging Theory and Practice. The report features the Global Destination Sustainability Index’s predecessor, the Scandinavian Sustainability Index, as one of the twenty-three selected case studies submitted on innovation in tourism!
The Scandinavian Sustainability Index started in 2010, when leading destinations from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden converged to create a common vision and roadmap for making a sustainable Scandinavian meetings region. Lennart Johansson, Director of the Gothenburg Convention Bureau commented “in our second workshop we realised that we needed a system to evaluate if a destination was sustainable and compare performance between the ICCA members”. From there, MCI Sustainability Services worked with 20 Scandinavian convention bureaux to create the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index which was launched in 2012.
Using benchmarking as a way to understand and compare sustainability performance, the project stimulated a large volume of sustainability initiatives across the Nordic region that continues to this day. From 2012 – 2014, nearly half of convention bureaux in the region developed a sustainability strategy (originally 20%), sustainability communication improved by 50%, and eco-certifications across the region rose to include 60% of event industry suppliers, more than any other region in the world.
Given the success and industry recognition of this initiative, the program was re-developed, rebranded and launched globally at IMEX in 2016 – becoming the Global Destination Sustainability Index today!