During the annual ICCA Scandinavia Chapter conference, this year hosted by VisitAarhus in the central region of Jutland, the 2013 ICCA Scandinavian Destinations Sustainability Index results were released.
On behalf of the member of the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter, MCI conducted a benchmarking study to compare and analyze the sustainability performance of 20 cities across the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Norway -a region proud to be frontrunners when it comes to advocating sustainable meetings worldwide. The study was only the second edition and demonstrated how the ICCA Scandinavia vision to create a Sustainable Meetings Region is delivering results and improving sustainability across the region. The first sustainability index was launched in June 2012.
First place this year is shared by Uppsala and last year’s winner Gothenburg (see photo). Turku was recognised as the city with the best improvement with a staggering 85% improvement over last year, but in fact respect should be given to all the participants working on the pioneering initiative.
Key highlights from this year include
· 7% Overall improvement across region
· Growth from 16 to 20 cities included in the Index
· A significant 12% improvement in the “software” performance of the region. This means that there is a greater development of sustainability strategy, communication, certification and engagement.
· 47% of CVBs now have a publicly available sustainability policy
· 74% of CVBs now have information on their websites about the sustainability of their destination
At the regional ICCA conference 2013 a workshop with 50 people was held to share conclusions, success stories and to brainstorm on how the Scandinavian cities can continue to improve on sustainability.
The ICCA Scandinavian Destinations Sustainability Index is the only one of its kind within the meetings industry.
The initiative started in 2010 and is a good example of how through the leadership of a few people and destinations who encourage collaboration, sustainable change can happen.
In Denmark, the Danish Sustainable Events Initiative (DSEI) is a prime example of an initiative that has motivated and inspired the local meetings industry to 'go green'. Hence, it was only last year that the DSEI - among other things - proved that sustainabile meetings can in fact, be less costly. This happened with the ISO-20121 certification of the Danish EU Presidency which effectively punctured the conventional saying that 'green meetings equals expensive meetings'! Consequently, the capital of Copenhagen - followed by its 'sibling cities' Aarhus and Aalborg - plan to strenghten their positions as frontrunners when it comes to advocating and staging sustainable meetings and responsible thinking even further in the years to come.
This year's Index findings will be published in a more detailed report in April. The 2013 findings were funded by the host of ICCA Scandinavian Conference 2013, VisitAarhus in Aarhus, Denmark. Research and consulting was implemented by MCI Sustainability Services. The intention is to improve the Index for 2014 even further and in future perhaps even expand the Index to include other countries and regions in order to be able to benchmark other parts of the world against their Scandinavian colleagues!