Destinations inspire change for more sustainable events



# tags: Events , Meetings Industry , Destinations , Sustainability

Sustainability is already a mandatory word on the destinations websites, all over the world.

In Europe, there are good ideas on how to reduce the environmental impact of professional events and there are already many initiatives to make the meetings industry better and greener.

Get to know some of the actions that are being carried out by Convention Bureaux:


The new digital tool PLUS (Platform for Legacy with Us) is available to all event organisers that make professional events in the Spanish capital, with the aim of estimating the carbon footprint of the events they are planning. In practice, and taking into account the profile of each event, the platform calculates the CO2 emissions produced and presents a report with measures and suggestions to be implemented so that the environmental and social impact on the destination is minimised, in line with the 17 Goals of Sustainable Development (SDG) of the United Nations (UN).

The PLUS tool distinguishes itself from other initiatives by allowing decision-making and the inclusion of good sustainability practices even before the events take place. The platform also includes information from two databases that facilitate contact with organisations, partners and local associations that can help implement actions with a positive impact, which bring lasting benefits to society over time.


A practical guide to more sustainable events is the proposal presented by the Copenhagen Convention Bureau to professional event organisers. In a clear invitation to reflection and then to action, the Copenhagen Sustainability Guide 2.0 is a pre‑planning tool, with indications for tangible choices, insights on CO2 indicators and presentation of sustainable effects. Ensuring that events in the Danish capital minimise their carbon footprint and contribute to the SDGs is a big challenge.

The guide foresees three steps: creation of the event (definition of the duration and expected number of participants), definition of the level of sustainability ambition (the guide is divided into six themes and within each category a level of ambition must be chosen High, Medium or Moderate) and download of results (the entity that is planning the event can download a summary with an overview and the reduction of CO2 emissions that can be obtained with the choices made).


For four consecutive years, Gothenburg has been distinguished as the most sustainable destination in the world by the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Among the numerous tools available to professional event organisers -such as the exclusive access to databases with the most sustainable choices and calculators of the environmental impact of the events they are planning -, Göteborg & Co decided to share this knowledge with the world and launched a website with “101 sustainable ideas for better” and more responsible tourism.

The platform is constantly updated and gives visibility to projects around the world, but also to local entrepreneurs and professionals in the tourism and events sector. The big challenge is to inspire change and achieve the SDGs.


The Scottish city aspires to become one of Europe’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. Glasgow aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and recognises the destination’s role in promoting and encouraging responsible tourism. For ‘greener’ and more sustainable events, the Convention Bureau has launched the Go Greener in Glasgow initiative, a set of online tools to help organisers find venues, vendors and activities that best align with their green aspirations.

It is quickly presented, for example: a list of the most suitable places and service providers from a sustainable point of view; information on best practices for moving around the city, such as the OvoBikes bicycle rental network, considered by the destination as “the most economical, ecological and healthy way” for participants to move around; suggestions for team-building activities and workshops so they can relax outdoors, while helping to plant and make Glasgow’s parks even greener; suggestions for sports activities that can be associated with the event; a free tool to calculate the carbon footprint, among many others.


Along with Valencia, the French city was distinguished by the EU as the “European Capital of Smart Tourism” 2022, a classification that recognises notable achievements in the planning of ‘smart tourism’.

With the aim of bringing together all interested parties in a common reflection on the future of events activity in a sustainable perspective, the Convention Bureau of Bordeaux created the website The Agora Tourism Bordeaux, a collaborative platform where, since 2021, visitors, residents and professionals are invited to exchange ideas so that the best sustainability practices can be adopted in events organised at the destination.