Asia Pacific News Updates

Does Asia take sustainability seriously?

Only three APAC cities recognised in latest Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Melbourne has been named the most sustainable city for business events in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS Index). However, on a global level, the sustainability efforts of European cities (Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Reykjavik are top three, respectively) far outweigh those of Asian cities.

Of the 20 destinations recognised in the GDS Index, only three are from the Asia-Pacific region. After Melbourne (ranked eighth globally), Sydney is ranked ninth, followed by Kyoto, Japan at 19.

Sustainability performance considers several factors: Environmental performance, social performance, industry supplier support, and strategy and initiatives by the city’s convention bureau.

Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO, Karen Bolinger, says making the city a sustainable destination for international business events is a ‘key goal’ for the bureau.

“We recognise that many clients want to host events in-line with recognised sustainability standards, so we have enlisted a team of sustainability champions to inspire all our industry stakeholders to take action,” she says.

Bolinger says its sustainability focus includes the provision of a meeting planner’s tool kit; a dedicated sustainability steering committee; access to sustainability resources; stakeholder education opportunities; and supporting suppliers to obtain sustainability certification.

Meanwhile, the Goyang Convention Bureau in South Korea was recognised as the city that significantly improved its performance and made tremendous efforts in advancing sustainability initiatives since joining the GDS Index in 2017. The bureau formalised a sustainability strategy for the destination, putting in place tools to measure performance, and building capacity through industry training.

The GDS Index provides a platform to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. It looks to bring cities together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of the business events industry.

The rankings help meeting and event planners choose progressive destinations with top green credentials.