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Scandinavians Create First Sustainable Index

The Scandinavian Chapter of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) publishes the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index analyzing sustainability performance across 16 cities and 5 countries.

Scandinavian cities are taking pioneer steps to advance their leadership in sustainable meetings but there is potential to improve and drive performance. This was the conclusion of the study commissioned by ICCA Scandinavian Chapter, and conducted by MCI Sustainability Services.

The Index which can be downloaded here, uses 16 performance indicators to measure and benchmark the sustainability commitment and performance of the city government and the destination infrastructure (recycling, renewable energy etc), and the sustainability commitment and performance of the local meetings industry.

Erika Eischer, Head of Congress Department, Tampere Hall and Chair of the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter commented: “Our clients are concerned about the ethical, social and environmental performance of their suppliers. We need to make it easier for our clients to organise a sustainable meeting in our destinations. The Index helps us to transparently communicate our performance and progress.”

The Index is one of the deliverables of a multi-year ICCA Scandinavian Chapter project to create the world's first sustainable meetings region. Already over 50 organisations including Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Destination Marketing Organizations, Venues and Agencies have signed the Scandinavia Sustainable Meetings Accord launched in March 2012. The Accord outlines 10 specific actions, which all signatories commit to, in order to advance sustainable development within the meetings and events industry.

Project leader, Guy Bigwood of MCI Sustainability Services, said: “The goal of the Index is to provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each destination and further a dialogue about best practices in the area of sustainable meetings. This project is unique in its scale and collaborative nature. With the competitive nature of the meetings industry, we are already seeing how the Index we help set strategic targets for the region and drive performance.“

Steen Jakobsen, Convention Director, Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau and board member of ICCA and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) commented: "Sustainability is not a fad, it is a business imperative that we all understand. It’s about good business and creating better communities. We recognize that only through collaboration, including the sharing of best practices and expertise, will we improve performance of our organizations for the benefit of our clients. This Index allows us to learn from each other and to drive performance.”

Lennart Johansson, Convention Bureau Director at Goteborg & Co and Index leader: “We recognize our role as leaders and regard the commitment to sharing best practice and improvement as both an opportunity and a responsibility. We hope other ICCA chapters and regions can learn from our approach."