How Conference Cities Can Unite Behind a Green Global Recovery?

16th Mar, 2021

Glasgow’s name means ‘Dear Green Place’ and appropriately, the city is preparing to welcome the world to the UN Conference of Climate Change, COP26, in November 2021.

Glasgow was chosen by the UK Government to host COP26 due to its experience in hosting world class events, its commitment to sustainability and the facilities on offer.

Recently awarded the status of Global Green City, Glasgow has an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The city is ranked 4th in the world on the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) that promotes responsible tourism and events best practice. In addition, Glasgow is currently working towards becoming Europe’s first EarthCheck accredited city.

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Movement said: “Glasgow’s transformation to becoming a world leader in sustainable tourism and events is fine proof that through bold leadership, stakeholder engagement, collective strategy development, and measurement change can happen. Looking at the evolution in performance in the GDS-Index, we can see that Glasgow is now firmly on the path to leveraging its visitor economy to catalyse sustainability and leave positive social and environmental impact for the city and its citizens.”

Energy, low carbon and sustainable conferences are regularly in the top three key sectors for conferences that take place in the city; attracting delegates who demand to be as sustainable at conference, as they are at home.

As we look to face to face meetings returning after the impact of the Coronavirus, conference destinations have an opportunity to not just rebuild what went before, but to build back better, offering conference organisers and delegates a sustainable conference experience.

Aileen Crawford, Head of the Glasgow Convention Bureau said, “To prepare for delegates arriving as guests in our city, we have an opportunity to showcase the sustainable efforts of the Tourism and Events industry who are doing their part to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. Working in partnership, destinations, venues, delegates and conference organisers can champion the importance of conference travel as being both responsible and educational. By putting measures in place, we can all help mitigate the environmental impacts of conferences taking place in our destinations.”

The Glasgow Convention Bureau’s Conference Organisers Toolkit gives a variety of tips for organisers looking to be more sustainable. At a city level, the Greater Glasgow Hoteliers Association has partnered with the national enterprise agency, Scottish Enterprise, to offer third party sustainable accreditation at half the usual price to encourage hotels to work to promote their sustainable credentials. 

Janice Fisher, Co-Chair of the Greater Glasgow Hoteliers Association commented, “In the year of COP26, it is now more important than ever for Glasgow’s hotel community to drive their sustainability agenda by promoting their green credentials to customers and delegates.”

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