Sustainable Event Destinations

The host city, region, or country that an event is held in will have a significant part to play in the eventual sustainability performance of events held there.

How well does your destination do?

Destinations with a high level of engagement with sustainable development principles will mean a fertile ground from which to stage your event sustainability goals.

We believe the following aspects reflect a destination’s Sustainability Index:

The Environment

Socio Economic

Event Industry

Sustainable Tourism


Resource Management
Ensures sustainable resource management, including water, forests, minerals/mining, and fossil fuel extraction

Agriculture & Food
Encourages and demonstrates leadership in sustainable agricultural practices, including availability of locally grown food.

Demonstrates stewardship principles in biodiversity and environmental protection.

Resource recovery and circular economy
Has outstanding performance in recycling and biodegradable waste diversion from landfill and incineration.

Energy Source
Has, or is working towards increasing, renewable energy supply to the main electricity grid.

Encourages micro-generation of electricity, adoption of feed-in tariffs, or RECs.

Climate Change & GHGs
Has an effective Climate Change Policy and GHG reduction goals.

Has effective and well used public transport infrastructure. Plans for urban connectivity and mobility.

Encourages walking and cycling, through both communications/campaigns and infrastructure.

Holds a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or similar protocol.

Eco Labelling
Has established eco-labelling programs throughout the supply chain or other programs to encourage and recognise best practice in sustainability performance across various industry sectors and the supply chain.

Recognises, encourages and supports sustainable building practices ('Green Building') along with sustainable operating practices of buildings.

Event Organisers

Industry Competency
Event industry practitioners have events sustainability competencies.

Events in the destination have achieved conformity with ISO 20121 or relevant national standard or certification.

Industry Network
Local business chamber, tourism body and/or convention bureau support proliferation of sustainable event production practice.

Local Government
Local government has policy, programs and resources which can support the proliferation of sustainable solutions in the event industry and its supply chain.


Supply Chain

Sustainably built and operated venues are available.

Hotels & Lodging
Sustainably built and operated accommodation/hotels/lodging are available.

Suppliers with sustainable materials and products are available. (printing, signage, decor, merchandise, etc).

Service providers with ability to provide sustainable solutions are available.

Local, seasonal and organic food for catering is available.

Equipment & Infrastructure
Equipment and infrastructure with sustainability credentials is available for hire. (toilets, temporary power, lighting, staging, sound).



Sustainable destination index developed by Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide.


Upholds the principles of ethical business practices and democratic governance, including transparency and anti-corruption measures.

Has engaged citizens and a sense of community support and involvement.

Working Conditions
Has safe and fair working conditions for its citizens, including fair working wages and acceptable minimum wages.

Has social welfare programs, including acceptable provision of health, education and policing.

Ensures child, forced, unfair or unsafe labour practices are not supported through products and materials used or sold in the destination.

Diversity & Discrimination
Encourages diversity and has a generous immigration and refugee policy. Has anti-discrimination policies and laws.

Has policies which encourage and reward innovation in sustainable solutions and practices.

Has programs to engage citizens and businesses in sustainable development, sustainable living and sustainable business practices.

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism Industry Sector
Tourism industry body is engaged with sustainable tourism management and education.

Tourism Ecological Impacts
The impacts on tourism on the local environment is monitored and managed

Sustainable Operations
The region has guidelines or programmes to ensure sustainable tourism operations, to include accommodation and activities, especially those which take place in a natural setting.

Animal Welfare
International best practice in animal welfare is in place, to include animals in enclosures or used as 'tourist' attractions. Wild animal protection and disturbance is minimised.

Cultural Heritage
Tourism activities enhance cultural appreciation, and do not negatively affect, disrupt or exploit the local community.

Global Destination Index

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) is the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for meetings and events destinations around the world.

The mission of the programme is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.