With environmental degradation at an all-time high and rising social inequalities, the megatrends that are shaping our present and future are increasingly disruptive and disturbing. There is hope, however, and if we take collective action to combat these growing challenges, we may avert total climatic breakdown and social polarisation.
There is no doubt: the events industry has played its part in contributing to these problems, and should actively engage in both finding and implementing solutions. To support this process the Global Destinations Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has analysed the sustainability journey of 47 cities around the world, and identified four fundamental building blocks and eight practical tactics for positive change. Taking the lead by promoting the food revolution, like Thailand and Ljubljana, is one of many success stories. Dublin has also been active on this journey, as evidenced by the employment of homeless people as tour guides. This has lifted many out of poverty, and tourists can now experience the city’s streets through the eyes of someone who has lived on them. From initiatives that reduce waste, to projects that raise a destinations social inclusiveness, the whitepaper of the GDS-Index outlines an inspiring array of “tactics for change” that highlight how we can tackle the problems of our time.
It is clear that, to nurture a more regenerative culture globally, individual cities will have to reimagine their practices and infrastructure in a systemic fashion. At the same time, event planners will have to choose venues that are taking active steps to leave behind a sustainable legacy. An increase in demand will create incentives for destinations and venues to integrate sustainability as a core pillar of their business strategy. Has the venue been ISO certified? How does the city rank in the GDS-Index? What happens with generated wastes, and how can they be reduced by redesigning with a more circular resource system? When organising events these are the kind of questions that have to be asked more often in order for the industry to contribute to a regenerative rather than a destructive future.
Find out where the most sustainable destinations are, and read about innovative strategies and best practices in our whitepaper: www.gds-index.com/reports
This blog is authored by Noah Joubert and supported by the Dublin Convention Bureau team.