Our House is on Fire

Guest Author
Guest Author
April 1, 2019
This blog is authored by Guy Bigwood and supported by the Dublin Convention Bureau team.

Whether it’s your children on strike from school, a David Attenborough documentary or a front page in your newspaper you can’t deny that society wants greater action from governments and corporates to tackle climate change, pollution, plastic waste and a long etc of environmental and social challenges. As the 16 year old activist Greta Thunberg said to world leader at Davos “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

While many in our industry have made efforts to implement more sustainable events and operational practices, we are not reacting like our house is on fire. We simply are not doing enough.

“One thing we need more than hope is action “

In the words of Greta Thunberg “one thing we need more than hope is action. So instead of looking for hope, look for action.” 

Our friends at Soolnua have offered us space in the forthcoming newsletters so that we can share best practices and stories of action from destinations, clients and DMCs around the world who are in action to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.

Catalysing change

To accelerate action and catalyse change, a few years ago we co-created the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index); a multi-stakeholder partnership established to unleash the power of the meetings and business tourism industry to accelerate the sustainable development of events and the destinations that host them.

The GDS-Index helps destination management organisations to craft and improve their sustainability strategy, align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),  make it easy to adopt sustainable event practices and share knowledge.

For clients, the GDS-Index is a simple tool to help them identify and compare the social and environmental performance of potential destinations, connect with local sustainability initiatives, and uncover how they can get support to organize their events in a more sustainable fashion while leaving a powerful legacy.

Today over 50 cities including Barcelona, Copenhagen, Washington, Bangkok, Brussels, Geneva, Frankfurt, Oslo, Houston, Stuttgart and Sydney are participating in the GDS-Index. These DMOs are in motion; strategically and progressively changing the way they work to make a more sustainable destination.

Find out more at www.gds-index.com

For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, corporations and associations step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and operational practices. Guy leads sustainability at the Smart City Council, and is the Managing Director of the Global Destinations Sustainability Index; a multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the development and performance of sustainable business tourism destinations. Guy was previously the President of the Green Meeting Industry Council, and was the Sustainability Director of MCI, the world’s largest association management, communications and events agency.

Guy Bigwood
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About SoolNua

SoolNua is a specialist MICE agency helping destinations, hotels and venues with strategy, marketing and training based on 6 decades of expertise as global leaders in the industry.

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