Brussels joins GDS-Index

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has released its second ranking of the sustainability performance of 40 meeting and events cities worldwide.

The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that promotes the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations through knowledge sharing, capacity building, and benchmarking across four key areas. You will find more detail about the GDS-Index below.

5 new cities joined the GDS-Index in 2017 including Brussels, Goyang, Dublin, Lausanne-Montreux and Prague.

The 2017 results were announced at the International Congress and Convention Association Congress.

Brussels finished in 13th place, a creditable performance for only its first year of participation!

Discover the full list of cities and scores here.

What is the GDS-Index exactly ?

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) is a collaborative platform that promotes the sustainable growth of international meetings destinations, highlighting best practice and responsible business tourism.

The GDS-Index brings cities together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of their city and its business events industry.

The GDS-Index is a prize-winning grassroots Scandinavian initiative that evolved into the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide. A collaborative partnership between ICCA, ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter, IMEX and the MCI Group, it aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the GDS-Index helps cities and convention bureaux to advance the adoption and recognition of sustainable practices locally.


Evaluation criteria covers four key areas: city environmental strategy and infrastructure, city social sustainability performance, industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres), and convention bureau strategy and initiatives. The Index is designed to take account of the destinations’ existing sustainability activity and certification programmes and provide an objective, overall evaluation of the city as a sustainable meetings destination.


Brussels is steadily becoming a more eco-friendly destination, and it shows. The city was voted No 1 sustainable city in Europe in terms of environmental policy. It is already one of the greenest cities in Europe with 28 m² of green space per inhabitant and is one of the most active cities in the area of passive construction with more than 265,000m² of exemplary buildings. Cleantech events now taking place here include the Annual Carbon Capture and Storage Summit, Renewable Energy Law Conference and Sustainable Energy Week.

In addition, the Brussels-Capital Region's Environment Ministry focuses strongly on the circular economy (PREC programme), good food and the fight against waste (Good Food Brussels). Furthermore, visit.brussels is a certified “Eco-Dynamic Company”, an ecolabel awarded to Brussels enterprises which implement good environmental management practices.

www.gds-index.com