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A Sustainable Events City

We care about our planet, our city and the people who live here. Therefore, we aim to reduce the events’ negative effects on the environment and people. Through a sustainable event city, lasting, positive effects are created that benefit the entire region and ensure that people of all ages feel included and valued.

World leading in sustainability

Here you will find environmentally adapted infrastructure, eco-certified hotels, climate-smart logistics, and more. All elements can be woven into your sustainable event. This has resulted in us being ranked as the world’s most sustainable destination according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Read more about the GDSI Leadership Award
Here you can read more about Gothenburg & Co’s work within sustainability

Sweden and Gothenburg creates opportunity for sustainability

Sweden has a great legacy and history in terms of environmental and social sustainability and Gothenburg, a city leading in sustainable urban development, is at the forefront of environmental initiatives. Known for its significant strides in sustainable construction, waste management, and renewable energy, Gothenburg is setting global benchmarks.

  • World’s First Green Bond City: In 2013, Gothenburg issued the world’s first green bond, focusing on environment-friendly and climate-beneficial investments.
  • Comprehensive Climate Strategies: The city has robust environmental and climate strategy programs, focusing on education, urban planning, energy, transport, and consumption.
  • 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal: Aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1.9 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per inhabitant annually by 2050.
  • 2035 Consumption-based Emission Target: Planning to cap consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions at 3.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per person by 2035.
  • Multicultural and Safe Society: Sweden’s open and multicultural society contributes to Gothenburg’s vibrant and international environment.
  • Stable Democracy and Modern Economy: Sweden is known for its high development, modern economy, and being a corruption-free, low-crime country with minimal health risks.
  • English Proficiency: Enhancing the city’s accessibility and security, a majority of the population is proficient in English.

Our role in moving the industry in a sustainable direction

Göteborg & Co is a public company with the task of marketing and supporting the development of Gothenburg as a city of tourism, meetings and events. Early on, the company saw the importance of focusing on sustainability and the overall objective of the company’s work is to make Gothenburg a destination that sets an international example by constantly challenging every aspect of sustainability.

Göteborg & Co always encourage events and meetings operators to take sustainability into account when planning a meeting in Gothenburg, because it’s easy and common to do so in our city. To make it even easier we offer counselling/advice and share our experiences on how to organise sustainable meetings in Gothenburg. And of course we have a close cooperation on sustainability issues with the meetings and events industry in the city.

Our awards

  • Leadership award winner, Global Destination Sustainability Index 2016-2023.
  • One of Europe’s 100 most climate-neutral and smart cities 2022
  • One of the winners of European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Awards 2022
  • Best Sustainable City Stay, Lonely Planet 2021
  • Winner of 2016 UNFCCC Momentum for Change Award.
  • Swedish National Earth Hour Capital 2015.
  • Access City Award 2014.
  • Klimatkommun (Clean Air Region) since 2012.
  • ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association, no. 1 eco destination in UNWTO-awarded Scandinavian Destinations Sustainability index 2012 and 2013.
  • Europe’s best Eco Tourism Destination 2011.
  • Fairtrade City since 2011.

Our environmental certification for meetings and events

In the late nineties Gothenburg & Co, together with the Environmental Department of Gothenburg, developed a standard for environmental certification for meetings and events, the Environmental Event Certificate, based on the key elements of ISO 14001 and EMAS. This standard has now become a national standard for green meetings and events handled by the association Svensk Miljöbas (The Swedish Environmental Base).

Meetings and events that fulfil certain standards and criteria can receive environmental certification. Certification is not only a great way of communicating your sustainability efforts – it also serves as a very practical checklist, making it easy for you to make sustainable choices.

Facts

  • 92 percent of the hotel rooms in Gothenburg are environmentally certified.
  • Since 2011, Göteborg Landvetter Airport has held the highest European Airport Carbon accreditation.
  • Approximately 95 per cent of Gothenburg’s public transport system runs on renewable energy  per passenger-km. 
  • City rental bikes available at approx. 60 stations (1,000 bikes).
  • All restaurants connected to Taste of Gothenburg are environmentally certified or in the process of being environmentally certified.
  • All meat served in the municipality must be organic.
  • In autumn 2013 Gothenburg became the first city in the world to issue a green bond for investments that benefit the environment and climate.
  • Gothenburg is a green city, clearly thanks to its close proximity to the forest and many parks. The “small big city” makes Gothenburg pedestrian friendly with virtually everything within walking distance.
  • Tap water in Sweden is of great quality.

Sustainable Gothenburg – a local collaboration

Through the Sustainable Gothenburg project, the company works with the City of Gothenburg and the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre to increase knowledge and understanding of sustainability in business, and to increase cooperation between different businesses.

This work will enable Gothenburg’s meeting industry to develop new solutions that reduce costs, create new business, reduce environmental impact and create a healthier and more pleasant city to live in and visit.

Three aspects of sustainability

We cannot achieve sustainable development by tackling environmental issues alone; we must also tackle the social and economic aspects of sustainability. If the economy does well, if people have jobs and feel that they are part of the city, it also makes it easier to achieve our climate targets. If people are unhappy, the environment suffers and resources run out then there is little potential to create economic value. What this means is that ecological, social and economic sustainability are not mutually exclusive, but actually essential to each other.

Ecological sustainablity

Ecological sustainability is one of the most burning issues of our time and is an area that Gothenburg is tackling in a focused and deliberate way.

Social sustainability

In Gothenburg, events get excellent visibility and are often viewed with great interest by residents of the city. As part of our efforts to promote social sustainability we like to make events accessible to the people of the city. Arranging a public forum free of charge in connection with an event is an effective way to share knowledge and to support positive social development.

Economic sustainability

Much of our work centres on economic growth. We focus on meetings and events that create sustainable growth, high scientific quality and that contribute to positive social development, strengthened competitiveness of the business sector etcetera. From a meetings perspective, we also work actively with delegate maximisation and have been very successful in contributing to large visitor numbers at various meetings and congresses.

Meeting and event related areas where well-established routines in Gothenburg contribute to reducing carbon emissions:

  • Attending a conference: Eco-friendly venue services covering smart production, efficient energy consumption and technologies, recycling, waste management and sustainable event management.
  • Arrival by train: All journeys on SJ electric trains comply with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation’s Good Environmental Choice eco-labelling requirements.
  • Arrival by air: Göteborg Landvetter Airport has held the highest European Airport Carbon accreditation since 2011.
  • Airport shuttles: All buses run on 100 per cent biofuel produced from rapeseed.
  • Taxis: West Sweden’s largest taxi company, Taxi Göteborg, has a taxi fleet made up of 90 per cent low-emission vehicles, and encourages eco-driving.
  • Public transport: Approximately 95 percent of Gothenburg’s public transport system runs on renewable energy  per passenger-km. 
  • Walking or biking: The compact city centre makes Gothenburg pedestrian-friendly. 1,000 city bikes available around the city.
  • Staying overnight: 95 percent of the hotel rooms in the city are environmentally certified.
  • Eating and dining: A large number of the city’s restaurants and bars are environmentally certified.
  • Water quality: Swedish tap water is of great quality which makes logistics around bottled water abundant.

We would love to get in contact!

For event organisers, our expertise within the field means that much of your sustainability work has already been done. You can rely on eco-friendly infrastructure, accommodation, logistics and many other services. We are also here to help you. Get in contact with any of us if you have questions or if you are thinking about doing an event in Gothenburg.

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Filip Eklund

Sustainable Development Officer, Events
+46 31 368 42 78