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Sustainable Meeting – How it’s done

Gothenburg Convention Bureau wants to provide attractive, unique and sustainable experiences for all. Just by choosing Gothenburg you get a lot of advantages “for free” but there is still a lot of choices that you, as an organiser, can make to further improve your meeting from a sustainability standpoint.

Gothenburg Convention Bureau offers advice on sustainability issues for meeting planners. We encourage you to certify your meeting and recommend The Swedish Environmental Base environmental diploma. Whether you are ready to certify your meeting or not – here are some tips on how to reach your sustainability goals.

First of all

  1. Think about sustainability early in the planning.
  2. Involve employees and other stakeholders to identify key areas and set goals for the meeting.
  3. Cooperate with the destination and suppliers to make the meeting as sustainable as possible.
  4. Analyse purchasing practices and place demands on suppliers.
  5. Inspire others to talk about your ambitions and what you are doing.
  6. Measure, report and evaluate.
  7. Share your mishaps and celebrate your successes – large and small.

Areas to take into account

Travel and transport

  • Calculate and offset your event’s greenhouse emissions. Go to calculator.
  • Use public transportation to and within the destination if possible and encourage participants to do the same.
  • Walking and biking – in Gothenburg most distances are short and there are about 1,000 bikes at 66 stations that can be rented using Styr & Ställ.
  • Encourage participants to offset their travel.


  • Choose an environmentally certified facility.
  • Ask the provider how they can help you meet your goals – shared transport, waste, food.

Purchasing and waste

  • Plan purchases based on minimising – reuse – recycle.
  • Have a plan for leftover material.
  • Make sure it is easy to sort waste.
  • Choose local products that meet eco and ethical labelling standards .
  • Choose local suppliers.
  • Focus on experiences as give-aways.

Food and beverage

  • Serve more vegetarian options.
  • Choose locally produced and seasonal products.
  • Choose products that are ecologically and ethically labelled.
  • Serve tap water instead of bottled water.
  • Communicate what you are serving and where the food and drink comes from.
  • Remember that information about allergies and ingredients simplify food choices for many people.

Be awarded for using tap water

… The title “Kranmärkt event” is given to events that only serve tap water by the Department of Sustainable Waste and Water Management in Gothenburg. To serve tap water is a healthy and sustainable choice, without any transportation and waste. By choosing to only serve tap water you also take a stand for a better environment while hopefully inspiring others to choose tap water.

Get a Fairtrade-City diploma

Gothenburg has been a Fairtrade City since 2011. As a part of this, cafes, restaurants, workplaces and events can receive a Fair City diploma. To do this your event or meeting should meet the following criterias:

  • Coffee and tea must have an ethical label.
  • If you will not be serving coffee or tea, at least two other products must be ethically labelled. Examples of common products that are ethically labelled are: chocolate, sugar, bananas, nuts and wine.

For more information, contact Gothenburg Convention Bureau.


  • Choose eco-labelled hotels. Almost all of our hotels have environmental diplomas.


  • Hire local hosts.
  • Ensure that hosts have good working conditions and are insured.
  • Be sure to have a wide diversity among hosts.

Team Göteborg is…

… a volunteer pool with youths and young adults who serve as hosts at events and meetings. The group represents every district of Gothenburg, more than 41 languages are spoken and they work on integrating people with different disabilities.

Communication and marketing

  • Inform participants about sustainability ambitions and sustainable actions.
  • Prioritise digital communication and marketing.
  • Involve and challenge participants to contribute to a sustainable meeting.

Open, welcoming and accessible to as many people as possible

  • Plan your meeting based on accessibility criteria regarding transport, facility, food and beverages, accommodation, communication, etc. Accessibility entails making it possible for people who have difficulty hearing, difficulty seeing, difficulty moving, intolerance toward certain substances, difficulty interpreting, processing and conveying information to participate at your meeting.
  • Communicate about accessibility already in the invitation.
  • Actively promote gender equality in programs and aim for panels with both men and women.

Göteborg & Co’s accessibility guide

Get advice on how to make your meeting more accessible by downloading our guideline.

Here you can find a map of accessible places in Gothenburg.

Check if different establishments are accessible for you by visiting the accessibility database Tillgänglighetsdatabasen.

Contribute to the local community

  • Encourage participants to get involved in collections for local community or environmental organisations.
  • Share important knowledge and do outreach activities with local organisations such as science centres and festivals.
  • Ask the meeting facility to donate surplus food and materials.
    Read more about how to contribute to the local community.