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Sustainability

Welcome to the world’s most sustainable destination, according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Göteborg & Co strives to make Gothenburg a sustainable city by taking financial, environmental and social responsibility, and constantly challenging accepted ideas of sustainability. In collaboration with other stakeholders in the visitor industry, Göteborg & Co contributes to a vibrant Gothenburg that offers sustainable, attractive and unique experiences.

Photo: Peter Kvarnström

The World’s most sustainable destination

Ever since 2016, Gothenburg has held the numer 1 ranking of the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Read more about the Global Destination Sustainability Index:
www.gds-index.com.

Sustainability strategies

The sustainability efforts of Göteborg & Co are based on three company-wide strategies that interact and reinforce each other:

  • We will set an example and lead the way through our actions and our resourcefulness.
  • We will encourage and challenge the destination’s stakeholders and partners to develop in a sustainable direction.
  • We will inspire and help visitors to enjoy the destination’s attractions sustainably.

Göteborg & Co’s key sustainability issues

Göteborg & Co has identified four priority sustainability areas. Within each area, there are three important sustainability issues that the business focuses on. These areas and issues were identified and prioritised based on stakeholder expectations and the actual influence of the business.

Photo: Niklas Bernstone

A welcoming and inclusive destination

Everyone who visits or lives in Gothenburg should feel that they are part of the city and that the meetings and events that take place here are also for them. Göteborg & Co aims to make events and experiences in Gothenburg accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, beliefs, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, age and language. The company must also help to ensure that experiences are safe and secure.

Biking in centrally located forest.
Photo: Daniel Breece

A growing and healthy destination

The mission of Göteborg & Co is to make Gothenburg an attractive and sustainable metropolitan region where ideas, businesses and people grow together. The visitor industry generates jobs and economic growth in the city, and enables important social issues to be highlighted.

Photo: Johannes Berner

An environmentally smart and climate-smart destination

Gothenburg is a green city, with parks, forests and water right on our doorstep. It is a small city where almost everything is within walking distance. Tourism and the activities of Göteborg & Co have an impact on the climate and the environment. Through its operations, decisions and actions, the company aims to reduce the impact of its own activities and, by collaborating and communicating with others, help to make the destination sustainable.

A chef preparing a sallad.
Photo: Peter Kvarnström

Fair conditions

For Göteborg & Co it is only natural that efforts to achieve sustainability should also be reflected in our own operations. We therefore develop and improve our internal sustainability measures continuously. As a publicly owned business, it is also important to have transparent procurement and a high standard of business ethics.

A healthy environment

  • Almost all our hotels have environmental diplomas.
  • Landvetter Airport has held the highest level of environmental accreditation – “European Airport Carbon” – since 2011.
  • Around 95 per cent of public transport in Gothenburg runs on renewable energy.
  • There are 1000 “Styr & Ställ” city bikes to rent at 60 different locations in the city.
  • All restaurants that are part of the Taste of Gothenburg association have environmental diplomas or are in the process of certification.
  • All meat that is served by the municipality must be organically farmed.
  • In 2011, the Port of Gothenburg received the Shipping Award for “Regional Environmental Protection Contribution”. The port was the first in the world to provide onshore power to vessels at berth.
  • In autumn 2013, Gothenburg became the first city in the world to issue a green bond for investments that benefit the environment and the climate.
  • Gothenburg is a green city, partly thanks to its closeness to forests and parks, but also to the compact layout of the city.
  • Gothenburg is a small city where almost everything is within walking distance.
Annika Hallman, Gothenburg Convention Bureau (second left) recieved the prestigious leadership award from Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President ICCA. They are flanked by Aileen Crawford, Glasgow and Martin Sirk, Chief Executive Officer ICCA

Awards

  • Leadership Award, Global Destination Sustainability Index 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020
  • Climate City of Sweden 2015.
  • Access City Award 2014.
  • Climate Municipality since 2012.
  • International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) top destination in UNWTO-prize-winning Scandinavian
  • Destinations Sustainability Index, 2012 and 2013.
  • Top European Eco-tourism Destination 2011.
  • Fairtrade City since 2011.

Real life examples

People enjoying hotel breakfast.
Photo: Jennie Smith

One of the world’s most sustainable hotel cities

Gothenburg has more than 12,600 hotel rooms and 95 per cent of all hotels in Gothenburg are environmentally certified and have third-party certification such as the Nordic Swan ecolabel, Green Key, Swedish Environmental Base diploma, ISO 20121 or ISO 140001.

The requirements for these certification schemes differ, but one thing they all have in common is that they require the hotels to meet strict environmental and sustainability criteria. For example, eco-labels set criteria for the use of fossil fuels, energy efficiency, waste management, choice of materials and food.

These labels also require that goals are set and monitored, and that employees receive training. Because ecolabelling is a valuable competitive advantage it provides an additional guarantee that hotels take their sustainability efforts very seriously

Children at a show in a tent during the festival.
Photo: Studiografen

Gothenburg Culture Festival sets a sustainable example

Gothenburg Culture Festival is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the Nordic region and is organised by Göteborg & Co. For six days, the city’s streets and squares are transformed into 52 festival venues offering a variety of cultural experiences. In 2019, visitors could choose from a total of 747 events, all free of charge. Of the 750,000 visitors, 57 per cent were women, 42 per cent men and 1 per cent non-binary.

Also, in 2019 all the officials wore second- hand clothing supplied by Björkå Frihet. The commitment to avoiding disposable products was stronger than ever and the issue of food waste was given special attention. The plates, glasses and cutlery used at the festival were reusable and, as in previous years, visitors could buy food at a discount if they brought their own lunch box along. Those who did not bring a lunch box could get one in return for a refundable deposit, which meant they could be reused. There were also disposable- free zones for food and drink at the festival site.

Photo: Anders Hjort.

BonnierHoops – creating social values through events

BonnierHoops is a summer holiday project set in the residential area Biskopsgården. Throughout summer, from Monday to Saturday, children and young people take part in various activities such as street basketball, reading books, spoken word competitions and much more.

In 2019, the event was cited as one of the reasons why crime fell in Biskopsgården by almost 50 per cent in the summer compared to previous years. The project has also helped young people to improve their reading and writing skills, and improved the sense of security and belonging in various associations.

BonnierHoops was first organised in 2018 and is a joint initiative between Bonnier publishing house, the Swedish Basketball Association, the City of Gothenburg and the Police Department, Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group, Göteborg Book Fair, Bostadsbolaget, Poseidon, Bo Bra and Västra Hisingen Basketball Association.

Read our annual Sustainability report here

Find out how the City of Gothenburg is working toward sustainability at goteborg.se

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is a competition created by the European Commission to reward cities setting examples in…

This statement is the foundation of the company’s sustainability efforts and a consolidation of commitments communicated in strategic and regulatory…