Galway has been named as the 20th most sustainable business city in the latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index for 2018, recognising the city’s proactive approach to responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry.
The GDS Index is a collaborative business initiative created to help destinations, convention bureaux, event planners and MICE suppliers drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry.
The index is compiled by measuring and comparing the social and environmental sustainability strategies, policies and performance of participating cities around the world.
This is the first time Galway has entered the top 20 list and is the only Irish city to do so. Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Kerry were all recognised for their green credentials.
Topping the list was Gothenburg, followed by Copehnagen in second place and Reykjavik in third place.
At the start of September, Galway Convention Bureau hosted a panel of expert speakers in the area of sustainability in the Connacht Hotel. The workshop for its member hotels highlighted how green activities can lead to huge savings with a positive impact on the environment but also warned if business tourism suppliers are not eco certified and moving in the direction of sustainability then they could lose potential business events.
“We have a lot of work done but we still need to do more,” said Rose Finn, Galway Convention Bureau Manager, on the work of the bureau, the city and its members in the area of sustainability. “We have a number of international conference enquires with sustainable related topics who demand the host destination reach their green credentials however its not only these type of conferences, others are now looking to reduce their carbon impact on the environment by choosing a sustainable destination to host there business event.”
Sam Johnston, Manager of Convention Bureaux of Ireland at Failte Ireland, added: “Congratulations to Galway Convention Bureau on their successful application for the city to be officially recognised for its outstanding green credentials in hosting business meetings and events. We will continue to strive towards the highest standards of sustainability in everything we do, and hope to rank even higher in all regions in future years.”
As part of the workshop, Maurice Bergin, Green Hospitality Programme, and Eveanna Ryan, Connacht Hospitality, presented a case study on the Connacht Hotel Galway’s savings and activities their green team have achieved in the last 12 months. The team increased their recycling rates by 56% year-on-year, which resulted in a 20% energy usage reduction, a 19% paper usage reduction, and a 75% disposable cup reduction.