Helsinki ranks 5th in sustainability among congress cities

16th Nov, 2018

According to the latest Global Destination Sustainability Index, Helsinki now ranks fifth among congress cities. In other convention news, registrations for the Nordic Social Work Conference in Helsinki later this month have exceeded expectations.

Helsinki has once again earned international recognition as a destination for congresses and meetings. The Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Leadership Awards were presented at the 57th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress in Dubai on 14 November. This year’s winner was Gothenburg, while Helsinki shared fifth place with Uppsala. Last year, Helsinki was ranked in 6th position.

The GDS Index ranks congress destinations according to their social and environmental sustainability strategies, policies and performance on an annual basis. In addition, the index measures the commitment of service providers and the activities of convention bureaus from the perspective of sustainability. The purpose is to promote awareness of sustainable solutions among congress actors.

“We are happy that Helsinki has once again performed so well in the GDS Index. The issues of sustainability and responsibility are very important to us, and we continuously seek even more sustainable solutions together with our local partners. We encourage international congresses to focus on responsibility, for example by sharing their know-how with the local community or supporting related research in the host city,” says Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director at Helsinki Marketing.

Helsinki also wants to stand out more widely as a pioneer in implementing sustainable solutions and global responsibility on the local level. For example, the City of Helsinki’s urban strategy draws clearly on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Last May, New York became the first city to report to the UN on its sustainable development goals on the city level. Helsinki now wants to become the second city in the world to participate in this reporting. Committing to sustainable development reporting would enable an international comparison that would provide valuable information about the city’s development,” Antti-Poika continues. 

Registrations for Nordic Social Work Conference exceed expectations

On 21-23 November, the University of Helsinki is hosting the Nordic Social Work Conference, which will be attended by a higher than anticipated number of professional social workers and researchers. The conference has attracted widespread international interest, with over 260 registered delegates from almost 20 countries around the world. 

The themes of responsibility and sustainability are also addressed by the congresses hosted by the University of Helsinki, such as in terms of material procurements. For example, local suppliers are favoured for congress arrangements and materials. The university also encourages the congresses it hosts to leave behind a legacy that can be utilised for local research work in Helsinki.

“The high number of registered delegates proves that Helsinki is an attractive and functional congress city. Hosting the Nordic Social Work Conference in Helsinki enables Finnish professionals to engage with their international colleagues. The contents of the conference will no doubt inspire many fruitful discussions and exchanges of ideas. In terms of responsibility, the Nordic Social Work Conference is also exemplary, as locals are welcome to participate in the event,” says Jenny Högström, Conference Secretary from the University of Helsinki.

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