Denver is the newest, and fourth city in the US to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index). The city is now part of a global destination sustainability movement, that seeks to engage, inspire and enable urban centres to become more regenerative places to visit, meet and thrive in.
The GDS-Index is delighted to announce that Denver has become the 51st city to join its performance improvement programme. As such, the city has dedicated itself to:
- Benchmark the sustainability of Denver, and its meeting and events industry
- Improve the sustainability strategy of their Convention Bureau and Destination Management Organizations
- Increase the awareness of, and integrate, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into Denver’s events and visitor economy
- Inspire clients to prize destinations with solid event sustainability initiatives
- Share their responsible business initiatives and regenerative practices with their clients, peers, and the world
"Denver is extremely proud to be one of the first U.S. cities to join the GDS-Index," says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The Mile High City has been committed to sustainability for many years - thanks in large part to our community's dedication to Colorado's beautiful natural resources, as well as our position as a top convention destination, which gives us a platform to exemplify sustainable practices in the industry."
Denver's long-term prioritization of sustainability as both a destination and a convention city is apparent throughout the city – from the LEED Gold certified Colorado Convention Center with its own robust sustainability program, to green hotels, to a robust citywide bike sharing program and more. In 2019, Denver was only the 11th community in the world to become LEED Platinum certified under the US Green Building Council's LEED for Cities program; and VISIT DENVER was the first CVB In the world to achieve Level One Certification with the ASTM/APEX Standard for Destinations for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences.
"As a CVB and as a city, we look forward to continuing to lead the charge in sustainable initiatives that impact both our events and our tourism economy," says Scharf.
Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS-Index comments: “Denver has already taken great steps to become more sustainable, which in the current age of climatic breakdown and rising social inequalities is so necessary. In light of this, I want to honour those in the city who are calling for a more sustainable future. Their forward-thinking actions will have a lasting legacy for generations to come. We look forward to supporting Denver catalyse a more regenerative future - be that by co-creating an improved sustainability strategy, sharing their inspiring success stories, or mapping their current sustainability performance to guide future developments.”
In addition to the certifications listed above, Denver is home to the first commercial service airport in North America to receive an internationally certified Environmental Management System (EMS), and was ranked as one of the top 10 most sustainable North American Cities (Arcadia, 2016). The city’s convention bureau has contributed to these successes, by providing the necessary tools and resources to assist organisers in creating more regenerative events. These efforts have made Denver one of the most popular destinations for both professionals, and leisure tourism.
For more information please contact:
Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index
Associate Director, PR/Communications, Visit Denver