Reykjavik, Iceland

Organisation: Meet in Reykjavik
Contact: Hildur Bæringsdóttir
Year: 2016

GDS-Index Category Breakdown

Category Total
Environmental Performance 81%
Social Performance 86%
Supplier Performance 79%
Destination Management Performance 66%

Destination Highlights

Hectares of green area per 100 000 population


The City of Reykjavik won the Nordic Nature and Environment Prize 2014 and was awarded the Greenest city in the world by Green City Times. The President of Iceland and the people of Iceland were presented with the first-ever Atkinson Center Award for Global Leadership in Sustainable Development for promoting the use of renewable energy while reducing it´s own reliance on fossil fuels. Reykjavík uses geothermal and hydropower for ALL electric consumption and heating and its allready limited emission of greenhouse gas will be further reduced by 35% in 2020. The city promotes all year round cycling and is further building out its cycling path system with resting places and maps. Currently there are no taxes on importation of electric cars and there is free parking in Reykjavik, resulting in substantial increase in ownership of electric cars. There has been an increase by 700% in ownership of electric cars since the first electric charger station was opened in 2014, bringing the market share of pure battery electric vehicles to 2,74%.

Energy sourced from renewables
City traffic congestion level
Waste sent to landfill

In Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, you can not only breathe clean air and drink unspoiled water straight from a stream but you can find equality and peace. We aim high in equal rights and to no surprise came first in the Global Gender Gap report in 2015. Scoring first in political empowerment and educational attainment. Our former president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first female democratically voted as president in the world and our former female prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was named one of the 75th most powerful women in the world according to Forbes. We have been in first place in the Global Peace Index since 2011 and to no surprise Yoko Ono selected Iceland for the Imagine Peace Tower. Icelanders score high above OECD Better life index average job employment and are according to the World database of happiness a happy nation with happy life years and satisfied with life.

Corruption Perception ranking
World Bank Inequality Index Score (Lower score represents lower inequality)
Gender Inequality Index ranking

"Capture the energy in Iceland" is certainly a valid slogan as the country is said to be a global leader in sustainability. Reykjavik has the largest geothermal heating system in the world which makes the meeting spaces naturally eco friendly and the tap water is famous for being pure and untainted with chemicals and minerals. Meetings and events of the future will consider and incorporate social responsability, sustainability and recycling initiatives when making decisions to choose destinations, hotels and venues Green meetings is a growing demand and in Reykjavík there are many conference hotels as well as the Conference Centre Harpa that have adopted strict environmental policies. Harpa is believed to be one of the most eco-friendly conference centre in the world. The building was designed to use most natural light through its glass facade, which covers three of the four sides of the building and results in significant reduction in power consumption.

City's hotels easily accessible by public transport to/from congress and exhibition centres
PCOs and DMCs have a written sustainability policy
Exhibition centres have sustainability certification

Yes No
Has the CVB established and is implementing a destination sustainability strategy?
Does the destination regularly measure and report on sustainable destination progress?
Does the CVB support or lead local sustainability training for cities MICE industry?
Does the CVB support or local authorities provide incentives or funding for organisations wanting to gain sustainability certification or issue a sustainability reports
Does the CVB provide free or subsidized public transport passes for major conventions?
Does CVB/DMO provide clients with ideas and resources to support the local community?

Blog Articles

Other Destination Rankings for 2016