Sydney, Australia

Organisation: City of Sydney & Business Events Sydney 
Contact: Pip Harley
Year: 2018

GDS-Index Category Breakdown

Category Total
Environmental Performance 71%
Social Performance 71%
Supplier Performance 62%
Destination Management Performance 83%

Destination Highlights

Hectares of green area per 100 000 population


Consistently named in the top 10 of the world’s most liveable cities, Sydney is fast becoming one of the world’s leading ‘green cities’. Lead by the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision, City of Sydney’s ultimate aim is to make the City; Green, Global and Connected. City of Sydney has bold targets for Sydney that tackle key priorities including carbon emission reduction, energy efficiency, waste and water management and urban ecology. Sydney aims to source 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.The City of Sydney was Australia’s first carbon neutral local government. "The Making Sydney a Sustainable Destination Plan" is a subset of Sustainable Sydney 2030. The plan sets out actions for both industry and government to work together on improving the environmental performance of the city's accommodation, entertainment and business event providers.

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

Sydney strives to be a just and resilient city that understands that cities that make equality and social justice central to their growth are stronger and more resilient, creating opportunities for everyone to thrive. We believe that social sustainability is a framework that puts people at the heart of cities and recognises that our personal wellbeing impacts on, and is impacted by, our collective wellbeing. Improving our community’s wellbeing and resilience involves many aspects of our lives, such as our health, housing, education, work, income, transport, safety, relationships, creative expression, governance, and the quality of the environment. Building a strong inclusive society is a shared responsibility, not only for governments, but for business and the wider community and is integral to a strong economy and a healthy natural environment.

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

City of Sydney launched the Sustainable Destination Partnership in 2018. The partnership is a collaboration of leading hotels, cultural institutions, event venues and tourism bodies working together to improve the environmental performance of the City. The program directly supports the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Vision and aims to work with the industry to improve energy, water and waste efficiency and the take up of renewable energy and engage with regulators on major environmental policy and regulatory issues. The City is actively working with accommodation providers to get a third party environmental certification rating in order to improve the environment performance of buildings and event spaces. 100% of Sydney’s hotels room inventory is accessible by public transport and more than one third are walking distance to the City’s Convention Centre.

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

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has joined the Global Destination Sustainability Index to spearhead engagement and improvements with key stakeholders across Sydney in order to better environmental and social performance within the city, for the advantage of our residents and visitors. Like the business events we attract, we believe we are in a privileged position that allows us to be at the forefront of change as great connectors within this city. We understand the importance of business events to a community and the lasting impacts of social change. By partnering with the City of Sydney and joining the GDSI we aim to create value for our clients regarding sustainability that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This benchmarking will help us understand our strengths and challenges, which will inform the development of strategies for improvement, both locally and globally.

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 2018