Zurich, Switzerland

Organisation: Zürich Tourism 
Contact: Uta Kroll
Year: 2018

GDS-Index Category Breakdown

Category Total
Environmental Performance 81%
Social Performance 71%
Supplier Performance 76%
Destination Management Performance 83%
Report https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content/dam/stzh/gud/Deutsch/UGZ/Gesundheitsschutz/Schadstoffe_Laerm_Strahlen/Aussenraum/Luft/%3e%20Dokumente%20und%20Publikationen/Luftbilanz/Luftbilanz-2016-WEB.pdf)

What is the city's annual Particulate Matter (PM10) concentration?

18 µg/m3 (measuring site "Schimmelstrasse", 2016) (see also www.stadt-zuerich.ch/luftqualitaet --> Report https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content/dam/stzh/gud/Deutsch/UGZ/Gesundheitsschutz/Schadstoffe_Laerm_Strahlen/Aussenraum/Luft/%3e%20Dokumente%20und%20Publikationen/Luftbilanz/Luftbilanz-2016-WEB.pdf)

Water Stress Level (Ratio Of Total Annual Water Withdrawals To Total Available Annual Renewable Supply)

Switzerland: Low to medium stress No information on Zurich (according to the official public department)

Does your destination offer public Bicycle Sharing Facilities & Network?Please provide details and a link

Yes, various bike rentals available "Züri Velo"*, "Züri rollt", "LimeBike", "Smide" and others * new public system started in Mai 2018 with 150 stations and 2'250 vehicles (50% conventional bikes, 50% E-Bikes whose batteries are recharged with solar energy)

Does your destination offer Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations ?Please provide details and a link

yes (http://www.ekz.ch/de/ueber-ekz/engagement/elektromobilitaet.html), also various hotels (e.g. SEEDAMM PLAZA, MÖVENPICK HOTEL REGENSDORF, HOTEL ENGIMATT) installed new electrical vehicle charging stations due to the new 'E-Grand-Tour of Switzerland, the biggest electric vehicle touring route worldwide (http://www.stnet.ch/de/dienstleistungen/grandtour/grandtour-toolbox/e-grand-tour.html)

What is the city's Traffic Congestion Index percentage?

2017 Inrix Traffic Scorecard Rank (2016): 23 (21) ICI: 9.2

Which of the following public transport links exist between the main airport and the city centre?Please indicate which of the following apply:

Express Bus,Rail (Train),Metro (Underground)

What is the city's Green Area (hectares) per 100 000 population?

3773 ha = 0.0094 ha / capita

What is the country's score and ranking on the Corruption Perception Index?

2017: Rank 3/180 Score 85/100

What is the country's score and ranking on the World Bank Gini Index?Please use the data for the most recent year given.

2014: 32.5

Share of public open space with facilities for people with special needs

Public open space: 100% Public transportation (trams): 81.5% Public transportation (bus): no specific data yet Response from the city of Zurich: "Zurich is actively monitoring its open spaces in terms of accessability for all people. A work group started in 2009 doing basic research on this. Since then standards were defined how open spaces accessible for all have to be designed. Nowadays all new projects being build fulfill these standards whereever possible. Zurichs main focus at the moment is our local public transport system, where tram and bus stations are beeing rebuild to offer level access for all users, especially for people with special needs." (Birger Schmidt, Tiefbauamt, 09.08.2018) https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/hindernisfrei https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/vbz/de/index/fahrplan/reisehilfe/handicap.html

What is the country's score and ranking on the Gender Inequality Index?

HDI Rank: 2 Gender Inequality Index Value 2015: 0.040 Gender Inequality Index Rank 2015: 1

What percentage of the city's total hotel room inventory has an active 3rd party sustainability certification? Please provide a list showing the name of the certifications and total number of rooms for each of the certified hotels.


What percentage of the total hotel room inventory is within walking distance (1km) of the congress and exhibition centre(s)? Please include a list of hotels or link to a pre-existing list.


What percentage of the city?s hotel room inventory is easily accessible (within 30mins) by public transport to/from the congress and exhibition centre(s)?


Does the city's largest airport (or nearest airport) have a current eco-certification?

Yes: ISO 14001:2015

What percentage of partner PCOs and DMCs located in the city (over 3 full-time employees) have a formal written sustainability policy? Please list the agency names and indicate if they have a sustainability certification

62.5% Certification: Kuoni, MCI, Micexpert, Rufener Events, Standing Ovation No Certification: Emex Management GmbH, Grassroots, MICE24

Are there policies/ initiatives or programmes in place for restaurants and/or F&B suppliers to reduce non-recyclable/biodegradable material waste (e.g./ plastic bags/ water bottles or styrofoam) and food waste?

PUBLIC SECTOR: Yes, programs to reduce food waste are in place since 2015 in homes for the elderly («Alterszentren»), nursing homes («Pflegezentren») and hospitals. The participating institutions were able to reduce their food waste up to 25%. In addition, there are various PRIVATE initiatives or programmes: - "Wasser für Wasser" https://wasserfuerwasser.ch/ or "Drink and Donate" http://drink-and-donate.org/ (restaurants offer tab water for a low price, part of this money go into water projects around the world) and many restaurants in Zurich cooporate with them. - A big amount of sold bottled water is from Swiss water sources, e.g. Passuger, Rhäzünser, Eptinger, Valser, Elmer. More and more restaurants even offer tab water for free. - Zürich Tourism uses the high quality of freshwater actively within marketing communication (https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/explore/water) -> e.g. we encourage to drink water from the many fountains we have in Zurich on our guided tours. At the offices from Zürich Tourism we buy no bottled water, we have the policy to use tap water (we call it "Züri Wasser"), also for our guests. This helps us to reduce waste from bottles and to sensitise our guests at the same time. In addition, we sell glass bottles from the project "Drink and Donate" in our Tourist Information as a souvenir -> another way to inform our guests about the high fresh water quality in Zurich. - In 2017 the biggest two grocery stores (Coop and Migros) started to charge for plastic bags with impressive results (https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/standard/plastiksackverbot-scheitert/story/20564214) - NEW: NOERD Sommerfestival -> first festival in Zurich that tries to go "ZERO WASTE": http://www.noerd.ch/sommerfest.html - NEW: Foifi -> a Zero Waste Coffee and Shop (https://foifi.ch/) or Chez Mamie (https://chezmamie-biovrac.ch/nos-magasins/zurich) or (http://www.bachsermaert.ch/portfolio/kalkbreite/) - events: https://saubere-veranstaltung.ch/Public/Page?pageId=1 (information on sustainable events in CH) - more than 197 private initiatives to reduce food waste (http://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/so-einfach-haben-es-zuercher-im-kampf-gegen-food-waste-1310492) - the annual FOOD ZURICH festival promotes food waste during this year’s festival as a main topic: https://www.foodzurich.com/de/ausschreibung-2017/stadtgericht) - various private programs from tourism organisations, e.g. hotelleriesuisse (https://www.hotelleriesuisse.ch/de/pub/politik/energie_umwelt/nachhaltigkeitsstrategie.htm), Workshop Food Waste for Hotels in Zurich from the Zurich Hotel Association (http://www.zhv.ch/de/pub/zuerich/verband/aktivitaeten.htm), Food Waste Projects (http://foodwaste.ch/projekte-von-partnern/),

Does the city have a program and/or certification promoting or supporting restaurants with a commitment to sustainability (e.g./ organic/ locally sourced/ vegetarian options)?Please provide more information

PUBLIC SECTOR: Several municipal cafeterias offer a “Menu Plus”. These menus cause on average 60% less greenhouse gas emissions. They are branded with a special symbol and motivate and enable the guests to choose a climate friendly alternative. This is part of the regular offer in several municipal cafeterias In 2017, a competition between 5 municipal cafeterias was launched, the winner being the cafeteria reduced their greenhouse gas emission the most. More information: http://www.energieforschung-zuerich.ch/index.php?id=2 -> Personalrestaurant-Wettbewerb (FP-1.15) A broader program with more participating restaurants also from the private sector are currently under discussion. PRIVATE SECTOR: - Promotion of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Zurich through destination marketing organisation Zürich Tourism (https://www.zuerich.com/de/besuchen/vegane-kueche) and many more. - Since 2016, a new festival, FOOD ZURICH, works togehter with the city of Zurich (Umwelt und Gesundheitsschutz), to integrate the idea of the former event "Zürich isst" into the bigger framework of the overall destination: to sensitize the local community about their sustainability impact in regards to food and to bring the players together. The festival had a strong focus on sustainability (https://www.foodzurich.com/de/2000-watt-gesellschaft). On their website they offered the rubrique ""sustainable"" with various events about food waste, vegan kitchen, and more (https://www.foodzurich.com/en/). - In addition, there are various private programs from tourism organisations. On a national level the the Swiss Hotel Association ""Hotelleriesuisse"" has a very strong sustainability focus and offers regular information (newsletter, events, workshops) for accommodation providers (that usually also have a restaurant), see https://www.hotelleriesuisse.ch/de/pub/politik/energie_umwelt/nachhaltigkeitsstrategie.htm. - In addition, the Zurich Hotel Association is currently pushing the topic of Food Waste and organises workshops for partners this year: http://www.zhv.ch/de/pub/zuerich/verband/aktivitaeten.htm). - Switzerland has a very well known NGO that sensitises restaurants and also private households for the same topic (Food Waste) and that organises various valuable projects: http://foodwaste.ch/projekte-von-partnern/. - In Zurich, various gastronoms have a strong commitment to sustainability: Equitable (http://www.equi-table.ch/), Elle'n-Belle (http://www.ellenbelle.ch/). On our website zuerich.com we offer our guets the possiblity to look for e.g. vegan or vegetarian options/restaurants (see for example https://www.zuerich.com/de/besuchen/vegane-kueche). - Zürich Tourism works with stories from local people, and focuses in general in local food, handicraft, traditions and products, see zuerich.com." - NEW: "The Food of Future" (https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/explore/reformation/christianbaertsch) > this year we went a step further by promoting "Essento", a local NGO encouraging people to eat insects instead of meat

What percentage of the city's congress and exhibition centres have active third-party sustainability certification? Please provide a list with the name of the certification for each of the certified venues.

44% Venue with Minergie-Certificate: Six Convention Point, Umweltarena Venue with Green Globe Certificate: Hallenstadion

Has the CVB/DMO established and is implementing a destination sustainability strategy?Please indicate which of the following components are included and provide a copy or link

Commitment Statement,Vision,SMART Objectives,Integrated sustainability

How does the CVB/DMO manage the development and governance of the destination sustainability program.Please indicate all that apply

Internal sustainability team / committee,Committee with external industry stakeholders (e.g. venues/hotels),Committee with external non-industry stakeholders (e.g. NGOs/authorities/clients)

Does the CVB/DMO regularly measure and report on sustainable destination progress? Please indicate which of the following components are included and provide a copy or link

Data and details of sustainability performance published on CVB/DMOs website,Data and details of the sustainability performance included in Annual CVB Report,Annual Sustainability Report of CVB/DMO,Externally audited / certified Sustainability Report using GRI G4/ GSTC or similar criteria

Does the CVB/DMO support or lead local sustainability training for the city's MICE industry? Please indicate which of the following is done:

Organise training programs about sustainability

Do the CVB/ DMO or local authorities provide incentives or funding for events or event organisers wanting to increase sustainability performance? Please explain

- No direct financial incentive (with the exeption of public transportation tickets > "Zürich Card"), but as a marketing organisation, we see our role in communicating best practice examples within our destinations to other tourism players. We do this for example in our ""Partner Report"" (a newsletter, published 2x a year): https://zt.zuerich.com/de/ueber-zt/partner-report (see for example edition April 2018, p. 17: Food Waste, Food Revolution (insects by Essento). - Also in 2018, we are supervising a Bachelor Thesis from the University of Applied Sciences in Chur on "The Importance of sustainable MICE tourism for Zürich as host destination" (results will be presented in September 2018, after that analysed for implications for Zürich Tourism, e.g. meetings-website, bidding process, RTF-information, trainings for event organisers or event locations, etc.) - Another planned project for 2019 is to organise event-workshops based on The Event Canvas Design (http://www.eventmodelgeneration.com/) and sustainability will be one of the values important for the branding of every event, respectively for the destination > long-term effect on quality and sustainability of MICE in Zurich - In addition to our engagement, there are various players out there who do provide incentives or funding to increase sustainability performance: a) From a national level: hotelleriesuisse -> relief of CO2-contribution for accommodation businesses when businesses comit to reduce their CO2-emissions (https://www.hotelleriesuisse.ch/de/pub/services/nachhaltigkeit.htm), the Zurich Hotel Association promoted this project on a local level. They receive a certification when they take part. b) There is another funding programme for appropriate ventilation in kitchens or to reduce food waste (here also the ZHV organises workshops this year). c) The hotellerie monitors the development of the whole accommodation industry within its monitoring report (https://www.hotelleriesuisse.ch/de/pub/services/nachhaltigkeit/monitoringbericht.htm). d) Also on a national level, Energie Schweiz finanically supports businesses from various industries with various topics (https://www.energieschweiz.ch/home.aspx#?p=17836). e) On a local level, the city of Zurich coordinates and supports sustainability activities (https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/index/stadtentwicklung/stadt-_und_quartierentwicklung/nachhaltige_entwicklung.html).

Does the CVB/DMO provide information about the destination?s sustainability features/ suppliers and best practice in its RFP responses and sales informationPlease explain

- The meeting-website has been under constant revision and the content is regularly and critically reviewed - we focus more on seasonality (e.g. at the moment > "find the perfect summer location" - particularly through Social Media, we regularly communicate the newest results in terms of sustainability rankings, also based on our Smart ZRH strategy (e.g. GDS-Index, Mercer Quality of Living, Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, - new is also the content on the new cluster strategy (https://meeting.zuerich.com/en/clusters) > this is in line with the strategy of the public sector (the Canton of Zurich): ICT, Cleantech, Life Science & Nanotechnology, Finance, and Creative Industries - CVB includes link to climate calculator from NGO myclimate within RFP (see appendix 32). We inform about sustainability features and suppliers on the webiste zuerich.com and meeting.zuerich.com (integrated and new marketing approch, not particularly "labelled". - In the Partner Report (https://zt.zuerich.com/de/ueber-zt/partner-report), including best practice examples to inform our partners more about current initiatives within the destination (see also links above).

Does the CVB/DMO website provide information about the destination?s sustainability features/ suppliers and best practice.Please list all that apply and add a link to the website

Basic Info,Sustainable event guides and manuals,Sustainable supplier lists,Best practice example

Does the CVB/DMO provide free or subsidized public transport passes for major conventions? Please indicate:

Discounted Public Transport

Does the CVB/DMO have an accessibility program or list for places of interest/ transport lines/ hotels / venues that supports attendees with physical challenges to participate in events and navigate in the destination?Please explain

- City Tour for Visually Impaired (https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/tours-excursions/for-the-visually-impaired#internal) - Special desk in Tourist Information for Wheelchairs - currently under evaluation: providing a technical interface to national hotel data list including pictograms on accessibility > Results expected in Q4/2018 - currently under evaluation: trainings for Tourist Information Team > Results expected in 2019 - currently under evalutaion: partnership with "Barrierefreie Schweiz" (NGO for accessibility) > Results expected in 2019 - since 2016: "Welcome to Zurich" tours for refugees, in collaboration with the city of Zurich (https://www.zuerich.com/sites/default/files/161206_mm_fuehrung_mit_fluechtlingen.pdf) - new project since 2018: "www.kinderregion.ch" -> special website for families, in collaboration with our partner regions Winterthur, Zug, Baden (https://www.kinderregion.ch/en) - new project since 2018: "Erleb dis Züri" (locals can stay overnight in a hotel for a reduced price > citicenship programe: https://www.zuerich.com/sites/default/files/zurich_tourismus_erleb_dis_zueri.pdf)

Does the CVB/DMO provide clients with ideas and resources to support the local communityPlease select all that apply and explain.

List of NGO partners and projects,Other

Does the CVB/DMO communicate on the website list of partner associations/NGOs ?

myclimate, Sustainability Charter Swiss Tourism Industry, GDS-Index, UNWTO specific projects (communities/NGOs that are supported by the sustainability circle are reported in the annual report (e.g. welcoming tours for refugees) Footer website always includes quality and sustainability certifications (myclimate, QIII, ISO) Local cooperations and network: https://zt.zuerich.com/de/ueber-zt/kooperationen-netzwerk

Does the destination or CVB hold a current sustainability certification or is in the process of obtaining one? Please identify, for example ISO20121, GSTC or Green Globe, EarthCheck, or Biosphere.

Zürich Tourism: ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015


Destination Highlights

Hectares of green area per 100 000 population


With a huge majority of 76.4% of yes votes, the population of Zürich said yes to sustainable development and to the 2000-watt society in 2008. Specifically, this means that Zürich aims to reduce its energy consumption to 2000 watts per person and its CO2 emissions to one tonne per person and year by 2050. Since 2008, the targets of the 2000-watt society and nuclear phase-out have been anchored in municipal regulations. The city of Zürich is committed to reaching these ambitious targets in various ways. It promotes efficient energy use and the use of renewables, such as environmental heat, solar power, solar collectors or district heat with financial incentives and consultation. In terms of mobility, it has an attractive range of environmentally friendly means of public transport, and it acts as an example when it comes to its own properties. The city of Zürich has been honoured with the European Energy Award®GOLD for its energy performance and in the use of renewables. It also comes top in the ranking of the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index.

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

The city of Zürich has seen lively construction development over the past decade. On 22 January 2014, the threshold of 400,000 inhabitants was passed. Since 2005, the population has grown by more than 35,000, and nearly 60,000 new jobs have been created. The city is clearly an attractive place to live and work. According to forecasts, this growth will continue in the coming years. Zürich offers a high quality of life, the population is satisfied and its social cohesion is strong. The city of Zürich has defined 21 indicators in the areas of business, environment and society, which it considers to be important with regard to a comprehensive view of the city's development. The social indicators include the following: quality of life, social security, security, equal opportunities for men and women, people with disabilities, work-life balance, integration of the foreign population and cross-regional solidarity. The city of Zürich comes second in the Mercer Ranking of 2016, which rates the quality of life of cities.

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

In addition to security, Zürich Airport is a further, major benefit for Zürich as a congress location. It is a key international hub for arrivals and departures in the immediate vicinity. The city of Zürich is easy and straightforward to reach by public transport. All congress venues and the great majority of hotels are close to one another. 98 per cent of the hotels are less than half an hour away from a congress location. 50 per cent of hotel rooms in Zürich hold a sustainability certificate from a recognised label. For people attending fairs and congresses, there are numerous options to experience the sustainable commitment of destination Zürich or to explore them in a resource-saving manner thanks to the programme of activities offered by Zürich Tourism. Numerous city bikes, e-bikes and kids bikes are available free of charge in the city of Zürich. This allows the city to be explored in an environmentally sustainable way during a meeting break.

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

The topic of sustainability was revived in 2015 with a revised sustainability concept. Zürich Tourism has set itself credible and ambitious targets by 2020 at the levels of economy, ecology and society. Awareness for sustainable development in tourism should thereby be raised further among employees and other stakeholders at the destination. At an organisational level, in addition to the ecological dimension, measurable targets for the social and economic levels have now also been defined. The targets include reducing the ecological footprint, the satisfaction and health of employees, the support of local ecological and social projects. Zürich Tourism is ISO 14001 certified and has been the first climate-neutral tourism organisation in Switzerland since 2010.

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?