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Welcome to the world’s most sustainable destination, according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

We care about our planet, our city and the people who live here. This makes it important to flesh out the term “sustainability” with meaning and concrete content. Whether it means organising eco-friendly events, marketing green hotels or passing on knowledge from conference rooms to residents of the city, it all basically comes down to the same thing: making Gothenburg an even better city to live and work in.

Ecological sustainability is one of the most burning issues of our time and is an area that Gothenburg is tackling in a focused and deliberate way. But we cannot achieve sustainable development by tackling environmental issues alone; we must also tackle the social and economic aspects of sustainability. If the economy does well, if people have jobs and feel that they are part of the city, it also makes it easier to achieve our climate targets. If people are unhappy, if the environment suffers and resources run out then there is little potential to create economic value. What this means is that ecological, social and economic sustainability are not mutually exclusive, but actually essential to each other.

If you are an event organiser you can read more about sustainability from the events perspective.

If you are a meeting organiser you can read more about sustainability from the meetings perspective.

Ecological sustainability

Sweden has made strong progress in ecological sustainability, and everyone who visits Gothenburg can be assured that we take our responsibilities seriously. Landvetter Airport has the highest level of environmental accreditation; around 65 per cent of public transport in Gothenburg runs on renewable energy; and all our hotels have environmental diplomas (making Gothenburg the greenest city in the world for hotel accommodation).

According to the Global Destination Sustainability Index Gothenburg is the world’s most sustainable meeting and event destination. Gothenburg has won the leadership award four years in a row, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Gothenburg is an eco-friendly destination where visitors can demonstrate their respect for the environment. Whether you are looking for sustainable accommodation, travel or food, we have plenty of choice. But there is still much to be done, and we are constantly working to improve our ecological sustainability. For organisers of meetings and events who want help to succeed with their sustainability efforts, we offer advice, services and an environmental diploma system.

Social sustainability

Everyone who lives in Gothenburg should feel that they are part of the city and that the meetings and events that take place here are also for them. We therefore use the whole city as an arena and make events accessible to everyone. Events as diverse as the Nobel Week Dialogue, Gothenburg Culture Festival and sailing in Frihamnen harbour are all open to everyone and free of charge. We aim to spread knowledge across the city, and when we conduct projects such as the 400th anniversary celebrations in 2021 it is vital that they are clearly anchored in the will and desires of city residents. Göteborg & Co also runs concrete initiatives such as Team Gothenburg, which invites young people and adults to work as event hosts on a voluntary basis. This project reflects the diversity of the city, with hosts speaking a total of over 40 languages and representing every district. This is a great example of how social sustainability can be put into practice.

Economic sustainability

Much of our work centres on economic growth; we work to attract visitors to the meetings and events that are held in Gothenburg, to encourage people to stay at our hotels, to ensure that restaurants, shops and cafés are well frequented and that visitors want to see our countryside and our sights. We also work to ensure there is a wide range of attractions all year round and that people want to visit Gothenburg in November as well as in July. One way we do this is by developing new ideas that are economically sustainable and can support growth. Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group similarly provides support to projects in priority areas that will contribute to economic sustainability.

A healthy environment

  • Almost all our hotels have environmental diplomas.
  • Landvetter Airport has held the highest level of environmental accreditation – “European Airport Carbon” – since 2011.
  • Around 65 per cent of public transport in Gothenburg runs on renewable energy.
  • There are 1000 “Styr & Ställ” city bikes to rent at 60 different locations in the city.
  • All restaurants that are part of the Taste of Gothenburg association have environmental diplomas or are in the process of certification.
  • All meat that is served by the municipality must be organically farmed.
  • In 2011, the Port of Gothenburg received the Shipping Award for “Regional Environmental Protection Contribution”. The port was the first in the world to provide onshore power to vessels at berth.
  • In autumn 2013, Gothenburg became the first city in the world to issue a green bond for investments that benefit the environment and the climate.
  • Gothenburg is a green city, partly thanks to its closeness to forests and parks, but also to the compact layout of the city.
  • Gothenburg is a small city where almost everything is within walking distance.


  • Leadership Award, Global Destination Sustainability Index 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020
  • Climate City of Sweden 2015.
  • Access City Award 2014.
  • Climate Municipality since 2012.
  • International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) top destination in UNWTO-prize-winning Scandinavian
  • Destinations Sustainability Index, 2012 and 2013.
  • Top European Eco-tourism Destination 2011.
  • Fairtrade City since 2011.

Read our annual Sustainability report here

Find out how the City of Gothenburg is working toward sustainability at

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is a competition created by the European Commission to reward cities setting examples in…