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For the third time in a row, Berlin has been ranked among the most coveted places in the most important international sustainability ranking for the tourism and events industry. Among major cities with more than 1.5 million inhabitants, Berlin is placed sixth. With an overall performance of 77 percent, the German capital managed to improve its ranking in the “Global Destination Sustainability Index” by three percent – among more than 100 destinations from all over the world for the first time. The ranking was announced at the GDS Forum in Valencia.

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, said: “Berlin stands among the top 10 metropolises across the world in terms of sustainability. Together with a host of dedicated partners in the city, we continue to work towards making Berlin one of the most climate-friendly and worthwhile places to live in Europe.”


Berlin among the most sustainable metropolises worldwide

Berlin ranks behind Glasgow, Singapore, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney, but is positioned ahead of Montreal, Barcelona, the Flanders region and Sapporo in the ranking of the most sustainable metropolises. As compared to the previous year, Singapore moved up from eighth to second place, overtaking Berlin. Berlin’s positive development shows that the German capital can hold its own very well in the global competition of the most sustainable destinations.

In terms of ecology, social and economic sustainability: The “Global Destination Sustainability Index” takes a keen look at these three sustainability dimensions. A total of 69 qualitative and quantitative criteria are applied to ascertain how sustainably cities actually operate. The objective behind the ranking process is to promote the sustainable development of international destinations and responsible business tourism. The index evaluates four areas:

1. Urban environmental strategy and infrastructure
2. Social sustainability performance of the city
3. Sustainability performance by service providers such as restaurants, hotels or convention centres
4. Destination management strategies and initiatives.

The activities of visitBerlin play a part in making Berlin fit for the future. Since the year 2020, visitBerlin has been a member of the collaborative platform “Global Destination Sustainability Movement” (GDSM). The objective here is to help shape the change towards a sustainable tourism and events industry. In addition, the tourism and congress organisation has stipulated the sustainability principles as a supplement to its own sustainability strategy in the “visitBerlin Sustainablity Policy“. With the Sustainable Berlin programme, which is funded as part of the Berlin New Start programme by Berlin’s Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations, visitBerlin works together with tourism partners, leisure facilities, hotels, locations and event agencies on their path to greater sustainability.

A few comments by the hotel and event industry

Marc Mundstock, Chairman of the Berlin Event Network e.V. (BEN): “BEN e.V. supports the internationally recognised Sustainable Partner Programme for the Berlin event industry because it strengthens the efforts of the entire city. The dedicated members of BEN e.V. contribute to making Berlin one of the most sustainable metropolises in Europe.” BEN brings together event venues and service providers from segments such as technology, equipment, catering as well as event and incentive agencies under one roof.

Stefan Athmann, CEO of visitBerlin Partnerhotel e.V. adds: “We are very delighted to be ranked sixth. Sustainability is gaining momentum among Berlin’s hotels: By operating in a sustainable manner, hotels can protect the environment and minimise their ecological footprint, which is also beneficial economically. Moreover, by focusing on sustainability, we also meet the needs and expectations of our guests. In addition, sustainable hotels can benefit from government support programmes and grants. A win-win situation for all parties involved.”

More information

In the ranking, destinations with more than 1.5 million inhabitants were regarded as metropolises. For more details about Berlin, please click here. For all results of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, visit gds.earth/2023-results/.   For tips on how to visit Berlin with a view to sustainability, go to visitBerlin.de/en/sustainable-berlin. For more information on sustainable tourism development in Berlin, please click here.