Melbourne is Asia Pacific’s most sustainable city… for business

As Australia’s fastest growing city, Melbourne is tipped to overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city by 2030. Source: Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

MELBOURNE has come out on top of the list of sustainable cities in the Asia-Pacific region for business events.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) listed the city as number 13 in the world overall, but the city and the Melbourne Convention Bureau’s (MCB) sustainability performance was given the recognition based on its environmental strategy and infrastructure, and city social sustainability performance, among others.

A recent report in Travel Daily News, said Melbourne scored 75 percent in the city social sustainability, while the convention bureau performance achieved 74 percent score.

The GDS-Index serves as a benchmark in promoting sustainable growth of meeting destinations around the globe. The index, which highlights best practices and responsible business tourism, looks to improve the social and environmental performance of the cities and its business events industry, the report said.

Karen Bolinger, MCB’s Chief Executive, was quoted as saying the centre valued sustainable practices for meeting organisers and delegates.

“MCB actively contributes to, and promotes, the city’s sustainability credentials to the business events industry in Australia and globally, and we’re committed to making Melbourne one of the world’s most sustainable cities,” Bolinger said.

Melbourne’s hotel inventory and convention facilities also received top marks for being easily accessible via public transport.

As Australia’s fastest growing city, Melbourne is tipped to overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city by 2030. Source: Shutterstock

To top that, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre also has third-party sustainability certification, while the City of Melbourne has a program that supports restaurants that pledged sustainability, public bike sharing facilities, and subsidised public transport for major conventions, the report said.

Bolinger said despite the progress, there was still much room for improvement.

“MCB will continue to work collaboratively with all our partners and the business events industry on supporting initiatives that strengthen the city’s eco-credentials, Bolinger said.

By 2020, Melbourne is hoping to achieve its ambitious goal of zero net emissions, supported by several initiatives including encouraging building owners and facility managers to improve their efficiency and reduce waste through the latest technology, and through increasing the forest canopy from 22 percent to 40 percent by 2040.

“Melbourne has the highest percentage of new Green Star buildings in Australia, including the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, who led the way in being the first convention and exhibition centre in the world to be awarded a 6-Star Green Star environment rating,” Melbourne’s Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said.