1.15 Sustainability Co-Design: Göteborg & Co

This case study demonstrates how even those destinations that are at the forefront of sustainability can keep developing new initiatives and improving their sustainable strategy.

The case study will allow you to understand how a destination can continuously develop new initiatives to progress and involve stakeholders in its sustainable development.

Co-Developing a Sustainable Strategy

This case study demonstrates how even those destinations that are at the forefront of sustainability can keep developing new initiatives and improving their sustainable strategy.

The case study will allow you to understand how a destination can continuously develop new initiatives to progress and involve stakeholders in its sustainable development.

Main Takeaways from this Case Study

  • When developing a sustainable strategy it's important to communicate the whole process and not just the result.
  • To create an integrated sustainability strategy it's necessary to develop it in line with the ideas of co-design and leadership.
  • The successful implementation of sustainability relies on involving all stakeholders and teaching them how to move forward.

Gothenburg is the story of a smaller destination paving the way for smart and sustainable cities. For 20 years the strategy for them has been to make effective partnerships to expand opportunities.

In 2020, they were named one of the European Capitals of Smart Tourism thanks to their sustainability-driven efforts, e.g. their 800km of bike lanes and ensuring that 95% of hotel rooms are environmentally certified. Being the European Capital of Smart Tourism is about sharing their own work with other destinations, but also highlighting and inspiring by giving examples of successful initiatives leading to a change.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is a competition created by the European Commission to reward cities setting examples in smart, innovative and inclusive tourism solutions. The cities appointed as the capital must show strong performance in four categories: accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation and cultural heritage/creativity. In its competition entry, Gothenburg highlighted strengths in all four categories and underlined the ambition to share knowledge and experiences with other destinations.

Through their win, they've been given a platform to share their success in more than a few ways, although the most outstanding one is their 101 Sustainable Ideas website.

The 101 ideas of this catalogue are not ours to begin with – they are the ideas of social entrepreneurs, innovative business founders, visionary codebreakers and imaginary doers driven by a strong sense of making a difference. - Göteborg & Co

101sustainableideas.com lists sustainable, creative and innovative ideas in the tourism industry from across all continents. The aim is to raise awareness of even more ideas and despite its name, the number of initiatives is not static, with anyone being able to nominate an idea for the catalogue. It is a way to inspire others to make a change and eventually achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The website is a part of the daily work with smart tourism in Gothenburg and in raising awareness of smart initiatives and destinations. In their research to put the list together, Göteborg & Co looked especially for ideas that relate to city life and urban tourism with a high degree of innovation and creativity. The ideas relate to travel and tourism in a broad sense – considering the visitor eco-system of urban destinations and in some cases also approaching ideas that encourage tourism as a resource for other, more sustainable purposes.

Among other things, the website contains a list of ideas already made, which UN goals they belong to, different categories and a form where you can nominate ideas to be put on the website.

For example, Surabaya, Indonesia, accept plastic cups and bottles as payment for bus tickets. Passengers can hand in 10 plastic cups or 5 plastic bottles at the terminal or on the bus in exchange for a two-hour ticket. This initiative supports SDGs 11 (Sustainable cities & communities), 9 (industry, innovation & infrastructure), 14 (life below water) and 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Additionally, the website references which specific sections of the SDG the initiative contributes to.

On another note, looking at accommodation and the community, the website shows the example of how the Balearic government has implemented a sustainable tax on almost all visits to Mallorca due to the urban and environmental degradation caused during the high seasons. The tax rate depends on the type and cost of accommodation, and during the offseason, rates are reduced to attract arrivals all year round.

This initiative supports SDGs 11 (Sustainable cities & communities), 8 (decent work & economic growth) and 15 (life on land).

Are you ready to be inspired? Make sure to have a look at their website! 👀

Additional Material

This is an interesting discussion from one of the past events which we recommend you watch to hear what it means to be a smart destination with a focus on sustainability.

The case study will allow you to understand how a destination can continuously develop new initiatives to progress and involve stakeholders in its sustainable development.

Co-Developing a Sustainable Strategy

This case study demonstrates how even those destinations that are at the forefront of sustainability can keep developing new initiatives and improving their sustainable strategy.

The case study will allow you to understand how a destination can continuously develop new initiatives to progress and involve stakeholders in its sustainable development.

Main Takeaways from this Case Study

  • When developing a sustainable strategy it's important to communicate the whole process and not just the result.
  • To create an integrated sustainability strategy it's necessary to develop it in line with the ideas of co-design and leadership.
  • The successful implementation of sustainability relies on involving all stakeholders and teaching them how to move forward.

Gothenburg is the story of a smaller destination paving the way for smart and sustainable cities. For 20 years the strategy for them has been to make effective partnerships to expand opportunities.

In 2020, they were named one of the European Capitals of Smart Tourism thanks to their sustainability-driven efforts, e.g. their 800km of bike lanes and ensuring that 95% of hotel rooms are environmentally certified. Being the European Capital of Smart Tourism is about sharing their own work with other destinations, but also highlighting and inspiring by giving examples of successful initiatives leading to a change.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is a competition created by the European Commission to reward cities setting examples in smart, innovative and inclusive tourism solutions. The cities appointed as the capital must show strong performance in four categories: accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation and cultural heritage/creativity. In its competition entry, Gothenburg highlighted strengths in all four categories and underlined the ambition to share knowledge and experiences with other destinations.

Through their win, they've been given a platform to share their success in more than a few ways, although the most outstanding one is their 101 Sustainable Ideas website.

The 101 ideas of this catalogue are not ours to begin with – they are the ideas of social entrepreneurs, innovative business founders, visionary codebreakers and imaginary doers driven by a strong sense of making a difference. - Göteborg & Co

101sustainableideas.com lists sustainable, creative and innovative ideas in the tourism industry from across all continents. The aim is to raise awareness of even more ideas and despite its name, the number of initiatives is not static, with anyone being able to nominate an idea for the catalogue. It is a way to inspire others to make a change and eventually achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The website is a part of the daily work with smart tourism in Gothenburg and in raising awareness of smart initiatives and destinations. In their research to put the list together, Göteborg & Co looked especially for ideas that relate to city life and urban tourism with a high degree of innovation and creativity. The ideas relate to travel and tourism in a broad sense – considering the visitor eco-system of urban destinations and in some cases also approaching ideas that encourage tourism as a resource for other, more sustainable purposes.

Among other things, the website contains a list of ideas already made, which UN goals they belong to, different categories and a form where you can nominate ideas to be put on the website.

For example, Surabaya, Indonesia, accept plastic cups and bottles as payment for bus tickets. Passengers can hand in 10 plastic cups or 5 plastic bottles at the terminal or on the bus in exchange for a two-hour ticket. This initiative supports SDGs 11 (Sustainable cities & communities), 9 (industry, innovation & infrastructure), 14 (life below water) and 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Additionally, the website references which specific sections of the SDG the initiative contributes to.

On another note, looking at accommodation and the community, the website shows the example of how the Balearic government has implemented a sustainable tax on almost all visits to Mallorca due to the urban and environmental degradation caused during the high seasons. The tax rate depends on the type and cost of accommodation, and during the offseason, rates are reduced to attract arrivals all year round.

This initiative supports SDGs 11 (Sustainable cities & communities), 8 (decent work & economic growth) and 15 (life on land).

Are you ready to be inspired? Make sure to have a look at their website! 👀

Additional Material

This is an interesting discussion from one of the past events which we recommend you watch to hear what it means to be a smart destination with a focus on sustainability.