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Gothenburg, Sweden
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These are the world’s most sustainable travel destinations right now

According to the Global Destinations Sustainability Index, these are the most sustainable destinations in the world

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Sustainability isn’t just about the environment. Sure, being good to the planet is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future, but so is having a healthy society and political system. Deciding what’s sustainable and what isn’t can, therefore, be very complicated, multifaceted stuff.

All of which is why it’s so important that the Global Destinations Sustainability Index is so thorough and complex. Judging places based on 70 indicators that range from CO2 emissions and air quality to political corruption and unemployment, the GDS Index gives destinations a percentage ‘sustainability score’.

Top of this year’s ranking was, once again, Gothenburg. Scoring a whopping 93 percent in the index and keeping top spot from last year, the Swedish city is king when it comes to everything from green public transport to local biodiversity.

In second place came Bergen (scoring 88 percent) in Norway, in part due to its social equality and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, followed by the Danish capital Copenhagen (87 percent), thanks to initiatives like its wastewater treatment plants and renewable energy sources.  

As usual, northern European countries dominate the GDS Index’s ranking. These were the top ten destinations in this year’s list, along with their sustainability score. 

  1. Gothenburg, Sweden (93 percent
  2. Bergen, Norway (88 percent)
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark (87 percent)
  4. Aalborg, Denmark (86 percent)
  5. Bordeaux, France (85 percent)
  6. Glasgow, UK (84 percent)
  7. Stockholm, Sweden (84 percent)
  8. Belfast, UK (84 percent)
  9. Aarhus, Denmark (84 percent)
  10. Oslo, Norway (83 percent)

If you’re interested in seeing where your city sits in the ranking, you can read the full GDS Index results here.

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