Who we are

The Sustainable Destination Partnership is a collaboration of hotels, backpacker hostels, serviced apartments, cultural institutions, entertainment venues and industry influencers working together to make Sydney a sustainable destination.

Single-use items

Working to reduce single use items in our businesses.

Food waste

Working to halve food waste in our businesses.

Sustainable procurement

Aligning supply chains with our sustainability objectives.

Why

Sydney is Australia’s leading destination for tourists and the gateway to NSW. The tourism sector is a vital component of the city's economy and an important contributor to national and international recognition of Sydney being a great place to visit, live and work. But this popularity comes at a price with accommodation and entertainment venues creating 47% of Sydney’s commercial waste, 21% of its carbon emissions and consuming 14% of its drinking water.

We are taking action

We are taking action. Sustainable Destination Partnership was launched in June 2018 with 40 founding members. These members represent almost half of Sydney’s hotel rooms, the majority of our well-known cultural and entertainment venues and key industry associations and supporters. The Partnership is one of many actions from the City’s Making Sydney a Sustainable Destination plan which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of the sector while saving money and attracting new customers.

Objectives

The Sustainable Destination Partnership will work collaboratively to:

  • improve the environmental performance of Sydney’s accommodation and entertainment venues
  • invest in renewable energy, recycled water, waste avoidance and management and other sustainable solutions that support Sustainable Sydney 2030 goals
  • engage with regulators and governments on key environmental policy and regulatory issues
  • champion and promote our objectives and outcomes to the broader sector and wider community.

Sustainable Sydney 2030

Sustainable Sydney 2030 is the City of Sydney’s vision for a green, global and connected city. To help realise this vision the City set targets to reduce carbon emissions by 70%, divert 90% of waste from landfill and have a zero increase in potable water by 2030 (from 2006 levels).

The Sustainable Destination Partnership is one of many City initiatives helping to deliver these targets and sustainability outcomes for Sydney.

Global Destination Sustainability Index

Since 2017 Sydney has participated in the Global Destination Sustainability Index, a worldwide sustainability performance ranking scheme for tourism destinations. In 2021 Sydney ranked 15th out 73 participating destinations. In 2019 the Sustainable Destination Partnership received the GDSI’s Innovation in Sustainability Award for outstanding collaboration.

The Sustainable Destination Partnership is committed to improving Sydney’s GDSI ranking and will align our actions in our soon to be released 2025 Strategy.

United Nations’ Sustainable development goals

The Sustainable Destination Partnership is the flagship action under City of Sydney’s Making Sydney a Sustainable Destination plan, which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As we begin work on the Sustainable Destination Partnership’s new 2025 Strategy we will ensure that our Partners are confident their efforts are part of a global push for better sustainability outcomes.

Our results

Shared measurement of data and results is a key element of the collective impact model informing the operation of the Sustainable Destination Partnership. From the beginning we worked with our business members, and our data partners Kinesis and the NSW Government's Sustainability Advantage program, to develop an annual reporting framework. This identifies SDP's baseline resource use and organisational capability. On an annual basis we measure our progress towards our targets.

In its first year SDP reduced carbon emissions by 5%.Over the past two years the Partnership has been disrupted by COVID-19. However, our partners continued to improve their sustainability capabilities and the environmental performance of their buildings. The partnership’s sustainability results are presented in our 2021 progress report.

SDP progress report 2021 (PDF 2 MB)

SDP 2021 infographic (PDF 356 KB)