Adelaide, Australia’s Most Sustainable Business Event Destination

Adelaide consistently ranks highly in ‘most liveable city’ surveys – ‘The Economist’ magazine placing it 12th in 2023. And it’s easy to see why. Adelaide is the world’s only city in a park, encircled by 760ha of parklands as well as being the southern hemisphere’s first National Park City.

Adelaide is culturally diverse, vibrant, safe and welcoming. It is compact but its broad flat streets make it feel spacious. Visitors love how close everything is – 15 minutes separates the airport from the CBD, and the Adelaide Convention Centre is within a 5-minute walk of more than 3,000 luxury hotel rooms. The rest of the city is just as easily navigable on foot or by free (electric) public transport.

We are committed to keeping it that way – here are some of the ways ‘Team Adelaide’ is tackling the challenge of sustainability.

Climate Change
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are important focuses for South Australia. Initiatives detailed in the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-25 put South Australia at the forefront of clean energy generation. It includes statewide goals of:

  • reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%
  • achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and
  • achieving 100% net renewable energy generation by 2027

Our capital city is leading the way with the City of Adelaide becoming the first council in South Australia to use 100% renewable electricity in all its operations.
This includes the historic Adelaide Town Hall, community buildings, electric vehicle chargers, street lighting and traffic lights. All this energy, generated by wind and solar.

Environmental 2


Zero Waste
It is not just in renewable energy that SA is demonstrating leadership, it has an impressive list of firsts when it comes to avoiding waste and landfill:
- SA was the first state to introduce deposits on beverage containers.
- The first to ban lightweight plastic bags.
- Legislation banning the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastics came into effect from 1 March 2021  and was the first of its kind in Australia.

This was expanded in 2022 to include polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers, with further amendments planned for 2024 and 2025.

Supplier Sustainability
Adelaide’s business event partners play their part in ensuring the destination achieves its sustainability goals.

In October 2023, the Adelaide Convention Centre was announced as the world’s first convention centre to achieve EarthCheck’s coveted Master certification.
This milestone achievement reflects a 15-year commitment to best practice in business and environmental sustainability, reaffirming the Centre’s global leadership at a time when sustainability has emerged as a major consideration for organisers in the business events industry. READ MORE

Riverbank City View

Indigenous painting

Social Sustainability
Adelaide is located on Kaurna land and the heritage, culture and history of the traditional owners is still celebrated today. South Australia was the first state to legislate a First Nations Voice to Parliament, demonstrating its commitment to implementing the Uluru ‘Statement from the Heart’. Adelaide residents have roots in more than 200 countries and observe over 100 faith systems.
Almost 15% of South Australia’s population consists of non-English speaking migrants, making it a vibrant and diverse melting pot.  READ MORE

Economic Sustainability
Business events are worth more than $2.5 billion annually to South Australia. Over the three years between 2021 and 2023, Business Events Adelaide secured 392 international and domestic business events. These resulted in 691,000 bed nights in city hotels – predominantly in the off-peak Monday to Thursday period – generating more than $678m directly into the State economy. Whilst business event delegate’s deliver a high daily spend – averaged at an impressive $632 per day compared to a tourist’s $179 - the State Government recognises they also deliver quantifiable long-term benefits to the economy from the economic tail.


Business Events


Measuring Our Progress
In 2024, Adelaide become the 4th Australian city to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index).

Global Destination Sustainability Movement is a pioneering, international change agency that acts to catalyse socio-economic and environmental transformation in cities and regions across the world. 
The GDS-Index, a trusted performance improvement program, assesses and accelerates the progress of a destination’s regenerative journey.
It measures, benchmarks, and enhances the sustainability strategies, action plans, and initiatives of over 100 destination management organisations, municipal authorities, and their tourism and event supply chains. Business Events Adelaide is coordinating Adelaide’s response to the assessment criteria, with strong support from the Adelaide Convention Centre, member venues and stakeholders within local and state government.