Top 10 sustainable cities for group travel

When designing your next group travel event, choosing a destination is as important as how you get there. Our list of sustainable cities offers more eco-friendly hospitality, transportation and urban planning, along with great culture and entertainment options. If your organisation is committed to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, make your trip match your ethos or, better yet, choose a city that inspires your organisation to step up their game.

Author: Lorelyne Lejay



6 min. Reading time

We believe that the move to a cleaner world shouldn’t rely on a rigid, one-size-fits-all regulatory approach. That’s why we support those who are leading towards a better future. At PRO SKY, 2024 brought even more innovation and we want every part of our services to be defined by a pioneering spirit, including the destinations we offer you. Through accountability, science and creativity, these sustainable cities show us how the urban experience can elevate people and the planet at the same time.


What is ESG?

ESG is a framework comprised by three pillars – Environmental, Social and Governance – and it is used to mitigate risks or explore opportunities within these non-financial areas, with the aim to ensure a sustainable future for an organisation. For example, companies can operate under these principles and investors can assess the potential of the companies they invest in by analysing their ESG score.

In ESG like in real estate: location, location, location

Choosing a destination that’s closer to you helps to save travel emissions, often due to more sustainable transportation (such as rail travel, for instance). This allows your organisation to support local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) while also investing in small businesses that directly benefit your community. Furthermore, this promotes wellness and mental health by avoiding long and schedule-demanding travels, especially involving jet lag. However, sometimes that game-changing event awaits you across the world and it becomes even harder to travel sustainably. Whatever your situation might be, we have compiled a list of sustainable cities to choose from if you are an ESG-driven organisation.

The frontrunners of climate action


Copenhagen, Denmark

Highly ranked among sustainable cities, Copenhagen consistently performs well internationally in terms of governance, innovation, climate action, safety, transportation, among others. The Danish capital already achieved their commitment of reducing 20% of their GHG emissions by 2015 and intend to become carbon neutral by next year 2025. In 2023, it was scored an A by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and came in third in the Global Destination Sustainability Index. You are officially convinced, but now you need some help planning the trip? WonderfulCopenhagen will definitely save you some time.

Tokyo, Japan

In 2022, Tokyo was the only city ranked within the Top 20 in all Arcadis pillars – Planet, People and Profit. The year after, Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities Index put them amongst the top contestants again. But what about the future? Well, just in case becoming a zero emissions city by 2050 is not enough, Tokyo aims to build “The world’s first ESG city””. And until then, Tokyo Sustainability Action has specific strategies on how to fill the city with “water and greenery”, along with how to “put smiles on the faces of children” and to make seniors within “the age of 100-year life” stay active. Before visiting Tokyo, make sure to check your sustainability options to make the most out of this city.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney seems to follow a pattern: they set ambitious goals that go beyond the requirements and, somewhere along the way, they even surpass their own targets! After promising to reduce 70% of their operational emissions by 2030, they reached their goal in 2021. Now that they have set a net zero target for 2040, they claim it will be achieved by 2035 instead, and we are all rooting for them! On top of that, Sydney has the cleanest air of any city on this list and it is in the Top 10 of the world. And if you think they are “just” doing it for the locals, the Sustainable Destination Partnership is a group of hotels, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, etc., who can guide you through the greenest options in the area.

We also feature Sydney in our Australia article. Find out more about our recommendations for local activities for your group trips.

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Sustainable cities as test lab for a greener future

buenos aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is not afraid of taking the lead. Besides being one of the first C401 cities to commit to total carbon neutrality by 2050 and the first city in the world with 100% LED street lighting, Buenos Aires has been acclaimed for its waste management, public transport, sustainable procurement and even socio-environmental projects such as the “Urban Bio-Corridors”. The government tourism office invites you to join their citizens in the journey to a more sustainable lifestyle.

1 network of world’s leading cities that work together to tackle the climate crisis

Vancouver, Canada

Despite its population growth, Vancouver has been able to reduce its waste and GHG emissions while increasingly relying on renewables and managing to reach 2022 with a total of 68% of urban green space in its metro region. In 2023, it was ranked as an A List city by the CDP and within the 10 most sustainable cities by Corporate Knights. Vancouver wanted to become the Greenest City in the world by 2020 and, although they did not achieve every target in that bold initiative, their progress in the last decade was definitely enough to join our list. If your organisation is within the academia, innovation or green economy fields, Vancouver opportunities might be just the thing for you.

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Increasing quality of life through urban rewilding


Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is the city where creativity and repurpose walk hand-in-hand. As a true eco-innovation hub, Seoul has converted almost 1km of elevated highway into the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden, a former horse racing track into the Seoul Forest Park and even created the “Sharing City Seoul” initiative which promotes the shared use of public and private resources (from abandoned buildings to suits for job interviews). For long stays in the city, consider the Climate Card which provides unlimited access to public transportation and Seoul bike.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin ranks amongst the top sustainable cities for Planet and People according to Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2022, which is perfectly aligned with the fact that they are one of the cities with the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world. By repurposing former airports/rail yards to create new parks and nature reserves, and frequently integrating green roofs and green walls in the urban infrastructure, Berlin is an inspiration for urban rewilding. For travellers, visitBerlin offers great tips to find the best eco-hotels, vegan/vegetarian spots or how to move around this 15-minute city.

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Excellence through resilience and adaptation

cape town

Mexico City, Mexico

Once ranked as the #1 most polluted city in the world, Mexico City is now scored as an A List city by CDP, which puts the capital in the other side of the spectrum after just a couple of decades. Their focus on clean mobility, LEED buildings, water management, renewables and public health and wellness has paid off and the city continues to lead on urban innovation (for example, building sports infrastructure out of recycled materials). UNESCO just shared the latest improvements on Mexico City sustainable tourism, so we encourage you to check it out before planning your trip.

Cape Town, South Africa

To drive regional change, “Mother City” is making the most out of worldwide initiatives, such as C40 Cities, Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement and CDP. While the city is scaling up renewables, low carbon buildings, clean transportation and regenerative agriculture, its visitors are reminded that they play a role in this transition too, by respecting the history and natural resources of the region. If Cape Town is your destination of choice, you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t lack sustainable places and experiences to choose from.

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Travelling to sustainable cities with sustainable flight solutions

If this list inspired you for your next group travel event, now it’s time to make sure that the trip matches the destination. Our team of specialists is waiting to hear from you. And don’t forget to ask about our sustainability solutions!

Just Miles Ahead.: Embrace mindful travel

Discover PRO SKY customisable sustainability solutions for group travel.

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