Ljubljana is a city with a green soul. If you were to describe it with only a few words, those would be green, safe, friendly and clean. It is recognised for its environmental conscience; it implemented a number of measures from the perspective of sustainable development, including green mobility, waste management and sustainable urban planning.

City of Green Soul and Clean Water

The residents of Ljubljana live next to a river and they drink excellent potable water, which is not processed with any technological procedure, and its quality equals the water of the subterranean sources. More than 30 drinking fountains provide free-of-charge refreshment during the warmer months.

© Andrej Tarfila

Among other most prominent “green” sights of Ljubljana are the vast Tivoli Park in the city centre and the unique recreational Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship (Pot spominov in tovarištva) encircling the city with its 7,000 trees. Just a few kilometres out of the city centre you can find the Ljubljana Marshes (Ljubljansko barje) landscape park, famous for its natural diversity.

The city itself and its immediate surroundings offer numerous attractive locations suitable for teambuilding programmes in nature.

Wide Range of Sustainability Measures

Ljubljana has implemented a number of measures in the field of sustainable development, including green mobility, waste management and sustainable urban planning. The inner part of the city centre was closed for traffic in 2012 and the residents of Ljubljana increasingly opt for cycling as a means of transport. The Bicike(LJ) system of bicycle sharing in the city is a free-of-charge and very popular form of transportation. The Copenhagenize Index ranks Ljubljana among the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.

© Iztok Medja

The list of international awards and recognitions Ljubljana has received for its sustainability endeavours is quite impressive. A few of the most eminent recognitions of the Ljubljana’s sustainability endeavours:

  • Ljubljana received the award in the area of sustainable tourism within the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism selection in 2018.
  • It received the prestigious WTM Responsible Tourism Award in 2017 for the development of sustainable tourism.
  • Ljubljana has been ranked as one of the TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations for five consecutive years. In 2018 it received the award in the Best Destinations of Europe category and in 2019 it was awarded in the Best of cities category for best practice - the implementation of the Locally Grown Food Exchange.
  • Ljubljana was the 2016 European Green Capital.
  • In 2015 it received the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow award.

Sustainability Measures in Tourism and Congress Industry

Ljubljana is part of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism since 2015. It is a certification system, which offers to destinations and providers concrete tools for assessment and improvement of the sustainable development initiatives and promotes these green actions also through the trademark SLOVENIA GREEN. Endeavours for introducing sustainable certificates and green supply chains in the accommodation facilities are being intensely implemented on the destination level. The Green Supply Chains is an ongoing project from 2015, where the Ljubljana Tourism actively collaborates with the City of Ljubljana Department for Environmental Protection, the Association for Sustainable Tourism GoodPlace and the Cooperative for Rural Development Jarina to connect the producers of local food and the hotel and restaurant managers, encouraging them to use 100 % locally grown ingredients in their kitchens.

© Private MICE forum

One of the priority assignments on the list are also green meetings. The Conventa business exchange, the central event of congress activity in the New Europe area, is one such event, which sets the referential standards for a destination. Its wooden exhibition stalls for multiple use, the use of recycled materials on all event levels and their consideration of locally produced food are only some of the measures taken to act as an example on how to implement green meetings.

Sustainable measures as such are introduced in selecting locations, participants’ transportation, food, communication with the participants, their materials and the technical execution of the event itself.

© Orehov Gaj

Organisers of sustainable events are striving for the following basic principles in the selection of the venue and the use of the entire infrastructure:

  • waste production prevention, sorting of waste produced and reuse;
  • energy saving, sustainable use of natural resources and reduction of waste;
  • collaboration with the local community and respecting the cultural and natural heritage;
  • health and safety of people as well as the environment and accessibility for everyone.