A sustainable destination

Bilbao has undergone a total revolution in recent decades: from being a completely industrialised city to today, where the city’s transformation and its strong commitment to sustainability are notable. It has established itself as an attractive and welcoming city for the people who live there and for those who, year after year, choose Bilbao as a place to enjoy a few days getting to know its people and its streets.

Bilbao Convention Bureau (BiCB) works to promote and carry out sustainable activities involving as many stakeholders from the city as possible. The activities and the effort put into these are evidence of this:

Here are some of the more representative achievements of both the city suppliers and of the Bilbao Convention Bureau.

For further information do not hesitate to go to the Good Practices section.


Azkuna Zentroa certified for universal accessibility

AENOR has awarded the universal accessibility certificate, in line with the UNE 170001 standard, to Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao, Society and Contemporary Culture Centre of Bilbao City Council.

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Azkuna Zentroa nominated for the New European Bauhaus Award of the European Union

Azkuna Zentroa has been selected as a candidate for the New European Bauhaus Prize, organised by the European Commission with the aim of giving «visibility to examples and concepts that illustrate beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places in our territories».

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Euskalduna Palace obtains the LEED sustainability certificate

The Euskalduna is the first conference centre to obtain the LEED – EBOM (LEED for existing buildings operation and maintenance) sustainability certificate.

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Euskalduna is the first conference centre in Spain to endorse the healthy organisation management certificate

The recent renewal of the Healthy Business certificate accredits Euskalduna Bilbao as the first Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Spain to endorse (obtained in 2019) the healthy organisation management certificate.

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WindEurope closes its 2022 edition in BEC

 The edition of WindEurope 2022 held at the BEC has come to an end, being a great success both in terms of organisation and number of attendees.

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BEC: Transfer of knowledge, networking and sustainable leadership, the main players at Steel Tech

Transfer of knowledge, networking and sustainable leadership were the main players at the first edition of the Steel Tech Congress & Expo, held from 19 to 21 October and organised by Bilbao Exhibition Centre and Siderex –Cluster Association of Steelworks.

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San Mamés, first stadium to join the Hostelería #PorElClima initiative

Commitment to sustainability is an essential part of the society road map. Moreover, it may become a lever for facing the future and for economic recovery. This is why leading companies and social references play a significant role by leading the way and acting as active agents of change.

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San Mamés, LEED award

2020 will be the year in which Bilbao and San Mamés welcome the top European football players. They will all have the chance to walk on the first field to receive the LEED certificate, awarded by the GBCI.

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Hotel Ercilla Bilbao

Red Deer international design and architecture studio has completely renovated this four-star hotel, an icon of Bilbao since the 70s, to give an air of vintage glamour which is bound to be the talk of the town over the next few months.

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Hotel Meliá Bilbao

Meliá, the most sustainable hotel chain in Europe, according to S&P Global. The company is also the second in the world ranking compiled by S&P Global, the sustainable investment agency which assesses the companies in the DJSI.

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Hotel Radisson Bilbao

Millenium Hospitality Real Estate has opened a second hotel in Bilbao, the Radisson Collection Gran Vía Bilbao, following the renovation of one of the most emblematic buildings in the basque city.

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Hotel Gran Bilbao

At the Hotel Gran Bilbao we open the doors to sustainability and recycling. Messages warning us and raising awareness about our planet are appearing more and more frequently in the news and in our everyday life. Climate change is a fact. Our Earth has said enough and it is time to take action.

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Initiative to improve waste collection from the NON DOMESTIC sector

As with sustainable food, the reuse of materials at conferences and exhibitions has a long way to go to improve. As part of the different recycling initiatives, Bilbao City Council has focussed on promoting and raising awareness about the recycling of organic waste for its subsequent composting.

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KSpain Travel and Leisure publish the new Sustainability Policy

The receptive tour operator, KSpain Travel and Leisure, reasserted their commitment to sustainability after updating their Sustainability Policy with two documents: Commitment and Roadmap.

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Bilbao Convention Bureau has eliminated the physical visiting card and supports the digitalisation of contact details thanks to a QR code.

Bilbao has made it onto the Air Quality City List, a ranking which assesses the least contaminated cities in the world.

Legacy reaffirms itself as key to events

Thanks to the carbon footprint calculation, we are aware of our environmental impact and consequently we are committed to sustainability.

Bilbao Convention Bureau signs the Glasgow Declaration and reasserts its commitment to sustainability.

The GDS Index lists the most sustainable destinations for the preparation of events in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) sector

Interview with Kepa Olabarrieta, Director of the Bilbao Convention Bureau, representative of the MICE sector of Bilbao.


The mission of the Bilbao Convention Bureau Sustainability Policy is to carry out different activities in order to promote sustainability in the MICE sector and to promote Bilbao as a venue for corporate and associative meetings. That is why we also consider the values defined by #BilbaoArimaBerdea (INCLUSION AND RESPECT, COLLABORATION AND COOPERATION, PROGRESS AND INNOVATION and QUALITY OF LIFE) and align them with the SDG most relevant to Bilbao in order to achieve the objectives.

Building on close contact with the different players from the sector, we make every effort to be able to respond to any need that may arise and to fulfil our commitments, never forgetting the process of continuous improvement we seek to implement.

The confidence placed in local products and the promotion of the use of reusable and sustainable materials is of great importance.

Download Sustainability Policy


Taking as an example the huge capacity for work and commitment shown in the reconversion and sustained growth of the city of Bilbao in recent years, the Bilbao Convention Bureau Sustainability Strategy lists the measures and initiatives proposed to convert Bilbao into a cutting-edge city in terms of sustainability.

Of note is the commitment acquired on entering the GDS-Index, a world ranking of the most sustainable cites and, consequently, the most attractive for holding events and business meetings. Therefore, it is necessary to work alongside representatives from all the subsectors and to consider the vision and ideas offered by each one for the common good, and to encourage public participation in order to obtain the people’s impressions about options for improvement.

Lastly, an in-depth revision and analysis is required of the indicators, both for the dashboard control and measurement system (CO2 emissions avoided, people helped, Kg of waste avoided) and those necessary for the preparation of reports and the control of strategy milestones.

Download Sustainability Strategy

2021-2022 YEAR REPORTS



Kg of waste avoided

People helped

60 people

CO2 emissions avoided

2,45 [teCO2]


Here are some of the different initiatives that we are promoting from the Bilbao Convention Bureau in collaboration with other stakeholders. We hope that thanks to these sustainable initiatives we are able to make progress in terms of sustainability.


Sustainable food

Food is one of the areas of most concern today, given the quantity of resources required to feed the population. This is why it is important to know about the benefits of promoting a diet based on sustainable products.


Reuse of materials

Until recently, tonnes of waste would be left after a business event, with the consequent negative impact, making the conference harmful to the environment and with no positive impact on society. This is why it is time for a drastic change in the way in which a conference is planned and the type of materials used.



Mobility in Bilbao is easy and simple. Following the urban concept of the 15-minute city, in a relatively small area participants have access to shops, hotels, the historic centre and event venues, promoting mobility on foot or by bike.


Routes and nature

The city of Bilbao is surrounded by mountains and green zones. Around and within the “botxo” are green spaces for the practise of sport and leisure activities in a natural environment. The Bilbao Grand Route (GR-228) runs around the urban centre, grouping together the municipal forest parks and urban parks, with access from every district of Bilbao.



Basque cuisine and in particular, that of Bilbao, is one of the most highly valued cuisines in the world and its international success is well-known. This is partly due to the excellent quality of local products.


Local commerce

In Bilbao, we are proud to still have many long-standing local shops. Local stores of every type are found mostly in the Historic Centre but also all over the city.



Both cultural and leisure spaces and catering establishments are prepared to offer a complete and satisfactory experience for everyone.


More sustainable events

Bilbao has worked hard to obtain a series of characteristics which make it into a suitable destination for holding a sustainable event.



The Bilbao Bizkaia Water Board is the organisation responsible for water management throughout the water’s life cycle, from collection, drinking water treatment and distribution to the disposal of waste, waste water treatment and return to the natural environment.



Bilbao Convention Bureau works to promote social actions and a positive impact on the destination during a business event. The aim is that a conference does not only make an impact while it takes place, but that thanks to different initiatives and collaborations with associations, it leaves a legacy for the local society of Bilbao.

To achieve this, some of the different options include:



-Bilbao Balioen Hiria

-Impredecible Basoa


-Cruz Roja

-Lantegi Batuak

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