For a few months now, Greenfish affiliates with the Belgian collaborative platform, The Shift, dedicated to realizing the transition towards a more sustainable society and economy that are in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A wide global action framework in which each national government, combined with the unprecedented participation of civil society and other stakeholders, are committed to implement 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, it is quite natural that Greenfish joins the international movement and defines its set of commitments, just like other Belgian institutions.
As consulting company specializing in sustainable engineering services, we are delighted to contribute actively to building a better world while playing our part in the Belgian success. Our country recently presented, during a United Nations of High-Level Political Forum in New York, its first evaluation report on the efforts Belgium is undertaking to accomplish the SDGs. We are among the leading UN member states in officially submitting this National Voluntary Review to the international community. This report highlights that, not even two years since the SDGs were defined, our country can already show initiatives and accomplishments in many areas.
At Greenfish, we have chosen to commit to 5 SDGs related to our core business and sensitivity. Below is a little review of our successful pledges and initiatives.
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
Even if Belgium ranks 17th in the World Happiness Report, efforts need to continue to ensure more healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and mental illness remain the leading causes of mortality in the country, points out the Belgian report. In this respect, and to tackle the problem of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, several initiatives are being set up to invite Greenfish staff to be fit and stay healthy.
In 2017, employees were encouraged to run the 20 km of Brussels with United Fund for Belgium. This year, we also took the challenge to join the Spartacus Run, a 11 kilometer race with 247 meters of vertical drop, and at least 25 spectacular obstacles. In addition, once a week, a sports center is made available with planned activities. Similarly, we warmly invite our employees to share their hobby with the others. For instance, a team of climbers has been created and practices on a weekly basis.
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
According to the UN, energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions and having harmful impacts on people’s well-being and the environment. At country level, energy use remains relatively high due to a poorly insulated housing park and well-developed intermediary industries that are energy-consuming economies, witnesses the Belgian evaluation report. So far, Belgian energy intensity plateaus above the EU-28 average, it adds.
That’s why Greenfish’s core business to help its clients solve their most complex issues with smart energy solutions is more relevant than ever. Our consultants work for clients that provide energy to the entire Belgian territory and strive for renewable means of production, which is one of the major targets for this goal. Energy monitoring, audit and efficiency, as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are some of our main interests.
In a similar way, Greenfish is concerned about its own energy consumption and moved beginning of 2016 into new offices in a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certified building in Brussels. In addition, we are permanently working on a multimodal and citizen-friendly mobility strategy to help our employees opt for various sustainable modes of transport rather than private cars for their work-related trips.
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Regarding this goal at aiming to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, Belgian businesses occupy an enviable position in the R&D landscape. The Belgian review outlines 2.5% GDP is spent in that field, almost reaching the EU 2020 objective of 3%.
In the scope of Greenfish activities, innovation is precisely the key driver of the company as well as to address the societal and environmental challenges we are facing today. Our consultants are expected to develop creative and innovative client oriented solutions on the technological side. We also partner with an ecosystem of organizations and companies that offer specific, precise, breakthrough solutions and techniques. Besides, innovation is deeply embedded in the DNA of Greenfish as we constantly reinvent ourselves and the way we work to maximize our positive impact.
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
“If the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets will be required to sustain current lifestyles” declared the UN. This goal is clearly designed to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Again, Greenfish is in line with the global approach by facilitating the integration of sustainability at the very heart of its clients’ business model. While fostering responsible production, we also facilitate mindset and behavior change to achieve these goals. In other words, we help our clients to limit their energy consumption, reduce their carbon and water footprint, reach a zero-waste target, thus, operate according to circular economy principles.
In this area, Belgium is held up as a model and plays the European leader in recycling packaging materials by peaking to 80% recycling rate whilst EU average levels out at 64%, the Belgian report proudly proclaims.
Nevertheless, Greenfish is also aware that commuting represents a significant issue in Belgium. Companies must implement sustainable mobility strategies to reduce fossil fuel use, CO2 emissions and stress due to the number of cars on the road. We want to do our part: our offices are easily accessible by public transport, and we are currently working on developing a new sustainable mobility policy. Our purpose is to raise awareness among our stakeholders, and to propose softer alternatives, including promotion of carpooling and intermodal commuting. We also offer support to our clients to develop innovative mobility solutions.
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Recommended by this SDG itself, Greenfish has joined the local community that seeks to mobilize action on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through its membership with The Shift, the Belgian network for sustainability. The SDGs are the common framework that binds, engages, and motivates all members to action and to join forces to facilitate their implementation.
In our opinion, partnerships, and synergies are the key players for a more sustainable society. We are convinced of the merits of developing strong ties with local associations around us. Therefore, we partner with universities and schools to help students find their first professional challenge and help them on various research projects. We also enroll into several strategic partnerships with other companies that can bring fresh and innovative sustainable solutions to our clients, thus creating shared value.
Change starts with all together!