SUSPRO for sustainable development
Mayor Daniël Termont explained the engagement of Ghent to become a sustainable city
On April 20, the Town Hall of Gent hosted the kick-off event of the ambitious SUSPRO³ project in the presence of some 200 interested industrials who were attending the animated speeches of Michael Braungart and Douglas Mulhall (founders of the Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy), the Mayor of Gent, Daniël Termont and the case witnesses of Weverij Jules Clarysse and SpanoGroup. Fa Quix, general manager of Fedustria (the federation of the Belgian textile, wood and furniture industry) presided the conference and introduced the SUSPRO³ project.
Sustainable management is very high on the agenda of the Flemish textile, wood and furniture companies. Our companies desire to lead the way on an ecological and social level as well as regarding the North-South relationship (Fair Trade). This process is taking place today and receives, thanks to SUSPRO³, an initiative of Fedustria, Centexbel and the Technical Centre of the Wood industry, an extra boost.
Douglas Mulhall introduced the cradle-to-cradle principle
Despite the general ban on airplanes, Michael Braungart did succeed to come to the Suspro start event
Dirk Weydts (Centexbel), Douglas Mulhall, Bruno Eggermont (Fedustria)
The sector has the ambition to become a leading industrial player in the field of sustainable management by 2015. This project will greatly simplify and shorten the itinerary to integrate sustainable development in the company policy. By investing proactively in eco-innovative products and processes, our companies can create a long term benefit to distinguish themselves from the competition.
SUSPRO³ stands for SUStainable PROducts/PROcesses/PROfit and will run until the end of February, 2012.
On the one hand, some 200 companies will be accompanied collectively to continue their efforts in making their policy more sustainable (products and processes) and in implementing eco-efficiency systems to measure the sustainability of products.
On the other hand, some 60 companies will also be accompanied on an individual basis, while emphasizing:
- the application of an eco-innovation system on management level to continuously monitor and improve the performance with respect to sustainability
- the guidance of individual companies during the implementation of an eco-management system.
In order to accompany the companies collectively, five work groups are created that will work on the themes of environment, energy, waste, eco-innovation systems and chain management. All work groups will discuss the actions and measures to apply different aspects of sustainable management in an efficient manner. A practical guide will be edited for each of the five themes.
Assistance to individual companies
In order to assist individual companies, possible improvement and/or innovation proposals will be offered as well as the support of their implementation. The progresses in the field of sustainable management will be monitored by means of a sector specific scorecard for a number of products. Each participating company will be asked to engage in verifiable and significant improvements that will be layed down in a sustainability charter.
Besides the five practical guides, an information brochure will be sent to the 2,000 companies of the sector each semester. On regular intervals (at the start, after one year and at the closure) a plenary information session will take place.
SUSPRO³ is visualized by flags and banners that will be handed out to all companies that will participate in the individual and/or collective activities.
SUSPRO³ is financed for 40% by the European Fund for Regional Development and for 45% by Vlaanderen in Actie Pact 2020 - Agentschap Ondernemen. The project partners contribute 15 %.