The environment, sustainable development and social responsibility are important for the sustainable growth of our society.
When we think of the environment, we think of biodiversity, deforestation, consumption of energy and raw materials, pollution, and more. How do we interact with the world around us? How can we manage the risks associated with our actions?
The usual definition of sustainable development is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. So how can we continue to develop in the long term? The answer to that question seems to involve combining the three 'pillars' of sustainable development: economy, society and the environment.
The environmental pillar
The Chancellery set up an environmental management system in 2007 and on 7 February 2017 was awarded the ‘Ecodynamic business’ label by the Brussels-Capital Region, with three stars.
In practical terms, the Chancellery is seeking to lessen the impact its activities have on the environment: among other things, it has reduced its energy consumption and waste production, introduced a 'paperless office’, replaced plastic bottles with drinking fountains, raised awareness among staff, and set up a sustainable restaurant.
The promotional factsheet for the Chancellery's ‘Ecodynamic business’ is published on the website of Bruxelles Environnement. The factsheet includes a number of examples of ecodynamic actions that our federal public service would like to promote.
The social pillar
The Chancellery's Secretariat and Logistics department looks after employees' health by offering them sustainable, healthy and balanced meals. The Personnel and Organisation service is responsible for applying a diversity policy and ensuring continuous improvement of staff's working conditions.
The economic pillar
With the support of the Buildings Agency, the Chancellery is investing heavily in energy-saving measures (e.g. audits, energy monitoring, new lighting, thermal insulation, green data centres). The Chancellery is also using more and more fair trade products.
Today, corporate social responsibility goes beyond purely legal and economic obligations. It also entails responsibility towards the 'social environment' – all companies bear this responsibility, so governments certainly do too.
The Chancellery will continue to strive to develop according to an increasingly sustainable approach. Our Sustainable Development Unit and Green Team are working hard to achieve this aim, and the 'Ecodynamic business' label that recognises our environmental management system is a testament to that. The arrival in early 2014 of the Federal Institute for Sustainable Development at 16 Rue de la Loi reinforced this development even further.