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Strategic anchoring of CSR

From the outset, chambers have opted for viewing CSR and sustainable enterprise as a strategic approach for companies and organisations to approach social challenges positively. They endorse the definition of the Belgian CSR reference framework, where CSR is seen as “a process whereby enterprises voluntarily endeavour for improvement on a business and social level by systematically including environmental and social considerations in an integrated and coherent manner in business operations as a whole, with consultation with the enterprise’s stakeholders or interested parties being part of this process”.

We also find this strategic approach with QUADRANT and with BUSINEXT.
For more information, please contact Mrs Veerle Geeraerts: vgeeraerts [at] belgianchambers.be

 

 

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QUADRANT – CSR learning networks

Between 2008 and 2015, various chambers of commerce organised QUADRANT CSR learning networks. The core aim of QUARANT is to make companies aware concerning CSR, familiarising them with the strategic added value of this and bringing them to a CSR action plan in a low-threshold way. In this respect, the core activities of the enterprise itself are always used as a basis.

The methodology chosen for QUARANT was that of the learning networks. After all, based on PLATO the chambers have for years been familiar with the concept of learning networks and peer learning, and know this is the best way of having businesses “learn”. If a business sees or hears in practice how another business tackles an issue, it is sooner inclined to draw lessons from this. This makes other entrepreneurs a sounding board, a source of inspiration.

Under the guidance of Sustenuto, a consultancy with years of experience in the field of CSR, the participants in QUADRANT convened six times and that way completed an entire learning process. What does sustainability mean for your own organisation? What can be learned from good practices? How is a CSR action plan developed? What do my stakeholders think about this? Based on an initial self-assessment, there follows a sustainability analysis whereby each company examines the impacts of its core activities and seeks out solutions that can have a positive effect on people, the environment and society. The result is an action plan that is discussed with the stakeholders and with other fellow entrepreneurs.

The QUADRANT learning networks were created with the financial support of the FPS Social Integration. In total, 38 learning networks were organised. This led to the training of 390 businesses.

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BUSINEXT – Innovation for society & growth

Whereas QUADRANT still assumed a defensive approach to CSR, i.e. eliminating negative impacts of business activities and reinforcing the positive impacts, with BUSINEXT the offensive card is resolutely played: searching for answers to social challenges delivering added value for both the company and for society. Shared value, in other words.

With BUSINEXT we aim to encourage companies to examine their activities from a different angle, based on various social trends such as an ageing population, poverty and diversity, and to respond to this with innovative products and services. BUSINEXT operates around social innovation and new business models; it wishes to assist companies in converting challenges into business opportunities. It was once again decided to work with a learning process in which several businesses jointly learn and collaborate under guidance from Oksigen Lab and i-propeller, coaches with years of expertise in social business innovation and shared value.

BUSINEXT is organised by the Chambers of Commerce Vlaams-Brabant and Luxembourg belge, with the financial support of the FPS Social Integration.

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