Ecodynamic Company label: the AB in harmony with the environment
It is not only the inhabitants of Brussels who are helping to improve the quality of the environment.Companies are also taking part in this dynamic approach by integrating good environmental management practices.This is the case of the legendary Brussels concert hall, the “Ancienne Belgique” (AB).
The Ecodynamic Company label is an official form of recognition in the Brussels-Capital Region which encourages environmental dynamism in companies.Whatever their area of business, every company located in Brussels with at least five employees can apply for the label.
Such is the case of the Ancienne Belgique, which has just renewed its label for the third time.In 2002, it was the first cultural organisation to be awarded the label in the Brussels Region.
Interview with Marc Vrebos, technical director and “Mr. Eco” at the AB.
Why did you want to obtain the Ecodynamic Company label?
We wanted to find a way to reduce our environmental impact andBrussels Environment was offering a method and support.For us, it was an excellent way to integrate this type of process into our way of working.
In concrete terms, how does this work at the AB?
Our company has 47 employees.We decided to improve certain internal practices in terms of waste, and our use of energy and paper.For instance, all communications are done electronically:we don’t print anything out.We use the stairs instead of the lifts to go up and down a couple of floors...
And what about the concert audiences?
The thing they’re most likely to notice is the reusable glasses.We were the first concert hall in Belgium to introduce this system.We’ve also developed a smartphone application which provides users with a continually updated list of concert dates, allowing us to save paper.
Have these efforts led to positive results?
Once we started using reusable glasses, our waste went down by 50 %.It costs us less and we reinvest the money saved in new initiatives in favour of the environment.
What other plans do you have to reduce your impact on the environment?
We’ve set up a sustainable food programme thanks to the support of Brussels Environment.We’d like to offer organic produce in the cafeteria that’s seasonal and has been grown locally.We’ve also developed a new mobility project with the STIB called “Event Pass":as of 1st April 2012, if you pay an extra € 1.00, your concert ticket will give you access to public transport in Brussels on concert days, among other things.
What type of support have you received from Brussels Environment?
We’ve attended several very interesting and useful workshops with a view to implementing new ideas.This has also allowed us to meet other companies who are doing the same thing and to share our experiences and know-how.
What have you gained from your Ecodynamic Company experience?
The label is a positive and useful tool for reducing our impact on the environment.
It has to be renewed every three years. I think it’s very useful and important and it pushes us to launch new initiatives, and just to content ourselves with what we’ve achieved already.We’re moving forward,we’re progressing and the story continues...
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