On 25 October, the Flemish Employers' Organisation VOKA held the VOKA Sustainable Entrepreneurship Day for the fifth time in a row. This is the perfect moment to showcase Flemish companies and entrepreneurs who are fully committed to sustainability. It is also a special edition DNS Belgium, because this year we will get the long-awaited SDG Champion charter.
From pioneer to champion
Companies that really want to develop into sustainability experts can become an SDG Pioneer, and SDG Champion and eventually SDG Ambassador through a step-by-step commitment.
To qualify for SDG Pioneer, participating companies are expected to set up actions around each of the 17 sustainability goals over three years. In 2020, DNS Belgium was among the first Belgian companies to receive the SDG Pioneer charter.
A substantially greater commitment is required in order to be eligible for the title of SDG Champion. An SDG Champion endeavours for a real transition and contributes to a systemic change on a global level with its sustainability policy.
That is precisely the impact we are aiming for with DigitalForYouth. This educational platform collects discarded laptops from companies, has them refurbished and then distributes them to institutions, organisations and non-profit associations working with young people to promote digital inclusion of disadvantaged young people. Since the platform launch in 2020, we have distributed about 20,000 laptops to young people. We ticked off six UN Sustainable Development Goals in one fell swoop with this project and the title of SDG Champion was within reach.
We are proud of this performance, but our sustainability ambitions do not stop there. The charter of SDG Ambassador would be the ultimate crowning achievement for all our sustainability efforts. In addition to obtaining the sixth VCDO certificate, the requisite criterion is for us to set up a policy on human rights. To be continued.
We are proud of this performance, but our sustainability ambitions do not stop there. The charter of SDG Ambassador would be the ultimate crowning achievement for all our sustainability efforts.
Among the first SDG Champions in Flanders
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has for several years now been awarding sustainability charters to companies that are actively committed to achieving the UN's sustainability goals. The aim is to encourage companies to pursue a more robust sustainability policy, to reward those sustainability efforts with an internationally recognised certificate, and to create a network of sustainable entrepreneurs so as to exchange experiences.
VOKA is UNITAR's official partner with the VOKA Charter Duurzaam Ondernemen (VCDO) [VOKA Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship]. VOKA will award the title of SDG Champion for the first time in Flanders at the VOKA DAY in October. DNS Belgium is therefore one of the lucky ones. We are proud to be the first company in Flemish Brabant to earn this fine title, and hope that we are thereby setting an inspiring example for other organisations that want to bring their sustainable ambitions to fruition.
Sustainability as a necessity
We can only encourage a day like the VOKA Sustainable Entrepreneurship Day. During the break-out sessions at the VOKA Sustainable Entrepreneurship Day, guest speakers address various topics relating to sustainable entrepreneurship. One of the day's speakers is Arnaud Recko, our sustainability officer. He will talk about DNS Belgium's sustainability strategy and all the efforts we have made in recent years to move towards a more sustainable future.
DNS Belgium has developed a rigorous sustainability strategy since 2016 already, which means that we are currently at the forefront of sustainability in the Flemish entrepreneurial landscape. We know how important experience sharing is when it comes to implementing sustainability goals. It is difficult to ignore sustainable entrepreneurship today, in our view. This is largely due to the growing unrest regarding the climate on the international stage regarding.
Sustainable entrepreneurship is not about winning. To ensure a more sustainable future for everyone, we achieve more as organisations by inspiring and encouraging each other to make more sustainable choices.