Ashoka Belgium Impact Programme 2020
The Impact Programme 2020 is an accelerator programme that nurtures collaboration between social entrepreneurs and business to foster systemic change in the field of Climate Change and Circularity.
Sébastien Finet studied law and has worked on waste management as a consultant for several years. In 2016, in response to the need for better waste management in companies, he started BioWaste Upcycling.
This service offers a complete on-site solution to prevent food waste as well as a new waste management model based on a principle of reduction at source. Biowaste Upcycling’s mission is to help professional players in the catering, retail, transport, and food industry to limit their food losses as much as possible by enabling them to precisely manage their waste from its creation to its recovery. To ensure its success, it uses a Bio Upcycler, which is an express digester that enables companies to treat their waste directly at the source. This is directly connected to a platform that extracts all the information related to the waste that has been introduced into the Upcycler, such as weight, treatment characteristics, and more if the company so wishes.
Kenneth Van den Bergh is an engineer by training (KU Leuven) with a PhD in energy training and a MSc in management. He is currently an independent consultant working on energy and sustainability. In 2017, he founded Carbon+Alt+Delete, a non-profit that works on mitigating climate change by informing people and organizations, as well as motivating them to act.
To achieve their mission, they provide a tool that calculates the annual carbon emissions for households so that people have insight into what drives their emissions. They also inform on the different actions that these households can take to reduce their emissions through lectures and blog posts. Furthermore, they offer the possibility to offset carbon emissions, i.e. investing in low-carbon activities such as renewable energy to compensate for one’s own.
Naomi Smith is a social entrepreneur with an MSc in sustainable development. She launched a first project in the UK in 2010, called ‘Munch in Marylebone’, and enVie is her second social enterprise, launched in Anderlecht, Brussels, in 2018.
enVie has a double mission. First, they aim to employ people that, for some reason, don’t meet standard labour market criteria (people returning to work after a period of long-term unemployment, people with minor handicaps, refugees...), so as to train and empower them. Second of all, their soups are made only from surplus vegetables (or vegetables that do not meet conventional criteria) supplied by Belgian farmers. enVie has worked in partnership with several large companies in the field from the very beginning (Colruyt Group, McCain, Randstad…), and that is already producing at a significant volume - between 1500-3500 liters of soup per week!
Alexis de Liedekerke has a double Master degree in Organic Agriculture and Agroecology. These two themes have been central through out his career. He joined the Froidefontaine Farm in 2016.
Froidefontaine Farm aims to tackle various agri-food challenges. These range from challenges with an economic nature, such as the drastic decrease in farm number, the loss of jobs in the agricultural sector, and inaccessibility of land due to high increasing land prices, amongst others. Other challenges are directly linked to environmental shifts: the loss of agro-bio-diversity, soil pollution and erosion, intensive use of agricultural inputs, and climate change. The Farm brings together producers, processors and other project leaders who are passionate about developing a farm full of life over 45 acres. They put in place the tools that allow these entrepreneurs to express their talents. By grouping together various activities, the Froidefontaine Farm offers a selection of high quality, ecological products and an enriching experience for its visitors. These activities can be seperated into three pillars: (1) farming and food making, (2) education and (3) the environment.
Adeline Michaux founded Impacters in 2018 to contribute to a mindset shift within companies in order for them to evolve towards a more circular and sustainable corporate culture. Adeline has an IB from the Louvain School of Management.
To enable the cultural transition towards more circular companies, we help companies develop an Impacters Movement by combining the flexibility and gamification of a digital app with circular innovation workshops and coaching, as well as a circular suppliers database. Their desired outcome is threefold: (1) awareness & desire of participants; (2) ambassador teams detection and development of their abilities to drive a circular transition; and (3) senior management involvement to encourage circular initiatives.
Jean-Michel Scheuren is a social entrepreneur, a start-up and business coach, with a MSc in Environmental Sciences and Management. Caroline Zaoui is a biotech entrepreneur with PhD in Microbiology. Together, they founded in Novobiom in 2014 to tackle the threat of soil contamination. The current soil remediation techniques are not only costly and energy polluting, they also emit up to 30kg of CO2 per m3 of soil treated. Moreover, these approaches result in either displacing untreated polluted soil to confinement, or in generating a clean but “dead” soil, void of nutrients that are so vital to the upkeep of the environment.
Novobiom’s approach is to use the remarkable and proven ability of some fungi to degrade recalcitrant compounds and remediate the most complex soil pollution while enhancing soil biodiversity and resilience. Bioremediation is the most environmentally friendly solution available on the market so far, as it is less energy-intensive and because it has no detrimental impact on soil functions. Novobiom’s mycoremediation approach has clear advantages: a strong decrease in the treatment cost, an important reduction in CO2 emissions, a prompt recovery of the soil for its subsequent reuse through a rapid achievement of the clean-up goals.
Stefan Goemaere graduated as a social worker in 1992. In 2015, he was selected for the first edition of the ‘Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty’ (Ashoka and Schneider Electric Foundation) with a project that went on to become the Papillon project. In October 2019, he was the Belgian candidate at the Ashoka Next Now on Planet & Climate in Madrid.
Papillon is a co-creation between Samenlevingsopbouw West-Vlaanderen and Bosch Belgium. A third of families in energy poverty use old, energy-consuming household appliances. The consumption of these machines lead to expensive energy bills, which causes these people to sink further into debt. Papillon strives to break this vicious circle. Instead of buying a device, people can rent one for a period of 10 years. Service, repairs and warranty are valid during those 10 years. The families pay a small monthly rent for the use of the device. For many, the rental price is lower than the profit on the electricity and water invoice.
Julien Jacquet is a social entrepreneur and a sustainable business advisor with a Master’s degree in Business and Administration Engineering and a European Master in Microfinance. He is the CEO of PermaFungi, a project of underground urban agriculture and circular economy.
The cooperative recycles coffee grounds waste into different up-cycled products: oyster mushrooms, chicory, innovative organic material and compost. In order to maximise its impact, PermaFungi gives opensource training to other entrepreneurs and sells mushrooms home growing kits.
PermaFungi global mission is to make our cities more resilient by (1) up-cycling waste; (2) producing healthy, organic food and sustainable products; (3) creating meaningful jobs; (4) promoting local economy; (5) becoming independent from fossil energy sources. They now strive to collaborate with cities and organizations in order to develop waste up-cycling as well as local and circular productions and to fight against unemployment, disengagement or burn-out.
Sabine Denis is renowned for her ability to build bridges between sectors and organisations in the field of sustainable development. She is an expert in Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement. She recently finished a Master Degree in Ecology and Spirituality at the Schumacher College in England, an experience that inspired her to bring this education philosophy across the Channel.
Schumacher Sprouts Belgium aim to create a place in Belgium for holistic learning, teaching holistic and systems thinking to face the challenges of the 21st century. They offer an educational program with transformative courses for ecological, social and personal change. The connection with nature and the environment is at the heart of all courses and there is always an emphasis on how to be and act in the changing world. These these competences that they believe to be key to building a sustainable future.
Bernard Herbert was for many years active in the environmental council of his home town Sint-Martens-Latem and there he found the inspiration for WePlog.
WePlog is a simple and easy to use app that shows you where you can best plog. It tracks anonymous data about your plogs. Other ploggers can see the streets that need to be plogged. It is the most efficient tool for city councils and other organizations to keep the streets together. The app was developed by Joshua Hulpiau of Nebulae and its name comes from the word ‘ploggen’, a contraction of jogging and the Swedish expression ‘plocka upp’. “Plocka is Swedish for collecting and it is therefore no coincidence that a green squirrel was used in the app’s logo, the collector par excellence”.