Which projects have real impact?
On 25th of October Trends presents the second Trends Impact Awards, the most prestigious awards for companies that create sustainable value for our society with their projects.
Which projects really have a positive impact in terms of ecology, circular economy, diversity & inclusion, well-being, technology , mobility, climate & energy and resilience?
During the unique gala evening of the Trends Impact Awards, you will learn who, after a thorough analysis and deliberation of all the nominations received, and meet the inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs behind these impactful projects.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR YOUR ORGANISATION?
- An assessment of your project in terms of sustainability.
- A Maturity Assessment per category written by PwC based criteria and methodology developed by Antwerp Management School to compare you with your peers.
- A presentation of your project in front of a team of experts with immediate advice to optimise your score.
- The chance to win one of the Trends Impact Awards.
- For each redeemed nomination, the Trends Impact Label that you as a company can use in all your communications.
THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS FOR PROJECTS WITH A SUSTAINABLE IMPACT.
The Trends Impact Awards are Belgium’s most prestigious awards and aim to recognise organisations and projects who are implementing (or have implemented) strategies which generate a positive impact and create sustainable value.
Not one but several Trends Impact Awards for equally impactful projects. The broad consensus towards ESG criteria and SDG goals makes it hard for companies to stand out in every one of the categories. Yet we still find inspiration across different domains in many of our Belgian businesses.
FOR COMPANIES BOTH LARGE AND SMALL
Large companies are not the only one who are eligible for the Trends Impact Awards. Small businesses and SMEs can also win one of the awards. For each category, a distinction is made between SME’s and large organisations.
Discover the different categories. 9 CATEGORIES FOR 9 PRIZES
THE TRENDS GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD
DO YOU HAVE A SUSTAINABLE PROJECT OR INITIATIVE?
Are you proud of it? Want to let it know? To establish your credibility, participate in the Trends Impact Awards, a prestigious annual award that will be authoritative in Belgium and internationally. Who knows, your project may win the prestigious Trends Global Impact Award or one of the 8 other awards on October 25!
In order to be able to analyze as many inspiring projects and cases as possible, in addition to the Trends Global Impact Award for the most sustainable project with the most systemic (cross-category) impact, we also award a Trends Impact Award per category.
These categories are intended to stand the test of time, be future-proof, and are based on academic research conducted by AMS and Professor Wayne Visser. To choose your most appropriate impact award category, ask yourself how your project answers the following questions.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR ECOLOGY
IS YOUR PROJECT PROTECTING AND RESTORING NATURE?
Today’s industrial economy is extractive, using resources at an unsustainable rate, with devastating effects on our natural environment. In December 2022, nearly 200 countries agreed the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), a landmark deal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. This can be done by supporting the health of ecosystems and stimulating biodiversity. Ecosystem services are the services that a healthy ecosystem provides to society, and they are indispensable for our economy. For example, drinking water, good soil or the pollination by bees that is necessary for all kinds of crops. We are looking for projects that protect and restore natural ecosystems, such as water purification, reforestation, rewilding, nature conservation, regenerative agriculture, or biodiversity improvement.
Increases biodiversity, i.e. species of plants, insects and animals
Returns previously degraded or unused land to nature
Supports ecosystem services, e.g. water purification, pollination
Plant-based food and drinks brand Alpro has a goal of zero net loss of biodiversity by 2030. As part of their Science-Based Targets for Nature programme, they are setting up workshops with a group of forward-thinking almond farmers. They want to fundamentally change the way they grow almonds to prevent any further loss of animal and plant life. They will test measures such as growing other crops in between the almond trees, reinstalling landscape elements such as ponds or hedges and building corridors in the orchards to connect neighbouring nature.
The city of Basel in Switzerland has the largest area of green roofs per capita in the world. This has been driven by incentive programmes, which provided subsidies for green roof installation, funded from the Energy Saving Fund made up of 5% of all customers’ energy bills in the Basel canton. An amendment to the City of Basel’s Building and Construction Law also required that all new and renovated flat roofs must be greened and also stipulates associated design guidelines.
As part of its MAGA (Make Earth Great Again) mission, UK drinks company BrewDog has launched The Lost Forest project, which encapsulates more than 9,300 acres of Scottish highlands at the Kinrara estate – which BrewDog claims is “bigger than 17 actual countries” – and looks set to form one of the UK’s largest native woodland and peatland restoration projects and the largest corporate-backed initiative of its kind. The project, which began with the first trees planted in November 2022, will achieve carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery and local livelihood support.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY (NEW AWARD)
IS YOUR PROJECT REDUCING CLIMATE IMPACTS?
Today’s fossil-fuel driven economy is having serious impact on our climate. In 2015, nearly 200 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement, with a goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The science suggests we need to halve emissions every decade between 2020 and 2050 in order to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. The necessary energy transition this implies affects every sector of the economy and will need solutions ranging from the rapid scaling of renewable energy and battery storage technologies, green ammonia and green hydrogen, smart grids, energy efficiency, plant-based diets, cultivated meat and precision fermentation. We are looking for projects that reduce carbon emissions in line with science-based targets. Note: climate adaptation projects are covered by the Resilience Award and electric vehicle projects are covered by the Mobility Award.
Reduces dependence on fossil fuels
Aligns with science based targets for achieving net zero emissions
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
At the Hollandse Kust Zuid, BASF, together with partners Vattenfall and Allianz, is investing in the world’s biggest subsidy-free offshore wind park. It will provide low-emission, renewable energy to BASF production sites across Europe – and reduce reliance on fossil fuels considerably. Located in the North Sea about 18 km off the coast of the Netherlands, when it becomes fully operational in 2023, its 140 turbines will deliver 6 terawatt-hours of power per year, enough to boil 4 billion electric kettles every hour.
Antwerp North Heat Network utilises residual heat from Indaver’s rotary kilns where industrial waste is thermally processed. In a first phase, Antwerp North Heat Network will serve industrial customer Boortmalt, which took a long-term commitment and will use the heat in its industrial process. In a second phase, Fluvius will link a district heating network to this, allowing schools, public buildings and 3,200 households from two districts in the north of Antwerp to source their heat supply more sustainably. In total, the network will have a capacity of about 150 Gwh/year.
Crop nutrition company Yara aims, through its Yara Clean Ammonia unit, to make carbon-free food production, to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free food production and ammonia for industrial applications. With project HEGRA (Herøya Green Ammonia), Yara aims to electrify and decarbonize the ammonia plant in Porsgrunn, Norway. The project will reduce CO2-emissions by 800,000 tonnes annually. Yara Clean Ammonia has teamed up with several clean energy companies including ENGIE, Idemitsu Kosan, Jera, Kyushu Electric Power, Trafigura and Ørsted to enable the production of clean ammonia.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR MOBILITY (NEW AWARD)
IS YOUR PROJECT REDUCING IMPROVING TRANSPORTATION?
Transportation systems, such as roads, public transportation, shipping and airports, allow people and goods to get where they are needed. They are a vital part of our economy. But today’s transport networks come at a high price to society, bringing congestion, pollution, accidents, health hazards, and climate change. If nothing changes in how we think about mobility, these negative impacts will get worse, along with increasing trade and economic growth. There are many solutions, from better public transport and switching to electric car fleets to alternative fuels like green hydrogen or sustainable aviation fuels. There are also collaborative solutions that increase transport efficiency and reduce the need for as many vehicles or journeys. We are looking for projects that make all parts of our transport system more inclusive and sustainable, for people and the planet.
Reduces negative social or environmnental impacts
Positively impacts multiple stakeholders or parts of the value chain
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer rapidly
For the first time an e-truck will transport fresh fruit and vegetables from Bakker Belgium, a Greenyard company, to Belgian retailer Delhaize. The new Volvo truck will deliver around 18 million kilograms of fruit and vegetables to the retailer’s distribution centre in Zellik – Belgium, every year, saving 58 tonnes of CO2-emissions annually. In Boom, the infrastructure is connected to 2 500 solar panels on the 15 000m² roof of the warehouse. This guarantees a steady supply of green energy, which is also used for the electric cooling of trailers on site, after being loaded with products.
Maersk has a goal to be climate-neutral by 2040, which it aims to achieve with new technology, new vessels, and new fuels. Their Maersk ECO Delivery is an innovative product that replaces fossil fuels with green fuels. Maersk ECO Delivery reduces carbon emissions at source by purchasing sustainable green fuels and adding it to Maersk’s ocean network. Carbon emissions savings are measured according to the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies.
Urbantz is a logistics management platform for enterprises, which strives for net zero emissions in last mile deliveries. The platform shows real-time delivery slot availability at checkout to cut failed delivery attempts, and ranks slots by their environmental impact to nudge consumers towards the greenest choices. They also measure and track carbon emissions per delivery, driver or route to build up a complete picture of sustainability performance and CO2 savings over time.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR TECHNOLOGY
DOES YOUR PROJECT USE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THE WORLD?
According to the World Economic Forum, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Examples include artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. But not all technology has a positive impact on society or the planet. Not all innovation is what Philips calls “meaningful innovation”, i.e. innovation that improves our quality of life. We are specifically looking for projects that use the powerful technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to tackle social and environmental challenges. For example, your project may increase social inclusion or decrease ecological damage.
Contributes to the realisation of one of the SDGs
Can demonstrate measurable positive impacts
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
BeCode’s mission is “enabling tomorrow’s digital talents to blossom”. They help bridge the gap between motivated job seekers and the employment market, by using the shortage of digital skills as a lever for a more inclusive workforce. Since 2017, BeCode have been offering free training courses for jobseekers to become IT specialists, in partnership with the public and private sectors. Through their training, anyone can become a web developer, an AI operator, a DevOps developer, an SAP consultant or end user. No diploma, money or work experience is needed.
The Port of Antwerp -Bruges has deployed drones to help clean up floating debris around the port area. Around 50 tonnes of plastics, wood, cardboard, organic material, and mooring lines is collected from the docks every year. The drones’ “machines vision” is able to quickly and easily spot and report debris, making clean-up efforts more efficient. In future, they plan to have a ‘live feed’ of various port activities to support the Harbour Safety & Security (HSS) unit, for example to detect emergencies like fires or pollution spills.
Lita.co, a web platform for participatory financing, has raised 10 million euros for around fifty Belgian impact projects, including a hydroelectric power station in containers, freight sailing boats and an organic farm specialised in permaculture. Lita.co offers both capital investments in the company and crowd-lending or participatory loans. Partners can invest anything from 100 euros. In total, Lita.co has raised nearly 90 million euros in Belgium, France and Italy for 240 projects, thus creating or strengthening 14,400 jobs.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR CIRCULAR ECONOMY
DOES YOUR PROJECT TRANSFORM WASTE INTO VALUE?
Business models that deplete the earth’s natural resources through overconsumption or waste are linear. In contrast, according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, there are three elements of the circular economy approach: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature (the latter is covered by the Ecology Award). For the first two elements, the 5-Rs is a useful framework: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. We are looking for projects that have the circular economy approach at the core of their business model. This may include using renewable materials or redesigning products, projects, services, production sites or processes to close the loop on material flows and eliminate waste.
Focus on the 5Rs of the waste hierarchy
Use of biological or non-virgin material inputs, i.e. recycled materials
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
In the United States, only about 20% of what goes into the recycling bin ends up being recycled. In the era of smart technology, why not make recycling smart? This is the vision of US technology company CleanRobotics. Their TrashBot is a smart recycling bin that sorts waste at the point of disposal. Through recycling AI, robotics, computer vision, and machine learning, their recycling technology diverts the item into its corresponding bin inside, assigning any contaminated items into the landfill bin or organics into their corresponding bins. All of this with 95% accuracy.
Gramitherm, winner of a 2022 Trends Impact Award, converts mown grass into insulation panels. The recovered liquid is used for the production of biogas and the waste from the panels is recycled. At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce 200,000 cubic metres of panels, equivalent to 7,000 tons of grass fibres and 35,000 tons of mown grass. One hectare of grass can insulate seven houses, which is equivalent to retaining 3.6 tons of CO2.
Italian materials manufacturer Novamont has innovated MATER-BI, a family of completely biodegradable and compostable bioplastics which are being used to provide low environmental impact solutions for everyday products. It is obtained by means of pioneering proprietary technologies using starches, cellulose, vegetable oils and their combinations, are made by an integrated industry involving no less than three Italian production facilities. The bioplastics offer solutions for agriculture, packaging, carrier bags, food services and waste collection.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR RESILIENCE
DOES YOUR PROJECT HELP ORGANIZATIONS OR COMMUNITIES TO PREVENT OR OVERCOME CRISES?
Resilient organizations respond not only to past or current issues but also to the future. They respond proactively rather than reactively or defensively to unexpected events instead of a defensive response. Resilience allows organizations to achieve positive outcomes despite severe disruptive. They absorb strain and preserve (or improve) functioning despite adversity. They recover or bounce back from untoward events. And they use foresight to anticipate and prepare for both adverse and favorable events. Resilience organizations are learning organizations, with a robust structure of processes, procedures, systems, and people that can effectively handle crises. We are looking for projects that increase resilience in the face of societal and ecological disruptions such as industrial accidents, health epidemics / pandemics, climate events, water crises, and biodiversity collapse.
Shows an ability to anticipate, detect, respond to, adjust to and learn from crisis events
Includes contingencies for disruptions in the workplace, supply chain and other operations
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
The chocolate company Galler was almost bankrupt. When Salvatore Ianello returned as CEO, he introduced a more ethical way of working, no longer based on hierarchy and power over farmers, but on a sustainable, collaborative model. Employees got 6,000 hours of training. Galler is now organized in circles, every employee has a voice. The new way of working creates empowerment and encourages people to assume responsibility. This new structure helped Galler deal with severe disruption when it was hit by the extreme floods in Wallonia in July 2021. Galler won a 2022 Trends Impact Award.
Ushahidi is an innovative technology platform that has been used more than 150,000 times in over 160 countries, crowdsourcing more than 50 million reports from citizens across the world, including 3.5 million reports in crisis situations. For example, during the Haiti earthquake disaster of 2010, Ushahidi secured a free SMS short code to crowdsource and translate over 40,000 text message reports on urgent needs from the disaster-affected population and to map these on a public map, called Crisis Map, made available to disaster relief agencies.
Vivaqua provides the drinking water for Brussels. In 2019, 13% of the water it produced couldn’t be invoiced due to leaks. Vivaqua came up with a plan to reduce the leaks drastically, using intelligent software and satellite images. This saved significant amounts of drinking water, but also increased prevention. The infrastructure could be maintained and repaired before a leak appeared instead of waiting until the damage was done. This saved water, reduced costs for citizens and reduced the city’s ecological footprint.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR WELLBEING
DOES YOUR PROJECT MAKE PEOPLE MORE HEALTHY, HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE?
Putting the wellbeing of people first is essential for the health of the economy, society and nature. We are looking for projects that improve the physical and/or mental health of people in the workplace and society. The post-pandemic explosion of wellbeing initiatives has shown that a one-sided approach does not necessarily improve people’s wellbeing. For example, a personal resilience workshop organised in a toxic organizational culture might ‘help’ employees to endure the toxicity longer, making the necessity to change the environment less imminent. We are looking for projects that recognize the shared responsibility of all stakeholders (e.g., employer and employee), and help ensure that people can live healthier lives, have meaningful jobs, and feel happy, stimulated and connected. Health and wellbeing are seen as an integral part of an inclusive economy, thriving society, and flourishing natural environment.
Provides inclusive benefits for multiple stakeholders
Shows a multi-dimensional approach to health and wellbeing
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
Through research and technology, Biobeats have created a solution that is scientifically proven to enhance mental health and dramatically reduce absenteeism. The mobile app and wearable device collects biometric health data, such as heart rate variability and activity, as well as psychometric data to provide employees with personalised health insights and tools. The Wellbeing Score offers an overall measure of mental wellbeing based on personal health data including: sleep, activity, heart rate, mood and cognitive function.
Imagine a society where bionic arms are as common as glasses or braces. Where children can learn that science and engineering can have a heart and change the world. Limbitless Solutions specializes in the design, development, and delivery of personalized, creative, and expressive prosthetic arms for children and adults. Through non-invasive electromyography (EMG) technology, Limbitless creates a prosthesis that is lighter and less expensive than traditionally available – at no cost to the user. The arms are lightweight, easy to use, and have multiple functions and gestures.
The never-ending waiting lists of psychologists illustrate just how bad the state of our society’s mental well-being. Disturbed sleep, stress, burnout and depression are just a few examples. Mindlab wants to make professional care more accessible. To this end, the Ghent start-up set up an online platform with low-threshold modules offering psychoeducation, as well as exercises, videos, audio tutorials and testimonials, with which users learn to grasp and improve their situation. Mindlab won a 2022 Trends Impact Award.
THE TRENDS IMPACT AWARD FOR INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
DOES YOUR PROJECT PROMOTE THE INCLUSION AND ADVANCEMENT OF VULNERABLE AND MARGINALIZED SOCIAL GROUPS
Inequality in society is a reality, as harsh and destructive as climate change. As a consequence, the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society suffer disproportionately from negative economic, social and environmental impacts. Our society cannot move forward sustainably without making sure everyone is included and receives a share of the benefits. This requires changing the systems that maintain the status quo or even thrive on inequality and discrimination. We are looking for projects that acknowledge inequality in all of its diverse, intersectional ways, and make it their central mission to increase diversity and equity within and outside the organization. This should not be through one-off interventions, but rather pursued in systematic ways that have become synonymous with the organization’s identity.
Integrates diversity & inclusion into strategy and operations
Makes an impact internally and externally
Has the potential to adapt, scale or transfer
Society has never been more diverse. At the same time, there are more challenges than ever. We want people to be able to truly be themselves. To have a place where they fit in. To be heard and to be listened to. Marketeers can make that happen. They decide to uphold stereotypes or smash them; to exclude or include others. Allyens specializes in inclusive marketing, by creating campaigns that speak to everybody, designing products that are accessible to all and by sharing stories that are true to reality.
The latest barometer from the King Baudouin Foundation shows that the digital divide affects almost one in two Belgians. The price of equipment should not be an obstacle. EDUCIT works with French-speaking schools, with co-financing both by the government and the parents. This mechanism is supplemented by a solidarity fund which covers up to 40% of the cost of the devices for pupils in schools with the lowest socio-economic score. So far, the digital programme has made it possible to equip more than 28,000 pupils and train around 9,000 teachers in digital technology.
Every year, Spullenhulp collects 8,000 tons of donated clothing, furniture and household appliances and resells them in 28 stores in Belgium. This enables them to offer 1,000 jobs, half of which require few qualifications and include people who were formerly unemployed. A quarter of the employees attend a professional integration programme and spend one or two years at Spullenhulp. They work with Social Welfare Offices (CPAS/OCMW) to offer work experience and training to people who receive a benefit or subsistence income, and also offer emergency shelter.
23 MARCH – 11 JUNE 2023
Interested organisations can complete an online questionnaire about their projects. The qualification includes:
- Details of the project and the organisation
- Some details of the project that is being submitted and its impact today and in the future
- Some additional questions about the company’s attitude and organisation regarding sustainability.
The qualification involves a fee of € 75 per case.
WEEK OF JUNE 19 2023
Jury / Selection and communication to the nominees per category for the second step in September
A group of experts is appointed for each of the categories. The groups of experts evaluate each submitted ‘qualification’ and select the projects who will pass to the next stage.
Communication to the shortlisted nominees in writing and orally and invitation to come and defend themselves before the members of the jury in September 2023.
Organisations and projects which are not selected will receive appropriate feedback.
The Pitch & Maturity Assessment fee:
500 € (excl. VAT) SME
2000 € (excl. VAT) Big companies
Companies selected will receive the Trends Impact Nominee label
4 - 15 September 2023
Pitch & Maturity Assessment
All selected participants/projects will be invited to defend themselves and pitch to the members of the jury composed of journalists from Trends, representatives of PwC, AMS and important personalities from the sustainability world.
The purpose is to examine thoroughly their project and the companies initiatives and organization concerning sustainability.
All selected participants will provide additional information (through google form created based on the maturity assessment of PwC) so PwC can evaluate their maturity in a specific category
Based on the pitches, the jury will deliberate which will be presented in Trends and Trends-Tendances. Aim is to obtain 3 nominees per category and per type of company. The jury deliberates also on the winners of each category and the overall winner behind closed doors.
Winners will be announced on the evening of October 25th.
25 OCTOBER 2023
Trends Impact Awards Ceremony in Brussels
The winners will be announced during the gala on 25 October.
26 OCTOBER 2023
Special Trends Impact Awards Guide
Jury members and members of the expert groups
Business Resilience & Crisis Leadership
Valorization manager and senior researcher
Chief Commercial Officer
rbr Expert Circular Economy & Sustainable Value Chains | Strategy & Transformation
Senior Manager Technology Consulting & Digital Transformation
Researcher Next Generation Work
Ewald Van Den Auwelant
Catalyzing Sustainable Transformation
Ilse De Witte
Sustainable Development Specialist & Academic
PhD, Assistant Professor Organizational Behavior & HRM
Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Koen Van Hulst
Head of Psychosocial Aspects
PhD, Dean Faculty of Business & Economics
Co-founder & Managing Director
Line De Decker
Chief people and sustainability officer
D&I and Wellbeing
Michiel de Keyzer
Director Data & Analytics and Data Strategy & Governance Professional
Myrte De Decker
Professor Strategy, Governance & Bus in Emerging Markets
UAntwerp & AMS
FWO Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Antwerp
Information Architect | Innovation Lead | Postdoctoral Researcher
Digitaal Vlaanderen | Athumi | Ghent University
Robin De Cock
PhD, Academic Director Master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Antwerp & Antwerp Management School
Director, Business Resilience, Continuity & Crisis management
Sabrina De Beukeleer
Waste Management - Environmental, Climate and Energy Reporting
University of Antwerp
Partner, People & Transformation
Réseau Entreprendre Bruxelles
Steven De Haes
PhD, Dean, Academic Director Executive Master of Enterprise IT Architecture & IT Governance and Assurance
Managing Director - Leadership Advisory
PhD, Chair in Sustainable Transformation, Professor of Integrated Value
Strategy & Operations Senior Manager
A complete Trends Impact Scan
€ 75 (excl. VAT)
Pitch & Maturity Assessment
A Maturity Assessment per category written by PwC based criteria and methodology developed by Antwerp Management School to compare you with your peers.
The option to feature the Trends Impact Awards-label.
- SME’s and small companies : € 500 (excl. VAT) (including 1 seat for the Trends Impact gala diner)
- Large companies: € 2.000 (excl. VAT)
Access to the gala evening and dinner
- Seat: € 350 (excl. VAT)
- Table of 10 persons: € 2.950 (excl. VAT)
The presentation of the Trends Impact Awards will take place on Wednesday 25 October 2023 in Brussels
18:00Reception & networking
19:00Academic part in auditorium style including the presentation of the Trends Impact Awards 2023
20:30Gala dinner with tables of 10 people
22:00Open bar & networking
Dress code : business
€2,950 euro (excl. VAT) per table of 10 people