Companies, organizations, universities and the Province of Antwerp endorse the Antwerp Partnership for Sustainability with their signatures.
Sustainability is in today, or better: sustainability is a necessity. Our economy and society cannot simply grow without respect for people and the environment. But what does 'sustainable development' mean and above all: how do you tackle it? In 2019, the 'Antwerp Partnership for Sustainability' (APS) took a number of important steps towards achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By financing several chairs in 2019 and 2020, APS is perpetuating its plans for the future, reaching out to new partners.
Steven De Haes, Dean Antwerp Management School:
The partnership wants to be a forum, a catalyst and a window for sustainability in all its facets: sociological, ecological, economic and technological. The collaboration between academic institutions, companies and government enables us to generate the impact necessary for a more sustainable society.
In the 'Antwerp Partnership for Sustainability', knowledge institutes, companies and governments in Antwerp work together on solutions for sustainable development. They share their knowledge and expertise, set up joint projects and develop chairs together. They do this across the boundaries of sectors, disciplines and faculties. In 2019, this multidisciplinary collaboration once again yielded exceptional results.
Silvia Lenaerts, Vicerector University of Antwerp:
2019 was an important year for the further development of the APS, among others through the collaboration with SDSN Belgium (Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations). The two networks exchange knowledge, insights and contacts in function of educational tasks, assignments, valorization and services.
Among other things, a new chair was established in 2019 with the support of the Province of Antwerp. Thanks to this chair, researchers can collaborate on setting priorities within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, drawing up (impact) indicators, efficiently questioning internal and external stakeholders, setting up pilot projects and evaluating policy efforts at the Province of Antwerp.
Luk Lemmens, Provincial Executive of Antwerp:
As a provincial government, we not only endorse the sustainable development goals. We also want to incorporate them into our provincial policy framework and proceed to the development of transversal instruments with which we can measure the real impact of actions and projects. Subsequently, we want to share this methodology with the local authorities so that we can formulate and follow up a joint policy on various challenges in a more focused way. We are therefore pleased to be able to develop a scientifically based implementation of the SDGs together with the academic and business world.
Jan De Haes, Provincial Executive of Antwerp:
The Province of Antwerp's policy encourages innovation and sustainability in collaboration between entrepreneurs, public authorities, citizens and knowledge institutions. In doing so, we ensure that a visible result takes precedence over mere research. Just look at the geothermally heated provincial house. I am pleased that the APS is growing and I am looking forward to the concrete projects that result from this and that are aimed at more sustainability in society.
In 2020, the APS wants to continue to grow through impactful chairs and projects. For example, there will be a new chair in management education for sustainability, in which Antwerp Management School will collaborate with Breda University.
Jan Remeysen, CEO BASF:
Our society needs effective ways to achieve sustainable transformation. The APS has an important role to play in working with partners to address future challenges and develop sustainable solutions.
The 'Antwerp Partnership for Sustainability' is an initiative of the University of Antwerp and Antwerp Management School and has as founding partners BASF Antwerpen, Port of Antwerp and the Province of Antwerp. On 6 January 2020, the various partners came together to consolidate their collaboration within the APS.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp:
I believe that collaboration is the key to success if you want to realize together a complex agenda such as the SDGs. It is only by working together that we can meet global challenges such as climate, mobility, migration and social integration. The APS is an excellent forum because it brings together the strengths of knowledge institutions, companies and governments.
From left to right: Prof. Steven De Haes (dean AMS), Luk Lemmens (deputy Provincial Executive of Antwerp), Jan De Haes (deputy Provincial Executive of Antwerp), Prof. Silvia Lenaerts (vice-rector of Universityof Antwerp), Prof. Bart Cambré (director Research & Valorization AMS), Jan Remeysen (CEO BASF), Jacques Vandermeiren (CEO Port of Antwerp).
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