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Biodiversity at the heart of our activities by Manon Glauden

15 March 2022
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As announced in 2021, VO Event has set itself the new challenge of being able to analyse and understand its impact on biodiversity, with the aim of playing a role in improving local biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions in Belgium.

This is a new step in VO Event's transition to 100% sustainable management, both internally and externally. More than ever, the climate crisis is a reality that touches the hearts of individuals and companies alike. Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of this issue and are aiming to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as far as possible.  

This is not VO's first tool. Remember, VO created the Circular Event Toolkit in 2019. That toolkit is dedicated to integrating the principles of the circular economy into events. But one theme was sorely missing - biodiversity. That's where BeeOdiversity comes in. 

Calculating the impact of our events 

BeeOdiversity is an organisation that provides strategic advice and innovative solutions based on nature and technology. Its aim is to create value by regenerating biodiversity and reducing the impact businesses and individuals have on it. In partnership with experts at BeeOdiversity, VO Event has created an innovative tool which, with the help of indicators, allows us to calculate the impact of our live events on local biodiversity.  

To carry out this project, a feasibility study was carried out to find out if it was possible to create indicators to calculate the effects of events on biodiversity and to define which activities in the events sector have an impact on it.  

After a year's work and several workshops, we now have a tool that allows us to calculate the impact of each of our events independently and thus to see which aspects need to be improved.  

The tool covers four of the five themes dealing with the root causes of biodiversity loss: overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Several training courses are under way internally to educate teams on this major issue, and to provide them with solutions for reducing or even reversing the impact through targeted action.  

Acting locally to offset emissions  

VO has been offering carbon offsetting to its customers for the past three years. This represents over € 54,000 invested in sustainable development projects abroad. We wanted to act more locally and offer a carbon offsetting alternative in Belgium.  

To this end, VO established a partnership with PlantC. The aim of the organisation, which was set up in 2020, is to help reduce carbon offsetting, enhance biodiversity and promote the local economy. This is achieved by supporting citizens and companies in planting projects in the agricultural and forestry sectors in Belgium. The organisation also contributes to animal welfare, and supports local production and employment by providing knowledge to Belgian producers and foresters and by creating planting areas. 

By the end of 2021, VO, in partnership with PlantC, had locked in 536 tonnes of carbon emissions in Wallonia by contributing to the planting of 3,136 trees. In addition to reforestation, this action also has a strong socio-environmental impact. This activity is spread out over various regions - Libramont, Natoye, Tournaisis and Prouvy.   

A big step forward for biodiversity, but the work has only just begun! 

VO is a responsible group that is committed to putting biodiversity first and to making progress towards becoming a more sustainable organisation. This is through reducing the negative impact of its activities and increasing the positive impact. This work will never be finished. We can always do better, but we are proud to have taken this step forward for the benefit of the environment and the local economy. 

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