The winners of our Sustainable Partnerships Award 2016 have been announced! Among 50 entries, PermaFungi and LIFE Elia have been awarded as the most inspiring partnerships between entrepreneurs and civil society organisations in Belgium.
Since the launch of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN has recognised the major importance of partnerships in tackling the societal and environmental problems of today. By creating a dedicated target (SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals), it invites authorities, companies and other organisations to go beyond individual actions and work together on comprehensive solutions. As a Belgian sustainability network, we are delighted to see how many companies and non-profit organisations in our country already find each other for this purpose.
50 inspiring partnerships and 2 best cases
On 24 May the presentation of the Sustainable Partnerships Award 2016 took place at the Ateliers des Tanneurs in Brussels. In the 3rd edition of this award, the jury paid special attention to the projects PermaFungi and LIFE Elia. The first is a collaboration between the social entrepreneurs of PermaFungi and, among others, EXKi, whereby coffee grounds are recovered for the cultivation of mushrooms and the production of fertiliser. The second is a collaboration between Elia and non-profit organisation Solon to promote biodiversity in high-voltage transmission corridors. Below you will find videos of both projects and the brochure with all 50 submitted partnerships.
The state of partnerships in Belgium
As a result of this awards ceremony, The Shift asked the impact consultants at i-propeller to investigate the point of view of the profit and non-profit sector in Belgium towards co-creation. We are delighted to present you some trends from the survey:
- Three-quarters of the companies and non-profit organisations surveyed indicate that they cooperate with other organisations to deal with relevant and/or environmental challenges. Topics which often recur are climate change, sustainable consumption and production, health and poverty.
- For non-profit organisations, partnerships are a highly tangible means of creating an impact and realising organisational goals. For companies, strengthening their reputation and improving relations with stakeholders are the most important motivation. At the same time, a significant group of business leaders regards co-creation as a stimulus for increasing competitiveness, achieving revenue growth and/or as the lynchpin for innovation.
- The keys to successful co-creation are good project management and adequate investments (time, workforce, funding). It is also important to prevent the attention of all stakeholders from waning, for the entire duration of the project.
- A great deal of progress can still be made in the field of impact measurement. The effective measurement of the effects and profitability of a partnership (so-called SROI or Social Return on Investments) has not yet been fully established in Belgium. Compared with good practices from abroad, there are still significant opportunities here for expanding Belgian success stories on a greater scale and giving them even greater visibility.
Below you will find the presentation of the survey, another survey by the French organisation Le Rameau and the toolkit Principles for Smart Collaboration. Has your hunger for partnerships not been satisfied yet? On our website sustainablepartnerships.be you will find all the partnerships of recent years. On the following link you can also find some pictures of the awards ceremony.