A sustainable forum

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Not organising an event in a sustainable manner? We will not stand for that, and naturally it applies all the more to this SDG Forum.  The steps we took to run the SDG Forum on the most sustainable basis are summarised in order below... so that you can draw some inspiration for your next event.


An ocean liner does not change course easily. You would think this also applies to the Flagey Building, which has gained the nickname 'ocean liner'.

And you'd be right. Because Flagey is partially listed, intensive sustainability interventions are not possible on all fronts. The renovation works that finished in 2002 did ensure, however, that the iconic building was granted a new purpose . In this way, valuable heritage is protected from going to ruin and can continue to be used by the coming generations.

1,600m2 of solar panels on the roof provide for a great deal of the electricity required. The engines and pumps driving the central heating and cooling were fitted out with speed regulators to guarantee more efficient operation. For work-related travels an electric car is used.

Finally, owing to its public function, the building fully meets the requirements for accessibility by people with a physical disability.


Flagey is eminently reachable by public transport. There is also a Villo station on the Flageyplein and a bicycle rack on the Heilig-Kruisplein. We regularly drew participants' attention to these sustainable transport options, as well as to the traffic situation in Brussels, in our communication around the SDG Forum...

The program also included two foreign speakers. Hilary Tam from Futerra (and her colleague) used the Thalys to travel from London to Brussels (and back again). Jeffrey Sachs did not even need to travel. We heard from him over a live Skype connection.


The SDG Forum boasted twelve stands. The materials we used were limited to a minimum and were also fully recyclable. We were careful to ensure that every exhibitor was able to take their materials away with them again neatly. Anything that was forgotten or left behind was later returned to the right address.


The communication around the SDG Forum was exclusively digital and took place via the SDGs website, social media and e-mailshots. Paper was only used at the reception in the form of a programme and the SDG Barometer brochure. Both were printed on recycled paper.

By removing the year from the layout, all the roll-up banners for the Forum remain usable for subsequent events.


The catering met all possible sustainability requirements almost perfectly.

  • a 70% veggie / 30% vegan selection proved that such catering can be tasty and also look tasteful.
  • fresh seasonal vegetables;
  • reusable cutlery and crockery;
  • wines, fruit juice, coffee, milk, tea and cakes were all Fair Trade or bio;
  • tap water in decanters;
  • in line with food safety as far as possible, any leftovers were shared out in the Maximilliaanpark and at Brussels-Nord station the same evening.


  • For the SDG Bingo, we called on participants to find an old lanyard lying at the back of their drawer and bring it with them. Many did so.
  • Reusable headphones were put to use for the translation, although we did have to go looking for six lost sheep over the course of the day...