Job-creating environmental technologies
Green technologies are a source of economic development and well-being in which technological innovation plays a leading role. The green industry is also proving to be a valuable source of new jobs.
According to an evaluation dating from 2010, the federal economic planning office put the number of jobs directly linked to the environment at almost 77,000 full time equivalents in Belgium.
Over the last decade, the number of jobs has increased by 40%. This is more than natural job growth. Over the same period, the number of companies and bodies operating in this sector has witnessed growth of 44% and their turnover has made a leap of 22%.
Wallonia has the companies, know-how and skills to capitalise on this context and to make greentechs a vehicle for growth by jumping on the bandwagon of the Marshall Plan 2.green.
GreenWin, the environmental technologies cluster
At the beginning of 2011, GREENWIN was recognised by the Walloon Government as the 6th Regional Competitiveness Cluster.
No fewer than 870 people from 190 companies (of which 115 SME) and 200 university departments or research centres helped put together the Greenwin project, each in their own way (definition of the Cluster’s strategy, drafting of the bid application, putting together of R&D projects, training).
The Greenwin actions:
The GREENWIN cluster focuses on the life cycle of materials. It sets out to reduce our environmental footprint through technological development and innovation in the following fields:
- Manufacture of more sustainable products and materials made using renewable raw materials (bio-based) or secondary materials (recycled). Manufacture of more solid, more reliable products that are non toxic during their use and that, at the end of their life, will be economical, biodegradable, compostable or recyclable;
- Sustainable integration & implementation of materials in components and systems that are themselves environmentally-friendly: energy storage systems or high environmental performance constructions, zero-energy buildings, etc ;
- Treatment & reuse of waste and effluents, with the final objective of “zero waste” throughout the economic process, from the manufacture of the products and materials to the ultimate dismantling of the components and systems (according to the approach of material first, energy last).