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Shifting Economy


In today's Brussels Region, Belgium, and Europe alike, we have reached the point where we cannot avoid economic transition since we have faced various challenges, e.g., Climate change, unemployment, growing social equality, fragile supply chains, and dependence on raw materials. The transition towards low-carbon, circular models and sustainability not only protects natural and human capital but also provides businesses with numerous economic opportunities.


Economic transition is a global issue that reaches the local and microeconomic levels. To tackle these obstacles, The Brussels Region has implemented a strategy that translates the UN Sustainable Development Goals to a regional level, entitled the "Shifting Economy" or regional plan for economic transition.




The Specific Objectives they want to accomplish

Carbon neutrality will be the norm by 2050, and relocation of economic activity, maintenance, creation of quality jobs, and reduction of inequalities are several examples of the goals. The economic transition is also one of the pillars of the Government Agreement in the 2019-2024 legislature.


Who Will be Integrated into This Strategy

"Any entity, regardless of its legal form, carrying out an economic activity" is targeted by this strategy. In other words, it includes all economic players, such as start-ups, the self-employed, nonprofit associations, VSEs, SMEs, and large companies.



Out of approximately 22,000 companies in the Brussels Region, excluding the self-employed, 6,131 are either exemplary or in the economic transition process, which accounts for at least 28% of the total. This figure indicates that the economic transition is already partly anchored in the economic fabric of Brussels.




One of the Examples of the Transition toward the Circular Economy















Figure 1. the circular economy model




This model has evolved based on the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw-away pattern. The seven main principles of the model are Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renovate, Recycle, and Recover so that we reduce waste to a minimum. Products can be productively used repeatedly, extending their lifespan and thereby granting another value or second life.


It has a massive impact on those challenges that we are facing, contributing to protecting the environment, benefiting the local company, driving employment growth, and promoting resource independence.


Here is attached more informative explanation of the Circular Economy:




Video 1. The circular economy



The Good Food 2 strategy (2022-2030)


The Good Food 2 strategy (2022-2030) was the strategy tackled by the Brussels Region for the transition of the food system towards a more sustainable approach, approved by the Brussels government. The Good Food 2 strategy can be summarized as follows.


This strategy can respond to global (protecting nature and biodiversity and fighting against climate change) and local (social, health, economic, and employment) challenges. Through the transition, they aim to re-qualify our food system, from production to consumption, towards a model that respects humans and other species, restores biodiversity, and creates quality jobs as described in the Shifting Economy strategy.


The Brussels Region has collaborated with social and health actors to fulfill these objectives. In addition, it has developed localized approaches to food as close to the local level.



In the Good Food 2 strategy, all inhabitants of Brussels have access to Good Food adapted to their needs, while respecting a reasonable price for the producers, which plays a crucial role in Shifting Economy strategy.


The Advantages of Practicing This Strategy

There are many potential benefits for businesses in Brussels: acquisition of new markets,

cost reduction, competitive differentiation, technical and social innovation, positive social impact, participatory governance, etc. These various competitive advantages will thus make it possible to put Brussels on the map of foreign markets, encouraging the deployment of foreign investment in the capital.


The Brussels Government plans to carry out economic transition-related promotional activities (organic/sustainable food, eco-construction, cleantech, impact digitization, etc.) to position Brussels at the center/forefront on the European map, vent its know-how, and conquer new markets to enhance the Region.


One of the examples of companies contributing to the Shifting Economy


BeCook, which provides clients with the biggest sustainable kitchen in Brussels, is also one of the social enterprise companies. This business entity engages in a profitable business to solve social problems. Our clients should carry out sustainable activities, such as local production and consumption and food waste reduction.


In Conclusion

The relationship between these concepts is complex and multifaceted. Economic transition and the shifting economy can be drivers of adopting circular economy practices and sustainability initiatives. Social entrepreneurship can also promote sustainability and circular economy practices by creating innovative solutions to environmental and social problems. Additionally, circular economy and sustainability practices can be seen as a response to the negative impacts of traditional economic systems on the environment and society. These interconnected concepts can create a more sustainable and equitable economic system.


Taking advantage of this information, why don't you know more about what we do or what the Brussels government deals with, resulting in creating a healthy and thriving planet for both current and future generations?




References


​​ European parliament. (2015, December 2). Circular Economy: Definition, Importance and Benefits. News European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/economy/20151201STO05603/circular-economy-definition-importance-and-benefits


Eyskens, M., & Troncoso, S. (2018, February 28). Book of the Day: Shifting Economy. P2P Foundation. https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/book-of-the-day-shifting-economy/2018/02/28#:~:text=What%20is%20Shifting%20Economy%3F,is%20based%20on%20the%20cooperation.


Goodfood brussels. (n.d.). GoodFood Brussels. De Good Food-Strategie 2 (2022-2030) - GoodFood Brussels. https://goodfood.brussels/nl/content/de-good-food-strategie-2-2022-2030


Hub.brussels. (2022, May 16). Shifting Economy: Moving towards a Decarbonised Brussels Economy. Hub.Brussels. https://hub.brussels/en/blog/shifting-economy-moving-towards-a-decarbonised-brussels-economy/



Shifting economy. brussels. (n.d.). Executive Summary of the Regional Strategy for Economic Transition 2022 - 2030. https://shiftingeconomy.brussels/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/ExecutiveSummary_ShiftingEconomy_EN.pdf


Shifting Economy.brussels. (2022). Shifting Economy. ShiftingEconomy.Brussels. https://shiftingeconomy.brussels/shiftingeconomy/

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