“I firmly believe that everyone can make a contribution on behalf of the environment. Without venturing outside their comfort zone”

publish date
04 April 2019

“People are talking about the climate everywhere you look. The fact that the earth is warming up has literally become a hot topic. And it’s not just young people who are displaying a green fist with their truancy campaigns. A large number of business leaders, academics and media personalities are also calling on politicians to come up with a truly effective climate policy in Belgium. I too, in my own name, have added my signature to the large-scale ‘Sign for my Future’ people’s petition in the run-up to the elections in May.

While it is true that lots of little things may make something big, but individual actions will not be enough. By signing Sign for my Future, my intention is to join in the clamour for our politicians to make a greater effort on behalf the climate. Real change can only come if the government creates a framework for environmentally friendly initiatives.

I also firmly believe that everyone can make their own contribution, big or small, for the environment. And they can do that without venturing outside their comfort zone. Humans have such an amazing ability to adapt quickly. It’s hard to imagine today how we managed in the past. Yet how quickly we moved away from plastic bags at the checkout. In fact, many changes start in your shopping bag, including with me.

As CEO, I find myself in the position where I am able to introduce green initiatives to the company. These might be big or they might be small. We are located in the heart of Brussels – so much so that mobility has become one of our great concerns. So we have launched a mobility-based programme. The wider payment sector can make its own small contribution to the policy on climate, too. In fact the way we pay for things has an impact on the environment: 63% of payment transactions in Belgium are still in cash… so banknotes and coins have to be produced, distributed, transported and kept secure. In these areas, electronic payments are already a lot more environmentally friendly. Yet even for these payments, we need to do better – and that’s something we’re going to focus on. “