Ghent heroes of the SDGs
The City of Ghent turns the spotlight on 17 bottom-up sustainability initiatives.
During the Week of Sustainable municipalities, organised by the Flemish Federation of Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) between 18 and 25 September 2018, the City of Ghent turned the spotlight on 17 bottom-up sustainability initiatives:
- SDG 1 - No Poverty: NGO Movement of People with Low Income and Children / Beweging van Mensen met een Laag Inkomen en Kinderen vzw and NGO Kras
Over 35 years, NGO Movement of People with Low Income and Children sets up dialogues with people in poverty, giving them a voice through sharing their individual stories. Also NGO KRAS is committed to supporting and strengthening people in poverty. This way, both NGOs furthers social change at the local ground.
- SDG 2 - Zero Hunger: Foodsavers
Foodsavers is a joint project of the Social Economy Service and City of Ghent. Its aim is to enhance sustainability, reduce poverty and activate vulnerable unemployed citizens. In 2017, about 300 tonnes of food surpluses were collected and redistributed to social organisations, reaching 18,971 people in poverty. In the Foodsavers project, 12 to 20 employees are permanently trained for the logistics and transport sector.
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being: NGO De Fontein
This NGO, part of the Order of Malta operates as a 'house of hygiene', offering people in need and homeless a warm welcome, listening ear, soup, shower and first aid
- SDG 4 - Quality Education: Sustainability Office University Ghent / Duurzaamheidskantoor UGent
In this office, committed students and staff members cooperate on sustainable education and a sustainable organisation.
- SDG 5 - Gender Equality: Çavaria
With its more than 120 member associations and the provincial rainbow houses, çavaria strives for equal rights and opportunities for LGBT people. The organisation also developed a brochure and training courses on LGTB-inclusion in relation to the SDGs.
- SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation: NGO Protos
Protos NGO is committed to giving more people access to drinking water, sanitation and water for agriculture. They are engaged both locally in Ghent and in the Global South.
- SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy: EnerGent
EnerGent unites citizens in their efforts towards a sustainable and climate-neutral society, by investing in renewable energy projects (e.g. Ghent SunCity), the realisation of energy savings and the provision of energy services (e.g. Wijkwerf, on renovation and better isolation).
- SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth: Fair Fashion pioneers
The Ghent Fair Fashion pioneers are the many local traders who value fair trade and do not sell products made in unfair circumstances. They are part of Ghent Fair Trade.
- SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Greentrack Gent
The 54 cultural organisations in the Greentrack Ghent network collaborate on a sustainable cultural sector and society. In terms of infrastructure, for example, the Ghent Design Museum, S.M.A.K., Huis Van Alijn, MSK and MIAT annually save 365,000 kWh - or the annual electricity consumption of 105 families – through a relighting programme.
- SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities: Refu Interim
Refu Interim supports newcomers inclusion in Ghent, by helping them with finding a job as volunteer within the broad social and cultural sector in the city.
- SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities: Op Wielekes
The initiative Op Wielekes focuses on sustainable innovative mobility in the City and, among other things, developed the bicycle sharing system, allowing children to exchange their bicycles for a new one when they have grown out of their bike.
- SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production: May, Plastic-Free
This citizens' initiative makes young and old aware of the excessive plastic use in our society with numerous activities and useful tips.
- SDG 13 - Climate Action: Geveltuinbrigade
This brigade of the Ghent Environmental Front (GMF), a citizens initiative, creates small gardens at people’s front door.
- SDG 14 - Life Below Water: DoKano
DOKano encourages people to collect garbage from the Ghent waterways. For example, you can go canoeing for free on Sundays in exchange for a bucket of garbage from the water.
- SDG 15 - Life on Land: Natuurpunt Gent
Natuurpunt is an NGO that ensures the protection of vulnerable and endangered nature in Flanders. The Ghent department contributes to many initiatives on Ghent’s land. Natuurpunt is an NGO that ensures the protection of vulnerable and endangered nature in Flanders. The Ghent department contributes to many initiatives on Ghent’s land.
- SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: NGO Peace
This Ghent association has been known as a mediator for peace for years and won, as part of ICAN, the Nobel Prize in 2017 for their fight against nuclear weapons.
- SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals: Global South Solidarity
The many organisations that participate in GO NZ (the consultation platform of the Ghent North-South midfield) and STANZ (Ghent’s official North-South advisory council) act as interlocutor for the Ghent’s local Global South policy.