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Promoting a balanced diet in the workplace

A healthy workforce is an essential asset for companies. Studies and researches have flourished in the past decade, highlighting the direct link between health and productivity, in which nutrition plays an important role. It has been proved that workers who have access to adequate nutrition can be up to 20% more productive and less prone to accidents (ILO, 2005). It also reduces absenteeism as well as “presenteeism”. 


Christopher Wanjek, when leading his research 'Food at Work', for the International Labour Office (ILO) in 2005, laid the accent on the lack of attention to the issue of food at the workplace and presents the vicious circle of the impact of poor nutrition on health and productivity.


Nonetheless, initiatives have emerged locally and tend to provide workers with programmes or tools helping them improve their health. In line with the launch of the Workers’ health global Plan for action in 2007, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently took the lead on a programme gathering best practices of healthy workplaces. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises are indeed especially in need of guidance documents. In its flagship “Five keys” document, the WHO proposes to companies a practical methodology where both Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility departments have a role to play. The question is: what role and how to play it?


The fifth session of policies & practices aims at confronting the needs, the means and the results of the existing actions promoting balanced diet at the workplace. By inviting representatives of different spheres, the session wishes to raise a constructive debate between the speakers and participants.


Speakers addressing these issues will include:




Boglárka Bola has worked for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work as Network Manager for pre-accession for seven years. In the Network Unit she had been responsible for planning and implementing the Agency’s specific programmes to support candidate countries.


Recently she has joined the Agency’s Prevention and Research Unit as a Project Manager to work on the Agency’s new project on Aging workers. Before joining the Agency she spent 5 years coordinating PHARE national programmes in Hungary.


Ms Boglárka Bóla holds a master’s degree in Economic Science in European Economic and Public Affaris from the University College Dublin, Dublin European Institute, Ireland.



Sylvie Dejardin, Nutritionist and CEO of Nutri-Challenge

After a graduation in journalism at the Univeristé Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Sylvie Dejardin integrated the European Centre for the Research, development and teaching of nutrition therapy (CERDEN), to get specialised in human nutrition and more specifically in enzyme therapy for a better functioning of the human body. She created her own company: Nutri-Challenge in 2007, to propose her skills through conferences, private coaching and seminars. Among others, she has been regularly working with the European Commission, PWC and Swift while at the same time bringing her expertise in several initiatives such as  the European programme FOOD, the Mobiloforme with Mutualité Partena and People First Management.  She  also participates in the WHO round tables on stress and work environment.


This 2nd session within the cycle Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resources will also be the opportunity for Jan Noterdaeme, Senior Advisor at CSR Europe (the organism active in the 1st session of the cycle), to update its contribution to Policies & Practices, by presenting CSR Europe’s news and perspectives concerning the integration of adapted CSR policies in SMEs and healthy nutrition at the workplace.



Jan Noterdaeme is Senior Advisor for Strategy, EU and Stakeholder Relations, on behalf of the European C’homme’pany for CSR Europe.


Before joining and helping to set up CSR Europe in 1996, Jan worked for the European Commission Directorate General on Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs. Since 2002 he represents CSR Europe in the Coordination Committee of the European Multistakeholder Forum on CSR. In 2005 and 2006, together with a core group of CSR Europe members, Jan was actively involved in the making of the European Business Roadmap on CSR, immediately followed by the European Alliance for CSR which has been central in the European Policy on CSR (March 2006). 


Today, Jan is actively involved in the development of CSR Europe’s new flagship initiative “Enterprise 2020” in support to business and policy innovation. 


From 1997 he played a leading role in the establishment of what became in 2002 the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS). Since March 2007, he is also Maître de Conférence at the Catholic University of Louvain where he helped in establishing the Louvain CSR Pole of Excellence. He is also Managing Director of The European C’homme’Pany.




Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices