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Boosting sustainable consumption and behaviour: the Ecocheque, a Belgian practice involving employers into public policy

The recent communication on a monitoring framework for the circular economy  states four stages and aspects of the circular economy, among which production and consumption. However, actions to engage a behavioural evolution of Europeans’ consumption are lacking even though they are considered as essential for the environment. Such a move needs to be supported by various stakeholders to ensure the largest compliance.

Private and public employers can indeed be a relay to their employees, fellow citizens, to support an environmental cause. Therefore, employers can combine their sustainable goals and CSR involvement with a positive HR policy while proposing incentives solutions to their employees. The Ecocheque in Belgium is one among other tools at the disposal of innovative companies to balance their will of being environmentally engaged and their need for boosting their employees’ motivation.

According to the European Commission’s consultation of 2012 on delivering more sustainable consumption and production , Ecocheques represent an example of “financing tools at Member State level to fund and sustain environmental friendly purchasing (…) “ecocheques” [allow] final consumer to co-fund the purchase of more resource-efficient products”. It is therefore also a means for Member States to participate in the education of citizens regarding environmental issues (be they organic food, energy sources, mobility and transport, waste, etc.) and the increase of consumption of eco-friendly and resource-efficient products.

The next Policies & Practices’ session will raise the following issues:


  • the role that companies can play to improve the information and the involvement of citizens towards environmental questions
  • the possible assets for public authorities to partner with companies to amplify public policy messages
  • the existence of appropriate tools to link companies, public authorities and citizens into a mutual involvement for the shared purpose to boost green consumption


- Dr. Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit, DG Environment  (Sustainable production, Products and Consumption), European Commission, Brussels




After graduating from law school (University of Graz, Austria) Dr. Hugo-Maria Schally practiced law in Austria. He then did postgraduate studies in international relations at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy. In his further career he worked mainly on issues linked to sustainable development holding jobs with UNDP, the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. He joined the European Commission in 1998 and has been Head of Unit in the Directorates General “External relations”, “Development” and "Environment".


Currently he is Head of Unit in the Directorate General “Environment” of the European Commission dealing with “Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption“. In this function he is entrusted with the coordination of the follow up to the EU package on "Circular Economy " and the development and implementation of a number of EU policies and instruments in support of the transition to a circular economy, including EMAS and  the EU Ecolabel, Green Public Procurement, eco-design, sustainable buildings, plastics and the pilots on the "Product/Organisational Environmental Footprint" and "Environmental Technology Verification”. 



- Chris Botterman, President of the Belgian Social Fund for the Implantation and maintenance of Parks and Gardens, of the Belgian Social and Guarantee Fund for horticulture companies, of the Belgian Social and Guarantee Fund for Agriculture, Deputy General Secretary of the Belgian Farmers’ Union





After graduating from law school (University of Ghent) Mr. Chris Botterman started his career at the Study Department of the Union of Insurance broker (Unie der Assuradeuren) in 1983.


He then joined the Study Department Social Secretariat at the S-group of Boerenbond. He worked mainly on issues linked tot  social affairs and  social dialogue.


In 1988 he was appointed Head of Department and Spokesman in the Agriculture and Horticulture Joint Committee on behalf of the Employers. In 1993 he became senior consultant SBB Social Secretariat.


Currently he is Head of Social Affairs of Boerenbond dealing with issues like employement in the Agriculture and Horticulture sector.


He is involved in the Belgian social dialogue and member of several structures set up in Belgium connected with social security.


Mr. Botterman was appointed president of the Exectutive Boards of Acerta since 2011.





Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices