The Belgian Institute for Sustainable IT (asbl/vzw) as strategic partner of the first edition of the GreenTech Forum Brussels: a new milestone for our Institute!

The Belgian Institute for Sustainable IT (asbl/vzw) is beyond proud to have co-organised the first edition of the GreenTech Forum in Brussels at Maison de la Poste (Tour & Taxis) on 18 & 19 June 2024 along with sustAIn.brussels and Numeum under the patronage of Planet’Tech Care! For the first time in Belgium almost 700, political actors, Sustainable IT experts, academics, technology and sustainability stakeholders gathered at this unique B2B event to meet, share, and draw on expertise to continue the deployment of Green IT and IT for Green in Belgium and Europe.

With a program of 21 conferences and 12 workshops, the event addressed all functions concerned with technology and sustainability within private and public organizations (IT, CSR, Purchasing, Innovation, Marketing and Communication, Legal, etc.). At the same time, an exhibition welcoming 50+ exhibitors offered in-depth professional contacts to find concrete solutions for the implementation of tools supporting the transition to more responsible digital technology.

The 21 conferences covered 4 different topics to better understand the impact of digital technology on the environment and develop a Sustainable IT strategy within your organisation:

Responsible Enterprise

Nowadays, any company must tackle sustainability, whether it is part of their core values, they are compelled by regulations or they aim to ensure the resiliencey of their activities (e.g. brand equity, recruitment attractivity, employees’ retention, diversifaction of services, cost reduction, etc.). To do so, and as expressed by Corporate Social Responsibility principles, companies should seek t oanalyse their impacts, consistend with their own activities (based on the Sustainable Development Goals, for instance) and put in place actions to mitigate the negative impacts. As many organisastions rely heavily on IT, keeping in mind the our economy is highly in the teritary sector (economy of services), Sustainable IT should be considered as a key lever for organisations’ sustainability strategies.

Conferences in this topic:

  • Converting organizations and their leaders to Sustainable IT – ROI, co-benefits, and extra-environmental arguments.
  • Sustainable IT and the Functional Economy, the emergence of new business models.
  • Small organisations and Sustainable IT, how to take concrete action? (testimonials and feedback).
  • Large/international organisations and Sustainable IT: key success factors and pitfalls to avoid (approaches, regulations, different cultures…).
  • Sustainable purchasing: including environmental and social considerations in IT buying decisions, with tools and best practices for responsible sourcing.

Sustainable IT Infrastructures and Services

Any organisation that has an information system (hardware and software) uses it to serve other business functions. IT infrastructures are therefore playing an important role in business continuity and success, sustaining the activities of various departments, such as finance, accounting, HR, or marketing, to name a few. Sustainable IT Infrastructures and Services aim to provide the means for employees to undergo their tasks, while taking into consideration the questions of digital sobriety, inclusion, accessibility, security and ethics. The development and functionalities of Sustainable IT Infrastructures and Services take into consideration the 3 Ps of Sustainable Development : Prosperity, People, and Planet.

Conferences in this topic:

  • Eco-design of digital services: which frameworks (GR491, GreenSoft Model…) to use, what mindset to adopt within IT teams, what skills to develop?
  • Eco-design & websites: Tools, standards, best practices (incl. accessibility, data privacy…), actors & testimonials.
  • How can open-source software help reduce hardware obsolescence?
  • Eco-design from theory to practice, how do companies take action in real life? Eco-design, a fundamental lever to reduce the environmental footprint of IT. Case studies of implementation (services and/or products side).
  • BYOD/COPE & Cybersecurity: What technical and cultural barriers exist for the sharing of equipment between companies (e.g. having two laptops as a consultant due to client-site consulting), or between personal and professional use?

Tools, Certifications, Standards, Norms & Regulations

The European Union’s Green Deal & Digital Market Act, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Web Accessibility guidelines (WCAG), the GHG protocol, the Sustainable IT labels: there are different ways to move forward towards a more sustainable society, and every actors can make a difference in their own way. We need shared compasses, and it is crucial that industries, experts, academics, institutions, and authorities push means for organisations to work together. With that in mind, Tools, Certifications, Standards, Norms & Regulations are key to offer a common framework and help every actors to achieve a sustainable functioning.

Conferences in this topic:

  • Sustainable IT & Regulations: Directives and obligations for IT in Europe; public and corporate policies to promote more responsible IT usage by end customers and consumers; international initiatives.
  • Multi-criteria (water and resources consumption, pollution, GHG emissions…) measurement of IT’s environmental footprint: tackling the lack of robust data and unstandardized methods, and exploring labels, certifications, and tools for Sustainable IT policies and footprint tracking.
  • Preparing for Sustainable IT and environmental disclosure regulations; getting ready for CSRD, Ecoscore, Repairability Index… and managing environmental data effectively.

Ecological & social transition and innovation

Reduce inequalities, promote circular economy and sustainable business models, ensure digital inclusion and jobs: all these challenges require creative ideas and innovation mindsets to define new ways of working and living. innovation should be at the service of the social and ecological transitions, and digitalisation has a role to play!

Conferences in this topic:

  • Incorporating Sustainable IT into educational programs across various fields (engineering, generalist, management, journalism…) and emphasizing the need for training in companies to adopt greener digital practices.
  • Refurbishment, repair & WEEE management: Market reality and solutions for businesses.
  • Which digital solutions can help meet other Sustainable Development Goals (Mobility, Public Services, Renovation, Food, etc.)? How to avoid rebound effects?
  • Environmental benefits of digital technology: myth or reality? How to integrate indirect environmental impacts/rebound effects of digital technology into a systemic approach ? How is digital technology shaping tomorrow’s society and its impacts?
  • Promoting Circular Innovation: Technology and design for a circular future.
  • AI for Eco-Efficiency: Using AI to reduce our environmental footprint, taking into account the footprint of AI.
  • Environmental Impacts of Artificial Intelligence: Current state and trends.

ISIT-BE’s pavilion and workshop at the GreenTech Forum Brussels

Throughout the 2 days of the GTF, participants had the opportunity to visit the exhibition area to discover sustainable IT solutions and tools. We have brought together 12 partners at our ISIT-BE pavilion for participants to learn more about different organisations who offer Sustainable IT initiatives and solutions in Green IT and Human IT.

Who was there to find at the ISIT-BE pavilion? Actors in responsible design of digital services (Aeonics, Stereo.agency, AnySurfer), organisations providing awareness-raising tools and Sustainable IT trainings (Infogreen Factory, La Fresque du Numérique, The Shifters Belgium, Neo&Nea), public authorities active in Sustainable IT (Bruxelles Environmment, Bruxelles Formation, Paradigm.brussels), organisations with Sustainable IT solutions (Externaliz-IT) and actors in refurbishment (Circular.brussels).

ISIT-BE also held a workshop to display our different services and tools available according to the different membership levels we offer. Three representatives from UCM, Degroof Petercam, and Infrabel shared their experience of using our Sustainable IT services: the organisation of a teambuilding day, our 2-day trainings, and our Roadmap tool.

You can already book the 17 & 18 June 2025 in your agendas for the second edition of the GreenTech Forum Brussels – we hope to welcome many of you at this unique event which will serve as a catalyst to further develop scientific, technological, methodological and social resources to driving social, institutional, and economic players to take ownership of the very values of Sustainable IT!