Route 2030: third-party certification, the key to credibility


B.I.G. is on course to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2030. That’s right, zero. To make this journey more tangible, we’d like to offer you a passenger’s seat from which you’ll be able to really get up close and immerse yourself in our various sustainability projects. In this edition: an anthology of our sustainability labels and certificates.

In recent years, the market has become increasingly competitive. To be able to truly stand out as a company, third-party recognition is crucial. Labels and certificates bring both credibility and an assurance of outstanding quality for our customers. Whilst it does require additional efforts to obtain them, they are still the best way of showing the world that we set the bar high for ourselves, and, perhaps more importantly in terms of sustainability, that we are doing our best to keep it there.

ISO 14001

“First off all, 11 of our 27 production sites are ISO 14001 certified”, explains QHSE Director Lieven Flamée. “This accreditation from Bureau Veritas implies that we have improved and are maintaining our environmental performance and that we have reduced the impact of our activities on the environment. This in turn encourages us to continuously optimize our operations. The B.I.G. SHE ambition is for all our plants to install a management system conform to ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 by the end of 2024.”


“To further quantify our efforts, we use EcoVadis”, says Product Sustainability Specialist Bruno D’Argent. “Based on 4 pillars – environment, labor, human rights, and ethics – this assessment tool identifies both our strengths and weaknesses and awards us a score out of 100. The list of questions they ask serves as a source of inspiration for us to take action to improve. At the same time, the tool compares our progress to that of our competitors, thus giving us a good idea of where we stand.

Voka Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

“6 of our Group production sites for technical textiles, yarns or fibers in Belgium, France and Italy have been recognized for their efforts by Voka, Flanders' Chambers of Commerce and Industry,” Lieven continues. “Using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN as our starting point, together with Voka, we formulated an action plan for each division which included, amongst other things, the installation of solar panels and the addition of plants at our sites to make them greener.”

“The action plans are evaluated on a yearly basis by an external assessment committee. As a result of a positive evaluation, the sites were awarded the Voka Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (VCDO). What’s more, we’ve received a positive evaluation three years in a row, and as a result, we have now also been awarded an SDG Pioneer certificate from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – which represents another major milestone on our Route 2030.”

Third-party certifications: a never-ending story

“Clean air labels like IACG, responsible wood sourcing certificates like PEFC, programs like Operation Clean Sweep, the GRS certification for yarns with recycled content, the REDcert2 certification for yarns with biomass balanced content, and the Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for Rewind... There are countless ways to ensure that our efforts are recognized, and to show that we are on the right track. It’s a matter of identifying the right ones, the ones which confirm what we want people to know, meeting all the requirements, and keeping up the good work in terms of sustainability.”

third party certifications