Digital Inclusion, Moulins de Kleinbettingen, SES and Ferber Group (our photo) were honoured on Tuesday 25 October at a ceremony in PwC Luxembourg's Crystal Park. (Photo: Matic Zorman/Maison Moderne)

Digital Inclusion, Moulins de Kleinbettingen, SES and Ferber Group (our photo) were honoured on Tuesday 25 October at a ceremony in PwC Luxembourg's Crystal Park. (Photo: Matic Zorman/Maison Moderne)

Digital Inclusion, Kleinbettingen Mills, SES and Ferber Group were honoured on the evening of Tuesday 25 October at the inaugural Sustainability Awards ceremony. Each of the winners was recognised for implementing a best practice in sustainability.

Around 60 companies had originally submitted their practices for this first edition of the Sustainability Awards, organised by IMS (Inspiring More Sustainability) and Maison Moderne, the parent company of Delano. A pre-selection panel of independent experts selected twelve of them, divided equally into four categories: People, Planet, Prosperity and Sustainability team.

Four replicable practices

A jury met to select the practice in each category that it considered the most successful. The jury was composed of the Prime Minister, , the President of IMS, , the CEO of Maison Moderne, , the Director of the Chamber of Commerce, , the Director of the INDR, , the CEO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, , , the managing partner of the law firm Elvinger, Hoss, Prussen, and the CEO of Cocottes, Clémentine Venck.

The selection criteria were: the degree of implementation, the impact, the innovative and replicable nature of the approach, as well as the way in which the practice is managed and integrated into a long-term approach. "The winners are really those who have a practice in place, who have measured a very good impact and who have good communication," explained IMS director in the .

Digital inclusion with Digital Inclusion

In the People category, the association Digital Inclusion stood out for its work. Founded in 2016, the non-profit organisation collects computers and smartphones, refurbishes them if necessary, and then provides this IT equipment to people who need it but cannot afford to buy it. The service was particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing homeschoolers without computers. And even more so since the war in Ukraine, when thousands of migrants have poured into the country.

The award is "recognition for this professional work", says Digital Inclusion director Patrick de la Hamette. "Before the pandemic, we knew that our work was useful," he adds. "But the last two crises have shown that our project can adapt to a different context and provide solutions in Luxembourg."

100% Luxembourg pasta

In the Prosperity category, Moulins de Kleinbettingen has chosen to promote short circuits and sustainability by offering a range of quality pasta and flour made from 100% Luxembourg wheat. Launched in 2020, the Le Moulin brand stood out for its innovative character at all stages of the value chain: in terms of the raw material, but also in terms of the packaging--by offering 100% recyclable packaging--or the launch campaign, during which 260,000 packets of pasta were distributed to Luxembourg households. Just two years after the launch, more than two million packs of Le Moulin pasta have already been sold on the Luxembourg market.

"This is a great source of pride for our company and rewards the work of all the people who work at Kleinbettingen Mills", commented the CEO of the family business, . "Sustainability is in our DNA, we are very happy to be rewarded for this."

SES and sustainable space

SES, which provides satellite communications services worldwide, was awarded in the Sustainability team category for implementing a new ESG strategy. "In 2020, we re-evaluated our strategic priorities to align our business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" (goals set by the United Nations), explains Amber Ledgerwood, SES social and environmental impact manager.

The company embarked on an intensive stakeholder outreach campaign to develop a comprehensive ESG strategy, the SES Horizon strategy. The strategy identified four pillars on which to focus: sustainable space, climate action, diversity, and equity and inclusion. A way of 'using the power of space to address the challenges of sustainable development on earth', comments Amber Ledgerwood.

Ferber and its range of solutions

The Ferber Group was awarded in the Planet category, not for a particular practice, but for a range of different solutions for sustainable development. "Each small choice matters" is the new credo of the company, which has thirteen hair salons throughout the grand duchy. The company completely offsets its carbon footprint by planting the equivalent of one tree for each colouring job it does, 100% vegetable-based colouring, smoothing with 100% organic, bio and vegetable-based tannin, casting with natural pigments, waste sorting, recycling of colouring tubes, etc. The company even gathers cut hair and sends it to an association that recycles it.

This set of practices has enabled the hair salon chain to win the Sustainability Awards. "It means that our measures are bearing fruit,” says Lionel Ferber, who, together with his sister , represents the fourth generation of the company. "It's a recognition of our commitment to our planet, the only one we have that feeds us and sustains us every day."

"We give out awards, but the objective behind them is to identify and disseminate practices," said IMS Director Nancy Thomas. "The principle is to reward those that can be reproduced, so that others can take them up. It is therefore up to each of us to draw inspiration from these practices to participate at our own level in the emergence of a more sustainable world."

This story was first published in French on . It has been translated and edited for Delano.