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Get to know our new Board Members - Daniel Verbruggen

This article is part of a series of posts we are launching to get to know our 4 new Board Members.

In this edition, we sat down with Daniel Verbruggen to talk to him about his motivation and hopes for Chapter Zero Brussels.

What motivated you to join the board of Chapter Zero Brussels and get involved in Climate Governance?

Daniel: This was an evolutive process, with as a culminating point the financial crisis in 2008. Following the subsequent IPCC reports it became evident we had serious climate issues ahead and that despite receiving regular warnings in the previous decades we deliberately or undeliberately decided to neglect those. During the years thereafter I took the opportunity to transfer my financial and banking knowledge into sustainably driven initiatives around topics of disruptive technologies and sustainable investments. At one point it came altogether when I participated in the Director Climate Journey, after which my involvement in Chapter Zero's activities kept on increasing.

What do you see as a major challenge for getting board members engaged and interested in climate change and other environmental issues?

Daniel: The recent survey which was completed by Chapter Zero Brussels perfectly illustrates  these challenges, ranging from time and resource constraints, lack of expertise, focus on short term profit, perceived lack of pressure from stakeholders and limited resources for emission reduction actions. These challenges have to be understood in the current economic context we have to operate in. Unfortunately the environment around us is dramatically and rapidly changing with complex  interactions between Environment, Social and Governance factors which warrant a risk and governance review.

What do you think Chapter Zero Brussels can do, or is already doing, to help overcome these challenges?

Daniel: There are several corporate and institutional levels where we support, contribute or influence the sustainability agenda. My personal top three in that respect would be, 

- provide sustainability/climate advocacy in Belgium and its regions.

- empower boards through knowledge sharing (seminars, events, training..) in order to adapt and change their business models.

- expand our efforts to the corporate SME segment.

What inspires you, outside of your working life?

Daniel: Life offers multiple opportunities to develop and explore, with each stage bringing joys as well as challenges. Experiencing these with family, friends and business contacts is definitely most rewarding. After that, time permitting :  movies/cinema, reading, world news and cycling. 


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