Giving meaning to growth and paying it forward are key parts of our DNA.
These values also underpin our commitment to civil society and guide our sponsorship decisions.
By actively accompanying and supporting a number of projects in the fields of education, health and the environment, we want to make an impact and help build a better world for future generations.
This Philanthropy Policy is organized around four main themes, which determine both our choice of projects and how we support them.
- Firstly, our commitment starts at home: most of the projects we support are Belgian and have a positive effect on our society and everyone that lives here. Today and tomorrow.
- It is then translated there into concrete action. Our aim is not to interfere in how the projects are run. We simply want to support them financially and help them achieve their goals. We are, however, thrilled to participate and witness these good works in action when possible.
- We are in it for the long haul. Similar to our investment approach, we have a multi-generational perspective. While we know the importance of making an immediate impact, we prioritize sustainable projects with a long-term vision.
- Finally, our commitment takes shape through agile, coherent and responsible management. Because when we make a commitment, we are fully involved: resolutely, at all times, and by promoting direct contact, exchange and proximity.
Because water is a vital and fragile resource, the non-profit organization GoodPlanet created Water Classes in order to raise awareness of water issues among elementary school children and train them to become, at the end of the course, “responsible hydro-citizens”. In 2020, GBL ACT decided to accompany GoodPlanet Belgium in this endeavor and was thus able to help train hydro-citizens in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders. In 2022, among the 6,550 primary school students who have been trained, 1,650 primary six students have received their hydro-citizen diploma. For 2023, the goal of this project, supported by GBL, is to increase the number of hydro-citizens, seek new partnerships and make the existing partnerships in the three regions more sustainable.
Café Joyeux is the first family of cafés and restaurants that employs people with mental or cognitive disabilities and whose profits are entirely reinvested in the cause. Café Joyeux's ambition is to put mental disability in the center of our daily lives, and to demonstrate that the Joyeux team members (employees on apprenticeships and permanent contracts) are capable of working in a typical environment and earning a living from it.
Supervised by specially-trained staff, the Joyeux team members are integrated into a “non-specific” work environment where they are in contact with the standard clientele of downtown cafés. This approach considerably favors their integration and autonomy and positively modifies customers' view of disability.
The vocation of Café Joyeux can be summarized as follows:
- daring to work together, with one’s frailties;
- encouraging encounters, with their differences;
- cooking, serving and sharing with joy;
- opening hearts.
The economic model is also based on the roasting and sale of coffee beans, ground coffee or capsules and allows Café Joyeux to reach profitability and financial autonomy after three years, thanks to the team members' added value. All profits are used to finance subsequent operations.
GBL supported the first Belgian Café Joyeux which opened in Woluwé-Saint-Lambert in January 2023.
The teams at Erasmus Hospital take care of more than a thousand infertile patients every year at the Fertility Clinic to help them realize their dream of having a child. The Laboratory of Medically Assisted Procreation (“MAP”) of Erasmus Hospital and the Faculty Laboratory of Research in Human Reproduction of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (“ULB”) join their efforts to offer the most innovative and adapted techniques to each future parent. They excel, in particular, in oncofertility techniques. As such, the Fertility Clinic was one of the first in the world to allow young women with infertility after cancer treatment to realize their dream of becoming pregnant.
GBL's support in 2021 and 2022 set in motion plans for a complete overhaul of the MAP lab and its relocation. The purchase of new incubators equipped with cameras to monitor the evolution of fertilized ovocytes and advances in genetics enable the selection of embryos that offer the best chance of a healthy child. The introduction in the near future of artificial intelligence at the heart of the laboratory offers great hope for further progress in predicting the potential of each embryo. Oncofertility treatments will be fully integrated into the new laboratory, which will be equipped with the most advanced technologies.
The new Fertility Clinic and its laboratory will move into their new premises at the beginning of 2024 at the Day Center of the Erasmus Academic Hospital.