⌂ > Over ons > Duurzaamheid > ESG Stakeholders

"LCL is helping us to become net zero across the entire value chain"


Catherine Bals,  Group Sustainability Lead at Proximus

Proximus’ ambitions are to be a net zero company by 2040 across the entire value chain. To achieve this goal, the telecom operator is counting on the commitment of up to 4000 suppliers. “95 percent of our emissions are scope 3 – it’s clearly a shared responsibility,” explains Group Sustainability Lead Catherine Bals. “We reach out to our suppliers and actively work with them to significantly reduce their emissions. LCL’s efforts are helping us achieve our goal.”

Sustainability is serious business at Proximus. Or as Catherine Bals says: “The low-hanging fruit has long been picked. Sustainability is not only meant to be alive within my team of six people, but it must become a way of thinking for everyone in the company. If we weigh project A against project B, financial arguments play a role, but also ecological ones. Eventually we should include social impact too, but that is more difficult to objectify.”

Two strategies

To achieve net zero emissions across the entire value chain by 2040, Proximus is pursuing two strategies: the Supplier Engagement Program and Circularity. “In 2023, we launched our Supplier Engagement Program, asking our suppliers to at least match Proximus’ environmental goals and to fully commit to renewable energy. Immediately calling all of our 4000 suppliers to account for this would be a daunting task. We started with the 150 suppliers that have the most emissions. They alone account for over 90 percent of our scope 3 cat. 1 & 2 emissions. Depending on their maturity, we developed engagement programs. We monitor companies in the top 150 with a high level of maturity and solid SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) targets. We do this by checking whether they have made the expected progress during the annual review. Companies that weigh heavily on our scope 3, and are not yet doing anything about sustainability, will be worked on very actively.”

More circular production

In addition to the Supplier Engagement Program, Proximus is looking into the impact of their purchases. “For example, we are investigating how we can make our products lower in carbon and more circular. Our modems and decoders are now fully eco designed. The current internet box consists entirely of renewable plastic, consumes 20 percent less electricity, and has a footprint that has decreased by 40 percent.

Reducing the footprint together

LCL’s sustainability efforts strengthen its partnership with Proximus. Catherine Bals: “We see ourselves as a driver for change. It’s absolutely necessary for suppliers to make progress. We can help them by providing all possible tools and doing everything we can to motivate them. We also like to keep suppliers who meet their targets, such as LCL, on the radar to see how we can further reduce our footprint. We strongly believe in co-creation to achieve innovations.”

Digital inclusion

By focusing on digital inclusion, Proximus is taking on its role in society. “Digital inclusion has several angles: accessibility (making it possible for everyone in Belgium to use our network – our core business), affordability (through our three brands), up- and reskilling our own employees, and providing trust in digital through cyber security & data privacy. “
“We also support socially valuable initiatives such as MolenGeek (a tech ecosystem in the heart of Molenbeek), coding school Campus 19 and the digital training centre BeCode. We support Internet Safe & Fun, an initiative by Child Focus, which teaches children and young people how to use the Internet safely. Together with BNP Paribas Fortis we are also the driving force behind the only national ecosystem of over 100 companies, social organisations and government bodies working together towards more digital inclusion in Belgium.”