Goodbye Firmin! And thank you

After nearly 31 years at the service of the pulp & paper industry, Firmin FRANCOIS is retiring on 30th June. It is with sadness that we are waving him goodbye, mixed with immense gratitude for his hard work and dedication over so many years. As a cornerstone and founding father of inDUfed, Firmin has made a deep, positive and lasting contribution to not only his original sector, but also to the paper and board converting sector and to the glass sector in Belgium. Firmin was the first Managing Director of inDUfed and assisted his successor during the recent COVID crisis.
His wise advise was priceless and helped inDUfed manage the crisis in a successful way. So thank you Firmin! We are sad to see you go and grateful for all you brought our sectors.

We hope that the coming years will be filled with many happy hours of fishing, guitar playing, painting and enjoying your grand-children's company under the Corsican sun!

FIRMIN in pictures, addressing and defending his members

From 1991:

Through the 2000's:

Till yesterday:


First committee Safety meeting was a success

On June 4 Mondi Poperinge hosted the first webinar of the Safety Committee (Dutch version). In this Committee's new concept, a volunteering company presents a safety issue of own choosing. The Safety manager of Mondi Poperinge gave a comprehensive explanation of the Brain based safety concept and how to understand why people react the way they do on issues related to safety. If this process is well understood, ways can be found to change undesired behaviour and improve safety in the workplace. After this presentation, a Q&A session followed on the implementation of the ISO 45001. Judging from the lively discussions, we believe this first session was a success. If you want to present your case to your peers on safety in the workspace, don't hesitate to contact inDUfed.


The Interprofessional Collective Agreement

After months of negotiations and the intervention of the government, an intersectoral agreement was reached on a limited number of topics, the so-called third part of the interprofessional collective bargaining :
- end of career and early retirement, flexibility (overtime), second pension pillar, minimum wage.
On the first part, the welfare envelope, an agreement was reached between the social partners on 19 April 2021.
The second part, the wage standard and the corona premium, will be regulated by Royal Decree.
The trade unions approved the ICA with narrow to very narrow majorities among the two largest trade unions.


The sector consultation

The conclusion of the interprofessional phase also marks the start of the sectoral consultation.
The sectoral negotiations will start at the end of September. In the first half of September, the trade unions will consult their members for the composition of their charter of demands.
In the paper sectors, negotiations will normally take place between 20 September and 6 October 2021.
In the glass sector, negotiations can only start on 7 October and may last until 3 November 2021.


inDUfed meets Cabinet Khattabi

On June 9th 2021, inDUfed had a meeting with the Cabinet of Zakia Khattabi, the Belgian Federal Minister for the Environment. The agenda included subjects of which the most important one was the transposition of the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) into Belgian law.

inDUfed asked that Belgium must:

1. guarantee a long enough transitional period for the implementation of the SUPD
2. use a threshold value for plastic content on paper-based products to determine if a product falls into the scope of the directive
3. evaluate the sustainability of alternatives based on scientific data and not on the mantra that re-use is always the better choice
4. support the new guidance document in preparation at the Commission and related to plastic consumption reduction

inDUfed also highlighted the need for the collection and recycling of flat glass. We presented a project inDUfed and Denuo are working on together in order to selectively collect, sort and finally recycle flat glass coming from building renovations.


The new PackItBetter platform

Pack It Better is the Belgian Hub for Packaging Eco-Design. The aim of Pack It Better is to stimulate the use of sustainable packaging. The goal is to exchange and share knowledge on sustainable household and industrial packaging by facilitating contacts between knowledge centres and companies looking for solutions. inDUfed has positioned itself as one of the knowledge centres on paper and board and glass packaging. Pack It Better is a joint initiative between Valipac and Fost Plus and supported by the Belgian industry. The platform stimulates the eco-design of household and industrial packaging through qualitative and quantitative prevention, improved recyclability and circularity.


Instructions by Flemish Minister Demir for Nitrogen deposition impact assessment

In response to a court ruling , Minister Demir issued new instructions for the impact assessment needed to evaluate nitrogen deposition (NOx and NH3). A differentiated approach for NOx and for NH3 is taken.
The complete guidelines (Dutch only) can be consulted here.

These instructions are a temporary solution filling in the legal vacuum created by the court ruling. New final impact assessment guidelines are needed by the end of 2021.


Recycling Hub Flanders: Financial support to close material loops

As part of the post-COVID recovery plan, the Flemish government has earmarked 30 million euro to develop Flanders as a recycling hub. The framework, approved in a first reading, defines the companies and recycling activities eligible for subsidies. The procedure for evaluating the individual projects will be laid down later.


Accords de branche - monitoring 2020

The three sectors united under the inDUfed umbrella presented their performance and results in energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions in 2020 to the Walloon region, as requested by the accords de branche. 2020 was an exceptional year with different impacts on our members but with a common conclusion: the production reduction translated into a decrease in energy efficiency performance. Nevertheless, the sectors remain confident of reaching their targets in 2023, and the companies with specific issues will be closely followed.


Accords de branche - the next generation

inDUfed developed with its members a position on the accords de branche after 2023. The position was presented to the cabinet of Minister Henry and also served as a basis to develop the UWE common vision of all the industrial sectors dealing with the accords de branche today. In a nutshell, the next generation of the accords de branche should be a commitment at company level to study and implement measures and projects benefiting the climate transition towards a carbon neutral economy in 2050. Companies that commit to the accords de branche should receive a support from the Region (mainly by aid in investment and resources) to support the implementation of these projects.


Paperpackskills promotes the inclusiveness programme "50pluz"

50pluz BV is one of the ten selected organizations within the ESF project 500 - Inclusive Enterprises that accompany Flemish profit and non-profit organizations on their way to greater inclusiveness. 50pluz BV is looking for an approach to employ in a socially responsible way 50-plus jobseekers (and to keep them working) within your organization. We warmly invite you to complete this 10-minute questionnaire as a first step in a guidance process towards more 50-plus inclusiveness.
Click on the link to open the survey. https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/50pluz

There is no cost to your company for any further guidance. If desired, 50pluz BV will contact you afterwards to discuss a follow-up trajectory.


Would you like to train the employees of the future within the paper and cardboard industry? Then start with dual learning!

Through dual learning, young people acquire competences both in school and in the workplace. As an employer, you are therefore an indispensable link. You help young people complete their education, you prepare them optimally for the labour market and you help train the employees of the future! Are you interested in training a future offset and flexo printer or an operator digital printer? On the PaperPackSkills website, you will find an extensive step-by-step plan
https://www.paperpackskills.be/nl/stappenplan-duaal-leren/ on how your company can be recognised as a workplace and which graphic dual learning paths you can set up.

For more information please contact PaperPackSkills


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