Development objectives

Development objectives

The Sustainable Development Goals, abbreviated as SDGs, are about 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations Global Compact that must be achieved by 2030. Just like Eiffage, Smulders uses this as a critical reflection framework, to pro-actively integrate sustainability into the policy. 

Actions on the SDGs are implemented in collaboration with VOKA. The network supports and encourages companies to work on sustainable entrepreneurship on the basis of an action plan. After 2 years, we have carried out actions for 14 of the 17 objectives and Smulders continues to be certified. Three objectives remain which Smulders will be working on in 2019.

Below are our achievements of 2018:

Eliminate hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture


During the winter period, the Arendonk branch serves soup at lunch time. It is bought from Natuursoep, a family business located in Arendonk that prepares fresh and traditional soup with natural ingredients. They mainly work with raw materials from Belgium or the Netherlands in order to minimise the ecological footprint. By ordering the soup from this company, we promote local products, short-chain and organic agriculture.

Ensure equal access to quality education and promote lifelong learning for all


Smulders has grown strongly in recent years. This leads to (often more complex) changes in the structure and processes. The induction process for new employees has been adapted to this.

In 2017 & 2018, a working group from HR was set up to review and optimise the induction process. There are different procedures for different functions. In the first few weeks, new colleagues can visit various department to see how the processes work.

Ensure access and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all


Drinking water is processed and transported. The primary (bottle), secondary (plastic film or bin) and tertiary (pallet, pallet film) waste must be processed afterwards. And this while tap water is perfectly drinkable in Belgium. That is why water fountains have been installed in the office building & workshop in Arendonk, connected to the mains. Employees were given their own drinking bottle to take water, cooled or not, and with or without gas. The glass bottles are only used in meetings for external parties.

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and stimulate innovation


This objective also includes the quality of the living environment. To this end, Smulders participated in the civil survey on air quality in 2018:

CurieuzeNeuzen [Nosy noses]. The branch in Arendonk was one of the measurement points for this study. By participating Smulders tries to increase the awareness of employees, suppliers and our customers. Two employees also participated and had a measuring point at home. This research gives us an overall picture of where the air contains a lot of nitrogen dioxide. The next step is to limit it!

Reduce inequalities in and between countries


For SDG number 10, Smulders participated in WELT, which stands for Work Experience & Learning trajectories. WELT, organised by VOKA, wants to support companies in the development of a future-oriented talent and training policy, with a focus on workplace learning.

Through the workplace programme, Smulders gives people who are further removed from the labour market a chance to work. This was done by means of a screening and networking sessions. In the end, 2 jobseekers were effectively employed within our company!

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


Due to the growth of the company in recent years, more and more people have joined our group, who are on the road every day to help realise our projects. It is therefore self-evident that our employees play an important role in green mobility.

In 2018, we introduced a bike-lease plan whereby employees can lease a bicycle (electric or other). In this way they are encouraged to come to work by bike and perhaps there are newcomers, who previously thought the distance was too large to cover by bike.

Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of continental ecosystems, manage forests and forests sustainably, combat desertification, stop land degradation and reverse it and halt biodiversity loss.


The Forest Stewardship Council, abbreviated as FSC, is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1993 by forest owners, timber and paper companies, social movements and environmental organisations. FSC strives for sustainable forest management worldwide, according to strict social, ecological and economic criteria.

Every year, Smulders distributes printed materials. In order to contribute to sustainable forest management, our brochures, our magazine and other matters are printed on FSC-certified paper.