Deloitte Belgium, the country’s leading professional services firm, is committed to being an active partner of Deloitte strives to connect, engage, and inspire all stakeholders within the Belgian scale-ups ecosystem to together deliver an impact on complex economic and societal challenges, such as sustainability.

In this interview we gain insights from Anaïs De Boulle, Scale-Ups Leader Deloitte and Eline Brugman, Sustainability Leader Deloitte, into how Deloitte works together, with and for scale-ups and why ecosystems matter.

What are Deloitte’s sustainability ambitions?


At Deloitte, we live our Purpose — to make an impact that matters for our people, our clients, and society — every day. As a professional services firm we want to lead by example and have set very ambitious sustainability targets for ourselves, but we also strive to make an impact for and with our clients and society as a whole.

Our aim is to become net zero by 2030 by focusing on four main areas that we believe we can improve upon: mobility, travel, infrastructure, and greening our firm’s operations. We have a robust governance in place, which is quite unique and supported by our CEO Piet Vandendriessche, involving our Deloitters in helping us achieve our sustainability ambitions. For example, our Green Sounding Board gives our people the opportunity to share their suggestions and opinions with our leadership on how we can be more sustainable as a firm. We also offer a wide range of benefits and trainings to empower our people to make sustainable choices.

Making lasting, positive change happen also requires working together with external organisations.

Why are ecosystems important?


Ecosystems play an increasingly important role when it comes to sustainability, which no longer just involves compliance and reporting. Creating a more sustainable society and more sustainable businesses requires developing new solutions, new technologies and new ways of working throughout the value chain.

We believe that scale-ups are driving innovation across industries. We are committed to supporting our clients throughout their sustainability journey, often working with scale-ups to offer innovative solutions and connect partners to make an impact together.

The vibrant scale-ups ecosystem is one of the three ecosystems prioritised by Deloitte, in addition to the sustainability and mobility ecosystems, and we strive to serve and collaborate with a different set of actors that contribute to the ecosystems.

What does Deloitte do for scale-ups?


First, we aim to connect scale-ups, the companies of tomorrow that are adding to the country’s economic growth, with our corporate and SME clients because they also are seeking new ways to grow or to transform their business.

Secondly, we look at the solutions of those scale-ups and how we can embed them in our own digital offerings. Skipr is a great example of how we offer our people a mobility solution that enables them to positively impact their environmental footprint, and we also jointly go to market. Our collaboration with Skipr encompasses the three ecosystems we prioritise: tech scale-ups, sustainability, and mobility. One-off collaborations can evolve into partnerships and sometimes even alliances. Recently we partnered with AI specialist KWARTS, making it part of our digital offerings, to empower pharmaceutical and medical companies to become more customer centric and thereby enhance their efficiency.

Thirdly, we provide visibility and recognition through various programmes, such as Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and Beers & Burgers, partnerships like the one with The Big Score, and conducting market research.

Lastly, we bring high value and end-to-end expertise ranging from strategic and financial advice to legal services to support scale-ups on their growth trajectory and to enhance their desired impact.

What added value does the scale-ups ecosystem bring?


The sustainability challenges are becoming more and more complex. Realising a circular economy requires new business models, new ways of thinking, new ways of collaboration throughout the value chain. That's where the scale-up community steps into play, delivering those new solutions.

Combining the agility of the scale-up community with the robustness of Deloitte brings innovative solutions to our clients and it empowers us as an organisation.

Do you have any practical examples?


Our two main areas of focus in the sustainability ecosystem are scale-ups in the sphere of ‘climate and energy’, and ‘circular economy’, where we are actively monitoring and connecting with start-ups and scale-ups active in those two fields. We keep our finger on the pulse and are always eager to see new demos to explore the many innovative new solutions that are being developed in Belgium.

We collaborated with one start-up on a joint offering for a client to reduce their carbon footprint by facilitating data capture and reporting via the start-ups’ newly built tool. We also partnered with a scale-up active in the water sector, which enabled us to deliver several of our clients innovative water management solutions.  

The focus on ecosystems is not just about business?


The ecosystems approach has a far-reaching impact. It not only enables us to better serve our clients and play a leading role in society. We also enhance the Deloitte talent experience as it makes the work more meaningful, more purposeful, and more impactful, giving our people the opportunity to develop both professionally and personally.

Collaboration is key—both internally and externally. Deloitte is technology neutral. We have strong alliances with incumbent parties, such as Salesforce and SAP, but we also selectively work with those scale-ups introducing  disruptive  solutions. The strength is we jointly go to market and bring that solution directly to our clients.

In short, we not only work for scale-ups, but first and foremost work with them. And, when designated, make use ourselves of their solutions.

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