Environmental Coordinator/Prevention Advisor at Group De Ceuster
"The dynamism, the link with the agricultural and horticultural sector, the diversity of the job and the family character of the company were the decisive factors for me to join GroupDC ".
soon as I had obtained my degree as a bio-engineer specialized in farm house construction, I immediately started working in the compound feed industry. I have designed and equipped hundreds of cattle barns. However, I soon realised that the success of these projects largely depended on their degree of compliance with the stricter environmental legislation. This iswhy I took additional training in environmental regulations and technologies. I also enrolled in various safety courses afterwards, just out of interest. So, after 5 years of professional experience and after having followed various additional training courses, I was ready to discover new horizons.
Tom De Ceuster contacted me following an advertisement. He had taken on the newly created role of environmental coordinator-prevention advisor until then. The dynamism, the link with the agricultural and horticultural sector, the diversity of the job and the family character of the company were the decisive factors for me to join Group De Ceuster. Meanwhile, this collaboration is going on for almost 20 years. In those 20 years, both the company group and the content of my job have considerably changed.
In the early years, I was a jack-of-all-trades : compliance issues, CAD drawing, building management, insurance, PPE management, etc. I was also called in as an external environmental consultant on behalf of Group DC. Over the years, however, a few newcompanies joined the group, which forced us to focus more on core activities and to give up a few peripheral activities, in particular external environmental consultancy.
We were also forced to adjust our approach within the group. In the beginning, we drew up all the procedures ourselves, we carried out the risk analyses and it even happened that we hung up the safety pictograms ourselves. Today, the various departments draw up their own procedures and we act more in an advisory and coordinating role. We are the conductor rather than the musician. This way of working also boosts involvement in the organization, whichpays off.
The companies within Group DC perform very well at every SHEQ level (SHEQ = Safety Health Environment and Quality). We can even say that they are leaders in the sector.
Are there any challenges remaining? There certainly are! Within the domain of well-being, we have seen in recent years a growing need and awareness for the topics of psychosocial workload and ergonomics. These are two areas on which we will have to focus more in the coming years.
The challenges in the domains of environment and energy are at least as important. Our stakeholders (customers, employees, government, etc.) are becoming increasingly demanding with regard to the sustainability of our product range and production processes. This evolution is fully in line with our mission and vision. We therefore see the necessary transition as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Thanks to these challenges, in combination with the continuous growth and internationalization of the group, the next few years promise to be just as exciting or perhaps even more exciting than the previous 20 years!