The liberal trade union in Belgium, ACLVB, has placed the SDG's on the social dialogue at company level, by the use of Sustatool.
Thanks to the Sustatool, an online open source web application, Belgian SME’s or other organizations can work on a sustainable policy. The tool offers an accessible, systematic, practical, no-nonsense approach towards a sustainable policy boost.
The Sustatool is based on a system of continuous improvement and is an accessible management process, made up of 5 phases (analyse, give direction, specify your actions, implement and report) to support the implementation of sustainability in the organisations, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
For each theme, dozens of concrete and feasible sustainability initiatives are described that offer a financial added value. Finally, the Sustatool offers a completely customizable set of standard KPI’s (Critical Performance indicators) on all topics, which allow perfect monitoring of the evolution.
Stakeholders: The tool was developed by the University of Antwerp with the support of the Flemish government and is based on academic research, management literature and good practices.. The Liberal Trade Union of Belgium spread the use of Sustatool among its 300.000 workers from different sectors. Further outreach was done in sector organisations, professional federations, and other intermediate bodies.
The main beneficiaries of Sustatool are union members and representatives of ACLVB-CGSLB, SME’s and small organisations.

Resources needed

ESF call budget of 1,000,000 EUR, with a maximum of 50,000 EUR/project. No co-financing was required.
For international spread of the tool financing for an English version will be required extra.

Evidence of success

This method has the following major advantages:
a systematic approach focussing on all facets of the organisation,
• simple model with clear phases,
• low-key and accessible,
• you can choose the themes/actions
measurable impact of the actions taken is central.
What was first developed as a tool for members of the liberal trade union, to get the SDG’s into the companies they represent, was, because of its success, further developed for general use in organisations, SME’s and companies.

Difficulties encountered

Because of the Covid pandemic all free workshops had to be developed for online use, with digital interactive tools.

Potential for learning or transfer

The benefits of the Sustatool are numerous; sustainable entrepreneurship, customized actions and plans, integrating sustainability into business strategy, involve employees and reward initiatives, strengthen your network, get to know other sustainable companies and it is available for free.
With this tool companies/organisations can be helped to think about their impact on society, the climate and the environment and encourage positive action based on the conviction that this also brings economic added value. The Sustatool method has been extensively developed and tested in recent years and is now being disclosed to the general public and specific sectors (Sustabuild, Sustafood, Sustacare, Sustatrade and Sustapulse).
In October 2019, MVO Flanders organised the first Sustatool symposium.
Free Sustatool workshops have been extended because of its success.
For International spread of the tool at least an English version will be required.

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Main institution
ACLVB-CGSLB (liberal trade union in Belgium)
Prov. Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium (Belgique-België)
Start Date
August 2018
End Date


Herlinde Smet Please login to contact the author.