ILVO for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Digging in for the SDGs

In 2017, ILVO decided to embrace the EU Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an overarching framework in order to keep its work and societal ambitions sharp. The SDGs are stated in the ILVO vision text “Towards 2020 and Beyond” as a major driver of ILVO research.

The ILVO management has chosen for a broad rollout. In the course of 2018 – 2020, the SDG route is being charted for all aspects of the institute, its employees and its research. For internal as well as external operations, 7 priority objectives were selected without losing sight of the entire SDG framework.

In a phased process, concrete actions are formulated, rolled out, monitored and adjusted. In addition, a statement of commitment will be made in which ILVO will make its ambitions public.

Broad, diverse, clear targets

ILVO is scattered across multiple sites. Its +/-600 colleagues work in a variety of circumstances (labs, fields, offices, barns and boats). They are young and older, people with a range of personal backgrounds and differing expectations and ambitions. All employees are involved bottom-up in the SDG story. Internal, organization-specific actions, often based on suggestions from the employees themselves, ensure that the entire ILVO community weighs in on the social and environmental improvements in their direct living and working environment.

Also the research that ILVO does under the common denominator 'agriculture, fisheries and food ' is very diverse: from the seabed across the countryside and into to the air, from agroforestry to high tech big data, from livestock to functional food, from spatial planning to European Agricultural policy... Joost Dessein, ILVO coordinator for the SDGs: "If you thoroughly pursue the sustainable development goals, you'll notice the close entanglement with the ILVO research themes." The SDGs are a touchstone for the research questions, the projects, the system exercises, the research infrastructure (and investments), ILVO coordination and scientific services.

In good company

ILVO’s efforts resonate with the inclusive, participatory and coordinated process towards sustainable development as outlined by the entire Flemish Government. Read more information about the Flemish policy for sustainable development. The transversal policy document Vision 2050, approved by the Flemish Government in March 2016, proclaims to work towards an accelerated transition to a strong, social, open, resilient and international Flanders in which everyone counts and that creates prosperity and well-being in a smart, innovative and sustainable way. ILVO is part of the (inter)national research community. The nature of ILVO’s the scientific work makes our SDG priorities fall into line with (or be embedded in) those of the academic world.

Finally, ILVO can easily build bridges to the private sector and civil society due to its special position as an independently-functioning scientific institute (with a large equity and intensive cooperation with stakeholders and companies) associated with the Flemish Government. ILVO chooses to give an explicit demonstrative and inspiring character to some of the ILVO-SDG actions, to (hopefully, who knows?) positively influence the strategic choices in the circle around ILVO and to underline the social added value of the SDG's.

ILVO is professionally supervised in this process by CIFAL Flanders.


Banners on the building façades, a pin, a special O in the ILVO mail signature, a magnet for the refrigerator,... Newsletters, workshops, lectures, etc. There is a lot of communication to be expected in the coming few years.