We set out to meet the men and women from around the Metropolitan Area whose companies are innovating and offering services to make our beautiful planet greener.
Vertical wind turbines to produce green and local energy
Fairwind,with its head office in Seneffe and workshops in Fleurus, makes vertical wind turbines, which bring to mind huge weather-vanes. The 3 blades, parallel with the mast, rotate around the base, whichever way the wind is blowing. These turbines are initially aimed at agricultural holdings and SMEs.
The largest model produces green energy that can satisfy the consumption of about thirty families (110 MWh per year). The mast, which stretches up 20 to 30 metres in height, is considerably smaller than traditional wind turbines which are about a hundred metres tall.
Furthermore, the wind turbines are 100% recyclable. Made of aluminium, they have a life span of 20 to 25 years.
Fertiliser turned public biogas
Cinergie is a biomethanisation station based in Fleurus which injects green gas into the public grid: a first for the Walloon grid! Each year, this agri-industrial company processes over 100,000 tonnes of organic waste from livestock farming, arable farming and the agri-food sector.
Organic matter produces natural gas which performs just as well as traditional gas. The energy potential could supply the equivalent in consumption of two towns the size of Couvin.
Natural auxiliaries to fight against aphid attacks in agriculture
Viridaxis, located in Gosselies, produces aphid parasitoids, in a bid to tackle pests in a natural way. This company allows farmers to study the problematic insects that attack their crops and to offset them by introducing their enemies, in a reliable and balanced manner.
The company, founded in 2004, employs 45 people. Renowned internationally, it holds an exclusive patent for its biological control method.
Compostable tableware in 30 days
Kommpo, based in Charleroi, produces 100% natural and biodegradable tableware. Once it has been used, the tableware takes 30 days to break down. It is made of water, durum wheat and rice starch, made from sustainable agriculture and is coloured with natural pigments based on spinach or cumin, for example.
The company produces a whole tableware range, from glasses to dessert plates which can withstand hot and cold temperatures.
Biodigesters dealing with organic waste from institutions and the hospitality sector
The company Waste-end, launched by Lola and Nathan, two young Charleroi-based entrepreneurs, with the help of Student Lab. will be unveiling in the next few months a biodigester: a device which helps to process organic waste. Currently in use as a prototype in a retirement home, the device processes food waste (vegetable peelings, meal leftovers, etc.) into gas or fertiliser.
A machine measuring 4 cubic metres can process 10 kilos of waste a day (a community with about a hundred residents may generate up to 50 kilos a day).
“It is very simple to use: the waste goes into the machine. The biodigester processes it by itself thanks to bacteria and a number of sensors. We are currently in discussions with several different partners about separating out and collecting the fertiliser if the client doesn’t have a use for it. We would also like to pool the service for the smallest entities,” explains Waste-end’s co-founder.
Sosol and Sea, based in Castillon (Walcourt), offers one-size-fits-all clothing and jewellery. All of their products are made ethically and responsibly. Heading up the company is Solange, who is surrounded by a team of people making products which match these values.
The brand has just launched a crowdfunding initiative on the platform Ulule.
Opte is a brand-new line of eco-responsible clothing based in Philippeville. Alizée and Antoine work in partnership with an adapted workstation. They source all of their fabrics from big brand offcuts. Other partnerships have been taking shape along the way such as the making of woollen jumpers, produced entirely locally. The first items should be available as of Spring 2021.