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Principle n°1 — Eco-conception

Principle n°1 — Eco-conception

In the circular economy

Eco design is an approach which consists of taking into account, during its design, the environmental impacts of a product over its entire life cycle in order to minimise them.

The principle applied in HRM

=> The design of work spaces and work practices so that they have a maximum positive impact on the worker throughout their experience within the company and beyond. By analogy with the principles of circular economy: start by minimising, as much as possible, their potential negative impacts.


Eco-design in Circular HRM can go through:

  • The definition (ideally co-constructed with the staff) and the implementation of corporate values congruent with the concept of sustainability
  • The design of work spaces with a view to quality of life at work
  • The promotion of human management on a daily basis
  • An ambitious strategy in favour of wellbeing at work with a view to (more) sustainable management of human resources.

Examples of good practices observed

L’Oréal Libramont (Belgium) — Everyone, on this production site, from the engineer to the operator, can express themselves and feel that their word is taken into account, with the philosophy that it is by bringing together all ideas that one finds the best solutions. Therefore, on certain subjects, like for example waste reduction, a person was dedicated to collect ideas and to translate them into practical realisations.  Another example: two young colleagues were given the task to pilot a project aiming to imagine a new concept of a company restaurant, with brainstorming and co-construction sessions with colleagues from the factory.

Laboratorio Quinton (Spain) — The « Quinton : laboratory of wellbeing » Programme acts on 3 axes: #conciliation, #TotumSpirit and #QuintonWellness with the objective that all employees can enjoy their personal, professional and family time. It consists of more than 90 measures such as: “floating” schedules; the possibility of taking time to take care of children or elderly persons (or even a pet animal), a day off offered on the occasion of the worker’s birthday, the extension of paid leave in the event of hospitalisation of a relative, the Sleep to Dream action aimed at a better quality of sleep, the access to an ergonomic room in the offices, the Out of Smoke action to help stop smoking, an application for measuring, in real time,  the team’s happiness index, a suggestion box with bonuses, etc.

Peikko Lietuva (Lithuania) — Particular attention is paid to the good integration of newly recruited staff with, for example, the tradition of publishing an article in the company newsletter, about each new colleague.  The latter participates in a breakfast with an HR manager with whom a follow-up interview will be organised after one month, then after three months, to see together how life is going at work.

RTBF (Belgium) — The HR teams have been at the initiative of creating « wellbeing” working groups in departments, involving representatives of people working in those departments and, that are, each time, supervised by a member of the HR department. Each group is free to discuss the topics that it wants to deal with, which are usually very concrete. HR tools are then developed to support the implementation of the actions agreed.

SPB Global Corporation (Spain) — The objective of a transversal project is to make each worker an agent of its own health and wellbeing. Various trainings courses are organised in areas such as health, nutrition or sport. The practice of Mindfulness has been introduced. In terms of work life balance, each person can contribute with a new proposal. The “Personas que Brillan” (= persons who shine) project is implemented thanks to technological and collaborative resources. By adopting mechanics and technics specific to games (gamification), the worker manages to adopt healthy habits and good practices that improve the life of the worker and of the organisation.

Prayon (Belgium) — The group is working with the University of Liège (Laboratory of Studies on New Forms of Work) on New Ways of Working in the context of the upcoming construction of a new head office at the Liège site. The idea is to modify working practices, not only at the headquarters level, but also across all factories and commercial subsidiaries, by putting people at the heart of the company and by promoting quality of life at the workplace. Hundreds of projects are launched based on the collection of all requests from the field concerning changes in the work environment, on all sites. Two years earlier, Prayon had launched conferences on corporate values, and one of them focused on work life balance.

AVRIL (France) — From an approach where the group plays a central role in the development of workers, AVRIL evolved towards a principle where each worker is an actor of its own development.  The company creates the conditions for individual development needs to express themselves. It is with that in mind, that the Career and Development Conversation was set-up, a meeting prepared by the employee who is called upon to question themselves thanks to a Questioning Guide which covers various aspects (path, achievements, satisfactions and dissatisfactions, points for improvements, aspirations, mobility, etc.). He is encouraged to get feedbacks from his peers and other managers, before having the conversation with his manager. The idea is that he expresses himself more (70% of the speaking time). The aim is to awaken the desire to develop and to project oneself in the organisation, so that, in the end, the logic of development is in phase with an expressed and thoughtful desire. A series of actions then formalise what has been changed and an execution plan is implemented.

Edukacinės sistemos (Lithuania) — If it helps meet needs (such as a reconciliation with personal life requirements), teleworking is possible, but is not encouraged. The feeling is that team work and the spirit of collaboration could suffer from it. The company rather prefers occasional work in a co-working space with the advantage of communicating and exchanging ideas in a more intensive way, but also of avoiding routine.

VO Event (Belgium) — The agency has put in place trainings on collective intelligence to integrate it into the daily management of the company. The idea is to have processes that allow each person to participate and contribute to the elaboration of strategies and concepts, integrating more expertise and creative thinking. The approach has the advantage that each person can add value on all topics, including those that are not under the direct responsibility of the person.


Project Coordinator

Rue Coenraets 66,
1060 Bruxelles – Belgium
+32 2 535 06 86
Salima Chitalia, Project Manager

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