Off Canvas


Principle n°5 — Industrial ecology

Principle n°5 — Industrial ecology

In the circular economy

Industrial ecology can be described as the set of practices intended to optimise local resources, whether in terms of energies, water, materials, waste but also equipment and expertise, through a systemic approach inspired by the functioning of natural ecosystems.

The principle applied to HRM

  • Categorising the skill set of workers for planning and implementing worker-centred strategies to optimise these skills within a business ecosystem. It can also mean avoiding the waste of local resources that would not be taken into account by companies.


Industrial ecology in circular HRM can go through:

  • A territorial approach to skills management
  • The promotion, support and development of diversity in recruitment, management and the management of human resources in the broad sense
  • The detection of hidden talents within the company or an employment pool
  • The development of evolution and promotion opportunities based on the expertise (and not only with a view of taking on a managerial role)

Examples of good practices observed

Prayon (Belgium) — One of Wallonia’s problems lies in under-qualification: many people on the job market lack qualifications. Rather than having an assessment after six months of a young recruit in the post only to find that it is ultimately not suitable, the Prayon group changed this selection to an earlier stage, and even before recruitment. With two companies in the temporary work sector, an analysis of the capacities of job seekers was carried out on some basic elements. They are then enrolled in a training programme prior to recruitment. The approach was applied at the Lyon site (France) with role-playing on a chemical operator position and training before recruitment.

The Territoires zéro chômeur longue durée (TZCLD) programme (The Territories Zero Long-term Unemployed initiative) is an experiment launched in France in 2017, with the aim of combating long-term unemployment at the territorial level. It aims at responding to the unsatisfied collective needs, identified by a local committee composed of the living forces of the territory. The challenge is to demonstrate that by mobilizing an entire territory, it is possible to propose sustainable employment to people having, for a long time, been deprived of a job and who wish to have one. In Belgium, the Brussels region and Wallonia are preparing pilot experiments.

SPIE (Belgium) — The company is looking for profiles in professions where there are very strong shortages.  It therefore multiplies the channels to find quality people, even if these are potentials that must be translated into skills through trainings. SPIE works with the Brussels public employment service (Actiris) to put back at work people who are marginalized with a training path and internships. Contacts have been established with associations that train women in technical professions and SPIE opens its doors to schools to sensitise students to these professions. The Belgian subsidiary of this French group now employs several women electricians and welders. It works with associations and schools that train young people, from disadvantaged background, in IT. Through an association, it has hosted a disabled intern to work on digitizing process.

Boston Scientific (Ireland) — The company strives to detect the “hidden talents” of its employees as part of a Development Assignment Programme which offers the opportunity of an “Act Up”, namely taking a more senior position on a temporary basis, for example as part of a replacement for maternity or parental leave. Employees also have the opportunity to carry-out a self-assessment and a 360° on the ‘Boston Scientific’ skills, resulting in a report and access to a coach for debriefing and development.

SPB Global Corporation (Spain) —Specific promotion of technical trainings is carried out among women, in view of enabling them to perform a greater variety of tasks and to be able to experience mobility in different functions, such as for example in electromechanics.

L’Oréal Libramont (Belgium) — Careers tend to be longer and L’Oréal Libramont has launched, already ten years ago, a project aimed at motivating staff up to the age of 65. Part-times are accepted beyond the average. Large investments have been made in terms of ergonomics, in production but also in the offices. Work is being simplified to facilitate the concentration of operators on the lines. The biggest challenge is to teach people, both managers and employees, to keep themselves in good physical and mental health.

GEMAK Trade (North Macedonia) — The company values vertical promotion (towards a managerial position), but also horizontal, including at the salary level. Too often, companies promote very good employees to a managerial position, and lose very good employees who turn out to be bad managers. Management requires specific skills. Horizontal promotion allows the work relation to be optimised by improving skills, aptitudes, potentials and job satisfaction.

Prayon (Belgium) — In the framework of the development of digital skills, the Prayon Group has concerns for all workers and, more particularly, manual workers. The latter, most often, carry out their professional careers within the same geographical region. The company wants to mobilise the economic actors of the region to assess the desired digital skills levels for this type of worker and to train them in order to make them capable, if needed, to move from one company to another one, a little like how the TOEFL allows, that exists for languages. This way, when the person arrives at another company, the level they have reached is known and their development can continue. This work is undertaken in the framework of Technifutur (competence centre covering fields of activities of industry, digital and mobility). Prayon is one of the pilot companies.


Project Coordinator

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

Follow Us

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Erasmus+ Programme

Developed and Powered by
Center for Knowledge Management

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved.