Circular economy: a recovery tool for Brussels tourism?

How do you hold a zero-waste event? How can you use more sustainable materials to fit out a hotel or restaurant? On 22 September, 21 companies at the forefront of the circular economy presented their solutions to players from Brussels’ hospitality sector, in a range of fields including circular design, green mobility and reuse.

Brussels, twice a capital, is the hot spot for Belgian and European tourism. Its Regional Plan for a Circular Economy has also made it one of the most fertile environments for the circular economy. As a result, numerous start-ups and pioneering companies in the field have chosen Brussels to launch their sustainable business.

Trait Déco offers eco-friendly interior design:

“During the crisis, we noticed that many company offices are being redesigned”, explains its creator, Stéphanie Cornet. “Companies are rethinking their relationship with spaces and our value proposition makes more sense than ever before. We offer services which positively impact society and the environment. We are promoting Brussels know-how, the reuse of local furniture and materials and the use of eco-friendly Belgian products.

As for the start-up Konligo , it produces modular event structures out of recycled aluminium: “The idea behind Konligo is to drastically reduce the time spent setting up tents and stands at your events while also participating in the circular economy through the use of sustainable and high-quality equipment”, reveals Aushim Koumar, founder of Konligo. “Our tents are made in Belgium from recycled or reclaimed aluminium.”

Let’s also mention EnVie Atelier and its soups based on unsold vegetables, Beerfood and its aperitif crackers based on beer dregs (relevant the catering sector), Shayp and its solution for detecting water leaks, Orybany and its eco-friendly gifts and accessories & Cycad and its rental bicycles (relevant for the hotel sector).

An inspirational event for the tourism sector’ and clusters are behind this meeting of the tourism and circular economy sectors.

The joint event “Hospitality goes circular” brought together at the BIP on 22 September more than 80 companies active in the tourism, events and culture sector, who were given the opportunity to discover Brussels circular solutions enabling them to initiate a transition process within their activity.

“Today, our economy is in transition. We are moving from a linear economy to a circular economy”, explains Isabelle Grippa, CEO of

“Brussels is filled with pioneering companies in the field. Our and clusters are working together to raise the awareness of hospitality players in Brussels and inform them about the concrete circular economy actions they can take to participate in the transition strategy.”

Accelerating the economic transition in the tourism sector

Initially organised in March 2020, this event was rethought after the start of the crisis to participate in the redeployment of a more resilient economy in Brussels.

“The pandemic has strained things which are profoundly anchored in Brussels’ tradition: closeness and human warmth”, emphasises Barbara Trachte, Secretary of State for Economic Transition. A crisis is also an opportunity for reassessment; the world of tomorrow cannot be the same as the world of yesterday.

“With, we are working to create a more resilient economy which can handle any shocks it may face. What kind of tourism does Brussels want? How can you reinvent yourself without sacrificing warmth and quality? It’s time to end overconsumption and waste and create local partnerships which participate in the redeployment of a more responsible and circular economy. “

This vision is shared by Mr John Gabriel Martin, co-founder of Cervo Hospitality, an initiative that offers more responsible products and services to help the hotel industry become a leader in eco-responsibility:

“The most crucial step to spreading the circular economy in a tourist site is to adopt a contagious positive attitude! You must want to do things differently and change mentalities to move from a linear economy to a circular economy.”