Sustainability: Belgium

September 2021

Due to limited renewable water resources, elevated air and water pollution, and rising exposure to extreme weather events, Belgium showed a moderate performance in the global Sustainability Index. Despite a strong push towards renewables, the country’s energy security remains under strain due to a high reliance on gas imports. On the other hand, adequate food availability and the expansion of protected areas were supporting factors behind Belgium’s overall performance.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Sustainability: Belgium



Despite wind energy expansion, Belgium’s dependency on gas imports to persist
Government to review commitments to comply with updated European climate goals
Despite expanding protected areas, more comprehensive measures needed to halt biodiversity loss
Limited renewable water resources to further threaten water availability
Despite high food imports, food availability to remain adequate
Climate-induced extreme weather events to become more common in Belgium


Chart 1 Environmental Sustainability Index: Belgium Chart 2 Global Sustainability Ranking: Belgium Chart 3 Energy Ranking: Belgium Chart 4 Energy Availability Landscape in Belgium Chart 5 Energy Efficiency, Security and Equity Landscape in Belgium Chart 6 Pollution Ranking: Belgium Chart 7 Air Pollution in Belgium Chart 8 Waste and Water Pollution Landscape in Belgium Chart 9 Forest and Biodiversity Ranking: Belgium Chart 10 Forest and Biodiversity Landscape in Belgium Chart 11 Water Ranking: Belgium Chart 12 Water Availability, Equity and Security Landscape in Belgium Chart 13 Water Security and Efficiency Landscape in Belgium Chart 14 Food and Agriculture Ranking: Belgium Chart 15 Food and Agriculture Landscape in Belgium Chart 16 Role of Agriculture in the Economy of Belgium Chart 17 Environmental Resilience Ranking: Belgium Chart 18 Environmental Resilience Landscape in Belgium

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