Joint Statement

The SAFE ICE Cluster has demonstrated that 20 partners from 4 European
countries, speaking different languages, are able to join forces in an important
common challenge, the transition to a low carbon economy.

In barely 17 months, the SAFE-ICE Cluster has enriched this European ambition with
2 new tools, 7 publications, 12 case studies and a website and continues to build
upon this in new partnerships and established networks.

Two partners commented as follows:

“To be involved in a cluster was a first experience for us. It is highly rewarding to
exchange and capitalize on our previous INTERREG experiences. Various actions and
tools emerged during phase 2 but they are the foundations for many more tools and
concrete actions that could be implemented thanks to this funding and
implementation through future projects.”

“The development of a sustainable procurement tool provides the four partner
regions with an opportunity to widely promote and support growth of the low-carbon
economy through stimulating demand for low carbon products and services”.

For more information please contact Mr Ian Sycamore at

9 proposals from the Heat Networks Stakeholder National Committee

As a result of the work carried out in France by Union Social de l’Habitat (USH -national union of social housing associations), by AMORCE and various heat network stakeholders, with the support of ADEME (French Agency for Environmental Energy Management), 9 organizations decided together to create in 2011 the Heat Network Stakeholders National Committee. They worked on 9 operational suggestions on the future of heat networks.

Thanks to SAFE-ICE, Habitat du Littoral had the opportunity to discuss with USH on this document, invited those organizations to the event Heat Networks: Source of Energy Security held in Boulogne-Sur-Mer on the 12th of March. Furthermore, they authorized SAFE-ICE to translate their report and communicate it on a wider scale.


Author: F. Abachi USH-DMOP
Date: 19.01.2015

Links to the organizations’ websites :


Policy Recommendation: Is a BID possible in Flanders?

The ‘Business Improvement District’ (BID) scheme, is a useful business park management instrument that has been implemented in several European Countries such as the UK, Germany and The Netherlands.

Is a  BID possible in Flanders?

Aiming at answering this question a policy document has been developed.
This document has the main objective of informing policy makers and decision makers in Flanders about the BID – Business Improvement District schemes and to stimulate further development of policies and regulation to facilitate the development of such schemes for the management of business parks in Flanders.

Three inspiring approaches to develop sustainable business parks

Building a low carbon economy is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The European Union has committed itself to make a full low carbon transition by 2050, which means actively working towards better management of resources, promotion of low carbon innovations, and increase awareness of change amongst European business communities.


Read our new publication:


The booklet provides an overview of approaches for advancing sustainable business park management. It presents examples from companies’ as well as park managers’ points of view as interesting practices to learn from, underlining drivers as well as pitfalls.

If you would like to have a printed copy of the publication please contact

Talking in Circles

Sometimes one of the greatest barriers to moving the low-carbon agenda forward seems to be the language being used. Sometimes this language barrier masks the fact that the interested parties are actually talking about the same thing.

Take the language of policy-makers for instance. This can be nearly impenetrable to the average citizen who is, incidentally, very often affected in some way by these policies. But strangely, when a situation is looked at from two different perspectives, the astute observer will point out that though both parties have attacked the issue from their own starting point, they actually met in the middle: even if they didn’t realise it.

In this scenario, the Interreg IVA 2 Seas-funded SAFE-ICE Cluster project is the astute observer. This project was funded to look at good examples of sustainable business parks across NW Europe and to explore the type of language that is being used to talk about the Low Carbon Economy. Through research carried out during the project’s Phase 2, certain themes began to emerge about how people, businesses, academic institutions and governments were talking about the Low Carbon Economy.

One theme that we identified is around the Circular Economy. Taking as a working example, the industrial park, Vijfsluizen, in Schiedam, the Netherlands, we can see a circular economy developing, though nobody is calling it that.

Vijfsluizen began as an experiment in how a Business Investment Zone (BIZ) might bring about cooperation and collaboration between businesses located in a defined commercial area. This experiment took place in accordance with an experimental law in the Netherlands in which the local authority collected the association fees on behalf of the park and used these fees to release payments for work being done to improve the business park.

Foto1Figure 1 Vijfsluizen view from the canal

Foto2  Figure 2 Vijfsluizen view from the canal

This system worked incredibly well, with the park achieving its goals of improved safety and enhanced environmental quality within the BIZ. The achievement came over the course of 5 years. During this time, an official BIZ-law was passed in the Netherlands and further ambitions at Vijfsluizen began to develop; including a closed-loop renewable energy system and efforts to improve the local eco-system through the refurbishment of an old canal.


What this case study shows is an economic driver that resulted in the development of circular systems of operation in a business park. The economic driver was a catalyst for the businesses on this park to realise the benefits that come from looking at the whole picture and at how each player, in this case, each business, can affect that bigger picture for the good.

Circular systems are all around us if we care to look for them. It’s the language that confuses the issue. Lately, governments are all about growth. Are we growing the economy? How can we grow the economy? How big can it get? How do we get companies to want to grow? Equally, the EU has fully committed to transitioning to a low-carbon economy by 2050.

Growth and low-carbon do not need to be mutually exclusive. Circular economy models may just be the thing that will spur growth on whilst meeting low-carbon targets. But policymakers need to tune into this and not dismiss circular economy as a fringe idea. We can all be accused of being lazy about language. But if we take the time to look past the words, we may discover that we are all in violent agreement with each other.

Author: Alisa Yingling

Heat Networks: Source of Energy Security, 12th of March

Successes and best practises on a renewable energy driver
Sharing views on outstanding European experiences

The European Energy Transition is a major opportunity to initiate the revival of the investments and the economy. It would not succeed without a strong development of heat networks. Discussing on outstanding heat networks projects in various EU countries has proved to be truly inspirational for the community.

Real tool for the urban comfort, heat networks have various advantages for the users:

  • easy to use
  • energy costs control
  • multi-energy development
  • reduction of atmospheric emissions
  • environment preserved with respect to aesthetic, visual and acoustic
  • more secured as there is no combustion in the served buildings
  • no maintenance charges or additional compliance burdens due to localised production
  • health risks taken into account

It is thus crucial to have well-conceived and well-managed heat networks. The 12th of March was an opportunity to share views on those projects and their success factors.

PROGRAMME | Thursday 12th of March 2015 – Boulogne-sur-Mer

09h30           Accueil petit-déjeuner
10h00           Présentation du Cluster SAFE-ICE
                     Philippe CHARTON, Managing Director Habitat du Littoral
10h05           Mot d’Accueil
                     Max PAPYLE, Deputy Mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer Urban Ecology
10h15           Introduction
                     Ludovic FAYEULLE et Hélène EVRARD-HENON, Habitat du Littoral
10h30           Heat map and calculation tool for heat networks
                     Marianne VANCLEEMPUT, West-Vlaamse Intercommunale (BE)
11h00           District Heating Policy
                    Wouter CYX, City of Antwerp (BE)
11h30           The South Holland Heat Roundabout
                     Maya VAN DER STEENHOVEN, Province of South Holland (NL)
12h00           From the feasibility study to the implementation: Boulogne-sur-Mer’s heat
                     networks winner of the national city chalenge,
                     Ludovic FAYEULLE, City of Boulogne-sur-Mer (FR)
12h30           Luncheon cocktail
13h30           Feasibility study for a heat network on the old Sugar factory site in Veurne
                     Jeroen VERBEKE (BE)
14h00           How to make heat hot?
                     Mariette BILIUS, DCMR and Province du Sud de la Hollande
14h30           Pictures and video on the northern heat network in Boulogne-sur-Mer
                     Ludovic FAYEULLE, Ville de Boulogne-sur-Mer (FR)
15h00           Site visit – boiler room / Liane heat network
16h00           Coffee and networking  

Sign up via Hélène Evrard –

CJC, Boulevard Chanzy, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer

Further information

Helene EVRARD-HENON, Chargée de Mission Europe – assistante de projet SAFE-ICE

Amandine SARAZIN, Chargée de Mission Communication


Think Tank on Sustainable Business Park Management, 12th of February

BID/BIZ – A new concept to improve the quality of your business and business park

The focus
Sustainable Business Park Management starts with sharing of good experiences and know-how about low-carbon and energy-efficient investments and related implementation instruments.

A useful management instrument of business parks is the ‘Business Improvement District’ (BID) scheme. The challenge of integrating sustainable measures in the BID remains, which challenge will be the focus of discussion and knowledge sharing in this event. Read more.

PROGRAMME | Thursday 12th of February 2015 – Ghent

17h00           Welcome with an after work drink
17h30           Introduction | Lieven Vandevelde – University of Ghent
17h40           BIZ/BID in the Netherlands | Herman Timmerman – Chairman CLOCK
18h10           BIZ/BID example | Dolf Bierhuizen – Enterprise Association Vijfsluizen (NL)
18h40           BIZ/BID example in Belgium | Marianne Vancleemput – wvi
18h50           ESCO’s | Lieven Vanstraelen – Energinvest
19h00           ESCO’s | Tom Dewettinck – ESKORT & Bart De Smedt – ESCO4GHENT
19h15           Debate | Final discussion with questions
20h00           Walking dinner and networking
21h00           Closing time

Want to learn more? Click here to subscribe.

RedLoft – Hugo Van der Goesstraat 17A – 9000 Ghent

Further information
Giustino Emilio Piccolo | University of Ghent |
Björn De Grande | City of Ghent |

Let’s talk low carbon! Take our survey

The SAFE-ICE project wants to know how you are talking about Low Carbon. What kind of words do you use? What type of language works and what doesn’t?

Take our survey to tell us about your experience with the Language of Low Carbon.

Results will be compiled into a report that we think you will find useful. If you’d like a copy of the report, don’t forget to leave your details on the survey!

Think Tank on Sustainable Business Park Management, 11th of December

BID/BIZ – A new concept to improve the quality of your business and business park

The focus
Sustainable Business Park Management starts with sharing of good experiences and know-how about low-carbon and energy-efficient investments and related implementation instruments.

The training session will present and discuss the ‘Business Improvement District’ (BID) scheme, a useful management instrument of existing business parks that has been implemented in European Countries such as the UK, Germany and The Netherlands.

Join us: Thursday 11th of December 2014 – At Kamp C | De Basis, Zone Kamp C – 2, 2260 Westerlo

13h30           Welcome
14h00           Introduction | Lieven Vandevelde | University of Ghent
14h15           BIZ/BID in the Netherlands  | Arjen Schep | Scientific researcher Erasmus
14h35           BIZ/BID example | Huib Sneep | Enterprise Association Vijfsluizen (NL)
14h55           BIZ/BID example | BID Kortrijk (BE)
15h15           Round Tables| BID structure in Belgium
16h00           Debate with questions
16h45           Reception and networking

Want to learn more? Click here to sign up.

Further information
Jet Groen |

The same event will be organized in Ghent on the 12th of February. For further information please ask: Björn De Grande |

A low-carbon economy across the 2 Seas region: interim results of SAFE-ICE

Hastings, UK – Within the SAFE-ICE cluster, 20 partners from France, England, Belgium and The Netherlands join forces to identify what is required to promote a shift to a resource efficient, low-carbon economy from a business perspective across the 2 Seas region. After almost 1 year of intensive collaboration, it’s time to look back on what has been done so far, and to look ahead at what’s about to come.

During the first months of the project, 4 expert working groups have explored, amongst other things, potential solutions for SMEs, local authorities, and business parks on how businesses can optimise their energy use within their own premises and processes; how business-to-business relations can improve the reduction of carbon emissions; how the implementation of energy efficient measures and concepts on a business park level can help to reduce the energy use of businesses; good practices in terms of research, innovation, and business support, as well as future challenges.

The results of these workings groups and good practice examples from the 4 partner countries are collated in a publication, which can be consulted online in English, French and Dutch.

The intensive work carried out by the SAFE-ICE partnership, the stronger cross-partner and cross-border relationships and enhanced collaboration, activities and synergies between all partners have demonstrated the continued and significant relevance of the partnership and the need and desire to further build upon this work.

In the next few months, the SAFE-ICE partnership will focus on the integration of energy measures in business park management plans and on the promotion of heat networks, resource efficiency and the benefits and opportunities for European SMEs in the low carbon resource efficiency sector.

There will now be a shift change in this new phase, with ground breaking collaborations moving the work of previous projects forward and delivering real impact to the 2 Seas region. With concrete outputs, such as developing business park management plans through workshops and producing policy recommendations, SAFE-ICE will have a lasting and sustainable impact on businesses and the low-carbon economy.

More information about the SAFE-ICE cluster can be found on the project website:

About the 2 Seas Cluster initiative

In the first semester of 2012, the INTERREG IVA 2 Seas Programme reached its maturity with 86 approved projects . Most of the approved projects are well under way and the first results are being delivered. This is why the Programme decided to launch its capitalisation actions during the course of 2012. The 2 Seas thematic capitalisati on aims at “consolidating, valorising and disseminating the achievements ” of the projects/ networks in the current programming period as well as supporting “development activities” to prepare for the future.


More information?

Amberley Barrington-Peek, SAFE-ICE coordinator Hastings Borough Council
Aquila House, Breeds Place Has tings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY (UK)
T: + 44 (0) 1424 451797

Laura Maes, SAFE-ICE communication officer Power-Link, Ghent University Wetenschapspark 1 8400 Oostende (Belgium)
T: +32 (0)59 24 27 41