Every month we take the time to appreciate one of our users. We listen to how they lead their cities to a more sustainable future. Today we give the floor to Kim Wyns from Dilbeek. 🙌
With its 43.000 inhabitants, Dilbeek is almost as big as the city of Vilvoorde. In this beautiful municipality, Kim Wyns is at the helm of the climate actions. And what a job she does! 🤩
She has been a sustainability expert for over six years. She has been working with our tool, FutureproofedCities, for two years now. In recent years, she has noticed a huge difference in the administration of Dilbeek. Where she used to need time to convince colleagues, now most departments take the initiative to combine and integrate climate with their own goals. 🌱
When I ask her to briefly introduce herself, she starts with "I used to be cool..." 😂Okay. 👌 Last year she became the proud mother of her first child, so the hobbies are on the back burner for a while. One day she hopes to get back with her all-female percussion group and experiment again with forgotten vegetables in the vegetable garden. 🌱
If she wants to give one message to other sustainability officials, it's this one: If you really want to achieve something, then you can! Just work hard and don't fall into a "yes but" reflex. 💪Damn.... Wise lesson.
Curious what you can learn from her? Then be sure to read on. 👇
How does Dilbeek work on climate today? 🏘
"In Dilbeek, we've been busy drawing up the multi-year plans. I used to be able to feel a bit like a canary in a coal mine here, because there wasn't much enthusiasm to take the climate into account. But this time I do notice a big difference.
Other services include climate and climate-related themes in their own part of the multi-year plan. This also translates into how we use FutureproofedCities. I am the coordinator and have bundled all our measures in the platform, but soon the other services will also follow up their own part in the tool. They will link their own climate actions to the measures and publish them on the public page."
What was your favourite action so far? 🏆
"That's an easy question, because in all my years of service for Dilbeek there was one measure where I personally could make a lot of impact: the greening of the municipal car fleet. This was already part of my original remit when I first started working as a sustainability officer."
Like a real climate pro, Kim went in search of the reason why this didn't happen now, and caused a real 'fleet revolution' on her own:
"Drawing up forms is something that nobody really likes to do. Filling in a lot of paperwork takes a lot of time. That's why I gave my colleagues a helping hand. They told me which vehicles they needed and then I completed the orders for them. The fact that the motor was electric or worked with CNG, nicely matched my own objective ✅ and it doesn't affect the overall performance of the vehicles. They were capable of doing exactly what my colleagues needed them to."
A bull's-eye, it turns out. 🎯 In 2016, she had already achieved the savings target for 2020!
What does the FPC community mean for you? 👨👩👧👦
"It is very rewarding to be part of the community. At the FutureproofedCities Talks, for example, I have already spoken to many people about their plans and actions. Once back in Dilbeek, I can apply it for my own municipality. The other way around, people also ask me for feedback. We can all learn a lot from each other."
Because bragging is allowed here: what can other FPC users learn from you? 👏
Kim has a huge no-nonsense mentality. Actions speak louder than words. How she has tackled the greening of the car fleet is the perfect example for this: Her colleagues don't like something? No problem. Then she does it for them, but in her own way. Taking matters into one's own hands is something that she herself finds both a good and a bad characteristic:
"I believe 100% that everyone can make an impact, as long as you can fully focus on it. Involving others often slows things down because there are different interests at stake. That's why I tend to solve a lot of things myself if they take too long. But if I would ever be absent, it's more difficult to cope with for the rest of the municipality. So I realise all too well that this is a pitfall for me, and that achieving your goal quickly is therefore not always sustainable." 🧐
Which exciting actions do you have planned in the near future in Dilbeek? 🚀
"I'm very excited that our Uit je dak campaign is going to be launched again this year. For the third winter in a row, the municipality is taking a thermographic aerial photograph of all the houses. All citizens will then be able to consult the results online and see if their house should get an insulation upgrade."
But it doesn't stop there for Dilbeek. They link an entire follow-up process to this action:
"Afterwards, people can ask for an extensive free scan of their entire house. They even get the analysis and personalised advice right away. An expert tells them where there is room for improvement, which points have priority and what the estimated cost price of the interventions is."
More information? Be sure to check out the 'artisanal' video below about the action, some Dilbeek officials have put it all together themselves. 👇
We're closing with a funny anecdote 😀
"I once had the idea to watch three climate documentaries in one weekend. That was a mistake 😅. They were all very interesting and even as an experienced sustainability expert I learned a few things. But man, it can be depressing ... So here's one last piece of advice for the readers: never do it, one per weekend is more than enough." ✌️
Thanks for your advice, Kim! Good luck with the preparation of your climate plan. 🙌
FutureproofedCities enables all city departments to work together in one online tool to realise more climate actions and to communicate these to their citizens. 🙌
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