Fabrice Schurmans

Fabrice Schurmans

https://www.ode.be/

Renewable EnergySustainable Cities and CommunitiesClimate Action

Role

Project Manager at SUEZ

Who are you and what do you do?

My interest in engineering skills, combined with my environmental awareness, made me choose a Master degree in Bio-Engineering.  The scarcity of resources, combined with an ever growing population made me realise the importance of developing sustainable solutions, particularly in energy production and waste management. Developing sustainable solutions means creating economic viable activities whilst preserving the environment. I am convinced both goals have to be met in order to be sustainable. I am determined to take on that challenge in my professional life. 

Why are you part of Generation T?

Having a technical background with experience in the industry of renewable energy, I am aware of the challenges we face today. I am looking forward brainstorming about new developments and staying in touch of the “real” world at the same time.   
I am open-minded and I am curious about what is going on in the rest of the world. I had the chance to have a first experience abroad which was very inspiring. I am sociable, I like exchanging ideas and sometimes I challenge people for the benefit of the debate. 

A specific example on how your project or activities make a difference and initiate change:

I started my career working on a “waste to energy” facility. This type of facility incinerates household waste and produces electricity with the heat of the combustion. Burning waste isn’t ideal, but unfortunately today, it is the best available technology for disposal of non-recyclable waste so far…. Being fundamentally against this type of activity, I decided it was better to fight the evil from within. Working on such a facility I was determined to reduce its environmental impact to a minimum. My passion for sustainability fueled my daily commitment in increasing the energy efficiency of the plant.  
 

Lifting my ambition in providing sustainable solutions to the next level, I decided to make a move in my career by joining the project team of Suez. Instead of improving existing technology, I wanted to work on projects in which economic targets of the company are met whilst preserving the environment. On one project, I was involved in the steam supply of third parties in the vicinity of a waste to energy facility.  Using steam, generated by waste incineration, third parties avoid the need of combusting fossil fuel in order to meet their heat demand. This way, we contribute to decreasing their carbon footprint.  Another of my projects is the reduction of internal steam consumption of a waste to energy facility. In this particular project, environmental goals and energy-saving goals have to be balanced. I contributed to the debate between different stakeholders. 

Who inspired you ? What made you first passionate about sustainability ?

I am inspired by public figures who are passionate about the need for sustainable business development. I think sustainability should be a topic discussed with a wider public, and celebrities have the power to bring the discussion in the public domain. Al Gore was particularly interesting to listen to. I had the chance to attend a few meetings of the discussion group, called Ode, with regards to the development of district heating networks in Belgium.