Social economy and social service providers are a natural vector of ecological transition capable to reconcile environment, social utility and economic activity. Social service providers for persons with disability, particularly in the form of social economy enterprises (SEE), are keener to experiment and tend to organise employment around activities with the potential to affect the society as a whole. The social dimension of their operations makes them more sensitive towards the green transition and therefore more interested in operating in a way that takes into consideration their impact on the environment. Furthermore, the principles of solidarity and responsibility, typical of SEE, for social service providers operate strongly towards the society and reflects to the environment.
Environmental sustainability has always been among the leading principles of ARFIE activity. To be sustainable means to promote the community and its environmental sustainability, characteristic that can be found in all the oragisations belonging to our network. Indeed several of our members developed their services in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way: restaurants employing persons with disability that use only local productions, residences for users that have low need of energy (passive), services of recovery of the unsold and close to expire products, beer by the reuse of unsold bread.
As bridge with the EU dimension, our role is to organise and promote exchanges of experiences and favour mutual contamination among our members, also through their involvement in EU funded projects promoting users’ rights and training for professionals. We are therefore very happy to be part of the Circulability project together with Tricentenaire and Ampans. This project aims at promoting the sustainable socio-professional inclusion of people with disabilities by developing a training on circular economy and food recovery for the staff of structures employing people with disabilities in the hospitality and agri-food sector.
In particular, CirculAbility is an ERASMUS+ project that sees committed partners involved in the development of a training for the staff of structures employing people with disabilities in the development of sustainable economic activities based on circular economy and on the reduction of food waste.
Coordinated by APF France Handicap, a major French organization of public utility operating for the defence and representation of people with disabilities and their families, the Circulability partnership is composed of organisations actively involved in the Social economy and in the management of services for people with disability:
- ARFIE – Association de Recherche et de Formation pour l’Insertion en Europe
- Tricentenaire: a Luxembourg based Foundation member of ARFIE that has been working since 1978 to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families.
- AMPANS: a Catalan based foundation member of ARFIE that provides support services for people with intellectual disability.
- PLS – Pour la Solidarité: an independent European think & do tank committed to promoting solidarity and sustainability in Europe. It acts to defend and strengthen the European social model, which consists of a subtle balance between economic development and social justice.
- HTS – Handiap Travail Solidarité: An association of general interest whose objective is to promote professional integration of people with disabilities.
- Enaip Lombardia: a recognized training agency that provides a wide variety of educational and professional training.
The ambition and long-term objective of the Circulability project and its partnership is to train the staff of structures providing services for people with disabilities in the development of economic activities to reduce food waste and thus promote the professional inclusion of persons with disability in Europe.
Discover more on this amazing project and stay tuned on its updates via the Circulability website