A-kwadraat is a social enterprise that offers work to more than 500 people with a distance to the labour market. We emphasize their capabilities and capacities. That emphasis on the positive is translated into solution-oriented thinking and acting in everything we do. Quality, safety and speed are an essential part of that. And you can count on us: a promise is a promise.
The mission - our reason for existance - is:
A-kwadraat provides work for people with a distance to the labour market. We stimulate our employees to 'upflow' and pay special attention to permanent education and training.
We want to offer more than just work. We want to make people resilient, develop their talents and encourage them to take steps in the participation ladder, for example through continuous training and education. By 'upflow' we mean both internal and external throughflow. To other more challenging jobs in our own company or to the regular economic circuit.
The vision of A-kwadraat, the answer to the question ‘What do we want to be’, is:
A-kwadraat want to be an inclusive organization that works in a sustainable and innovate way.
An inclusive society means that everybody can participate in an equal and full way. Sustainability is part of our identity. It determines our relationship with employees, the design of our organization, our relationship with partners and our social role. We apply innovation in our personnel processes, for example in our talent policy, and in our attitude towards customers, by proactively unburdening them and cocreatively working together. We look at every new question - no matter how strange - with an open mind. In this way we strive together for a suitable solution.
We went through a process with our employees around the question: ‘What do we believe in’. The result is a layered model that results from the mission and vision of our organization and does justice to the complexity of an organization culture.
Our belief is:
We want everyone to be able to participate and offer a suitable enviroment for all employees, where we work together constructively. Everyone has their own value. By feeling included and understood, people can thrive with A-kwadraat. This way we create added value and we go for inclusion. Within our company, with customers and in society.
We summarize the behavior that follows from this belief as follows:
I dare do.
I help you.
We appreciate each other.
We solve it.
Since our foundation we intertwine the social, economic and ecologic aspects of entrepreneurship to an elegant whole. Corporate Social Responsability (CSR) is an integral part of operations. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are the framework within which we want to work. For A-kwadraat four objectives are priority. They are at the heart of what we do. Namely:
SDG 1: No poverty
SDG 4: Quality education
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
In October 2020, for the first time 88 Flemish companies received the Unitar-SDG Pioneer certificate (United Nations Institute for Training and Research). The companies are rewarded for their intensive commitment to each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. A-kwadraat is proud to be part of this pioneering group. What are the conditions for this recognition? Firstly, becoming a laureate of the Voka Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (VCDO) three times within a period of five years (since 2010 we have been awarded the VCDO every year). Secondly, each time achieving ten successful actions in at least four of the five Ps (People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace). Third, implement actions with positive impact within each of the 17 SDGs.
At the beginning of 2021, we went through an EFQM assessment, a global quality model that provides an overview of the strengths and areas for improvement of an organization. The result? A good report with four stars. We are the first Belgian company to call itself 'recognised by EFQM' since the model was renewed in 2021.
A-kwadraat was formed in 2019 after the merger of social profit companies Amival and Alito, hence the name A-kwadraat or A-squared.
From a house in the beguinage of Turnhout, Amival grew into a thriving sheltered workshop. Since 1964, we have been combining social, economic, societal and ecological aspects of entrepreneurship into an elegant whole. Amival evolved into a modern social enterprise that carries out activities for a broad client portfolio: from one-man businesses to multinationals in different sectors.
Alito was launched in 1986, under the impulse of VKW Kempen and VIBO de Ring. The objective: creating sustainable employment for former pupils of special needs education schools. For 25 years, woodworking was the main focus. Since the start of this century, green maintenance has become a secondary field. Alito has focused on international customers for its wood products and on a strong local presence in the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg for green maintenance.