Case Studies - examples from Europe of work by Weir-TSCS Ltd

Organic Centre Wales is a publicly-funded body which promotes production and supply of all types of organic produce (food and non-food), through its Better Organic Business Links network (BOBL).

The Challenge

  • OCW had previously commissioned a number of studies to capture carbon footprints of key organic sectors (meat, dairy, vegetables, cotton goods etc).
  • It had built a useful database of carbon data and some simple footprinting tools, but this work was specific to individual business premises and did not consider Sustainability opportunities beyond carbon, nor did it look at extended product supply chains.
  • The requirement was to create a flexible benchmarking approach, applicable across many sectors, to help producers to build Sustainability into their business strategies.

Our Approach

  • Working with the OCW team, we created a database of organic businesses and marketed the opportunity to participate in the study.
  • We conducted initial interviews with a large number of suppliers, from which 10 were chosen for detailed Sustainability benchmarking.
  • Each of these businesses was analysed in depth, creating a series of Sustainability strategies to demonstrate the validity of the approach across widely diverse sectors.
  • From this work, we built a picture of priorities for the organic sector, as well as providing specific plans and advice to each business.

The Results

  • Our work was used as the basis of a communications programme to a large number of organic businesses, including creation of an Organic web Forum and an electronic booklet explaining the issues and opportunities in plain language for non-experts.
  • We also ran a series of debates at producer events to engage the widest stakeholder community in the project.
  • OCW continues to use our work as part of its ongoing training and communications effort.