Key case studies

9th December 2015

A selection of our key case studies across the sectors.

£600,000 cost savings potential
Gadget trade-in in 788 UK stores
Robust internal processes
Reducing waste by 1,680 tonnes a year
320% increase in annual turnover

The Coop 

Small change, big difference

The Co-operative Group worked in partnership with WRAP to identify potential cost savings of up to £600,000. Invisible to customers, reducing potato screening sizes by just 1% would lead to higher yields, lower transport costs and reduced water and electricity usage.

WRAP supported research identified that between 5 and 10% of potatoes in the company’s supply were being screened out, ending their journey in lower value markets, such as animal feed. 

Changing the screen size from 45mm to 43mmm meant 5% more King Edwards potatoes (equivalent to 1000 tonnes) could be sold by retailers.

Potential Impact
The 1% reduction in the screen size of potatoes alone would save the business £100,000. Combined with other changes made within the company’s supply chain, £600,000 in potential cost savings were identified through:

  • Between 5 and 10% more potatoes reaching high value markets  
  • More efficient packaging, helping to reduce transport costs, packaging waste and emissions. The 45 tonnes of avoided packaging waste alone would save the business £40,000 a year
  • Irrigating fields using a ‘trickle tape’ method reduced water usage by 30%, while significantly reducing a range of potato faults.



Old gadgets, new life

WRAP worked with Argos to capitalise on a massive, hidden opportunity for the electronics sector 

Building a case 

WRAP’s ‘Switched On to Value’ report identified that there were millions of unused electronics in British households. These devices, which contain finite resources the business needs, are worth an estimated £1 billion.

The value of unused electronics in UK households is estimated to be worth £1 billion.

‘Millions of devices, mobile phones and tablets are sitting in people’s homes languishing and depreciating, most of which end their life in a landfill’ Nadeem, Home Retail Group/Argos

Argos wanted to create a new trade-in service for customers to recycle unwanted electronic devices.

The challenge

  • Development of an online tool for customers to value their used devices   
  • Finding the right partner to research demand for a trade-in service
  • Set up and prove the value of a reverse-logistics operation
  • Mobilise people with the skills, knowledge and equipment to transport, dismantle and reprocess used electronic products.

Testing the potential

Argos began testing their convenient walk in service in a small number of busy high street locations, where customers could receive a gift voucher in exchange for their unwanted device.

The future

Argos has now launched its ‘Gadget trade-in’ service in 788 UK stores.

“We have found an opportunity to use resources differently and improve our environmental credentials, while increasing customer loyalty, footfall and spend.’ Megan, Home Retail Group/Argos

“We have something that works; it has scalability, commercial potential and the ability to add credibility to our brand.” Nadeem, Home Retail Group/Argos

John Lewis

Ideas into actions

WRAP is working closely with John Lewis, one of the UK’s largest retailers, to help them meet their target of 50% sustainable cotton by 2020 

John Lewis has always been committed to reducing their environmental impact through sustainable buying practices. Of particular concern is the highly resource intensive production of cotton, which is often produced in severely water stressed areas. John Lewis joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and made a pledge to source 50% all their cotton from sustainable sources by 2020/21. As a signatory of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, WRAP helped enhance the visibility of sustainable cotton and support the rollout of their strategy through informative workshops

Building the case for change                                                 

With extensive experience and invaluable insight, WRAP’s textiles specialists have helped embed knowledge around sustainable cotton within John Lewis as they work towards their 2020 target.

Measuring results                                      

Recognising how challenging it can be to accurately track the supply of sustainable fibres in a supply chain, WRAP helped develop a robust internal process to ensure ‘Better Cotton’ credits were being accurately recorded.

“The combination of technical expertise, industry knowledge and professionalism of WRAP’s textiles specialists has been invaluable. Training was engaging, informative and showed a real understanding of our needs as a business. There is real momentum behind sustainable cotton at all levels of the organisation and we now have a scalable strategy to deliver our pledge.” Eoghan Griffin, Sustainable Sourcing Manager, John Lewis  


Tackling the true cost of waste

WRAP worked with Sainsburys and Greencore, a leading supplier of own-brand food items to major supermarkets, to reduce food and packaging waste during the production and distribution of fresh sandwiches. Their success produced a replicable, scalable model for any business looking to reduce waste in their supply chain. 

  • Greencore worked in collaboration with a packaging system supplier and fresh meat producer.
  • A project team with the required skills was created. This was divided into three sections; a steering committee, a core team responsible for mapping where improvements could be made and a support team, who would help with logistics and extending the project’s reach.
  • All production methods were scrutinised  
  • A detailed map of Sainsbury’s supply chain was drawn up, quantifying how much waste was being produced and identifying opportunities for cost savings 
  • Interviews were conducted with staff at all levels to identify the root causes of waste. 


  • The 17 projects will reduce food and packaging waste by more than 1,680 tonnes a year, with a further 110 tonnes of household waste elimination.  
  • Improved relationships between sections of the company’s supply chain
  • Greater awareness of waste among members of staff 
  • The scale of the project continues to grow. Greencore are rolling out a similar approach in three large sandwich factories. Sainsburys found the approach so useful that it is applying it to other sandwich suppliers and chilled desserts.

“We are committed to unlocking opportunities to reduce waste across our supply chains. This project is a great example of partnerships and wider collaborations delivering direct improvements that can be replicated in other areas of our business.” Stuart Lendrum, Head of Sustainable & Ethical Sourcing, Sainsbury’s

Scott Waste

Business results with global impact

WRAP helped Scott Waste reach new markets and deliver efficiency savings, increasing annual turnover by 320%

Scott Waste offers a waste collection service to councils, businesses and domestic properties in South Wales. They initially approached WRAP looking for help with a marketing campaign, but the partnership quickly lead to bigger growth opportunities.  

WRAP provided a waste management consultant who helped:

  • Identify new markets for their existing materials 
  • Provide skills training the business needed to continue to grow 
  • Streamline a number of processes, including ‘cutting out the middle man’ by developing their own transfer station.

WRAP was also influential in helping the business secure a Welsh Government grant, which was used to expand capacity and purchase the new equipment needed to process larger volumes.

320% increase in annual revenue in just two years


Scott Waste has seen a 320% increase in annual revenue in just two years, thanks to significant efficiency savings and the infrastructure to process much larger volumes. Working closely with WRAP, they are currently expanding their market to include West Cardiff and major UK retailers John Lewis and B&Q.

“Working with WRAP helped us to get the equipment we needed to keep up with demand. We have achieved in one year what would have taken two to three years to achieve using our own cash flow. WRAP has acted as a positive catalyst for growth; helping us achieve our goal of securing our own transfer station.”
William Scott, Director of Scott Waste