WRAP helps people and businesses recycle more and waste less. WRAP was started in 2008 and is funded by all four governments across the UK and the EU and runs programs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Product Sustainability Forum (PSF) is a collaboration of grocery and home improvement retailers and suppliers, academics, NGOs and UK Government representatives.
In 2013 WRAP/PSF published the report ‘An initial assessment of the environmental impact of grocery products’ (in the UK) and a range of practical materials to help grocery retailers, brand-owners and their manufacturing suppliers implement changes to improve the performance of their products.
The PSF’s research led to the creation of a large database of information, which included the collation of product lifecycle data and product sustainability information over five key environmental impact metrics (greenhouse gas emissions, energy, material and water use and product-related waste). The PSF’s research also combined other contextual information (e.g. sales and trade data, product category information, physical materials flows in the economy and supporting scientific research); and used this to identify ‘priority products’ and their associated lifecycle environmental hotspots for action, using a range of potential impact reduction opportunities and action plans to focus attention. This large database was assembled as hard copy PDF and PowerPoint files and this limited PSF’s ability to update content, build on it, incorporate input from members and share the information quickly and effectively with target audiences.
WRAP/PSF decided to implement a best-practices online knowledge base to house all of the findings and resources generated from its research and engagement with key stakeholders – a cross between TED.com and Wikipedia.org. The PSF Knowledge Base features several powerful engagement mechanisms for PSF members to keep up to date with product sustainability information relevant to their organizations:
- An easy-to-use “post” mechanism similar to blogs for curators or members to add content. Pages in the knowledge base are built dynamically to reflect any updates. New content is flagged to users through RSS feeds and trending information.
- A strong search capability and filterable heat-map to provide a visually intuitive way to graphically browse content based on hotspots.
- PSF members can follow and save content to their own workspaces which then can be shared internally with their own organization.
The PSF Knowledge Base uses Footprinter’s Knowledge Base with several pages featuring customized visualizations.
WRAP is engaging a growing number of similar sustainability product-focused organizations and initiatives from around the world via a recently formed international network to join in and link up their own content to form a “one-stop shop” for grocery retailers and manufacturers wanting to more easily and effectively keep up to date with sustainability innovations relative to their product portfolios.