The quality of a wine is often described by words identifying its appeal to the three senses: sight, smell and taste. But how do you evaluate the quality and success of a business? UseWine has the answer.
What is UseWine?
UseWine is a three-year European project that is introducing a new approach to developing a successful business, starting with companies operating within the wine sector. Rather than using words describing the flavour, aroma and appearance, the UseWine model uses words such as sustainability, profitability and sociability. At the heart of UseWine is the concept of sustainability and the use of the Triple Bottom Line Model (TBL), also known as the three pillars model.
UseWine will address two of the big questions facing us today. How can we increase the productivity and performance of small and medium-size businesses? How can we do this in an environmental-friendly way and a way that is both profitable and sustainable?
As we know, most businesses rely on the single bottom line approach to evaluate the success of the business (profit). The UseWine model will, in addition, help businesses evaluate success in terms of their environmental (planet) and social value investment (people).
Although UseWine will focus on working with small and medium-sized enterprises in the wine sector, as a demonstrator project the UseWine model will eventually be adapted for use in other sectors.
“Often when a business owner hears mention of the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ practices, they switch off because they assume it is not about profits and return on investment. They could not be more wrong!”
Christos Nicolaides, Project Leader
It is not just about profit!
We all know that businesses traditionally judge performance against one bottom line – the economic or financial bottom line. However they need to consider how they affect the environment and their communities. Our UseWine model not only allows companies to assess their performance against three bottom lines (environmental, social and economic), but it provides a framework for improving overall business performance.
The UseWine team has created a simple, pragmatic diagnostic tool – UseWine TBL model. The tool helps business owners and managers to pinpoint opportunities to improve the business performance in the three areas that make up the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit. Just under 300 rural-based wine SMEs will use the diagnostic tool over the next few months. By the summer, the UseWine team will have produced a benchmark report analysing the performance of the participating businesses in the nine areas that make up the UseWine TBL model (e.g. strategy, finance, marketing and sales, innovation, social responsibility, skills and people, stakeholders, ecosystem management, production and resource management).
At the same time, local/regional and national stakeholders such as environmental groups and policy makers will also complete a UseWine survey. Collectively, the research work will provide the UseWine team with a clear understanding of how policymakers, community groups and other stakeholders can work with the wine sector to support growth, sustainability and added value within the local/regional economy.
The UseWine team will also be training local business consultants and trainers in the use of the UseWine TBL model. They will then work with local vineyards, wineries and wine outlets to help them improve their business performance by taking action in each of the three pillars – profit, people and planet.
UseWine is an innovative, ground-breaking concept. Once we have demonstrated the effectiveness of the model, we will be looking to adapt the tool to meet the needs of other industries.
If you are interested in finding out more about the UseWine project, would like to take part in the research as a business or are a stakeholder with an interest in the wine sector visit http://www.usewine-project.com or contact us to register your interest today.