The Case studies provide the evidence that the Handbook supplies real and pragmatic guidance

Case studies

Our partners only invest in this Handbook if it provides tangible and insightful results, to find this out, our partners made many case studies on real products. This was in the first place insightful for the company, but also gave us valuable insights to further improve the Handbook, the underlying methodology and data collection procedures.

A handbook can only be useful if tested, and a test is only useful if the experiences are used to further improve the methodology. This continuous improvement has been the mindset since 2013.

Initially the Handbook had two types of metrics, a qualitative and a quantitative approach. After the third iteration we dropped the quantitative approach because (1) data collection turned out to be too difficult (e.g., suppliers do not tell you about forced labour in the company they source from and (2) we do not understand how to interpret or report the number of people in forced labour). Therefore, in the qualitative approach we focus on the efforts and the tangible results at suppliers to eliminate forced labour.

Having several generations of case studies implies that some cases are based on previous versions of the Handbook.

Featured case study summaries based on the 2018 version of the Handbook:

DSM describes how it supports local communities to collect old fishing nets as a raw material for high grade Nylon.

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ArcelorMittal describes its in depth assessment of Social LCA databases.

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Corbion describes social impacts in the supply chain and the use phase of two meat preservatives.

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Steelcase describes the potential social impact of various circular economy strategies for office chairs.

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Cases used while developing the approach for Small Scale Entrepreneurs:

Small but Complex describes two cases on Smallholder Farmers. This master project formed the basis for adding the Small Scale Entrepreneurs stakeholder category and became an important source of inspiration for the development of the 2018 update of the Handbook. One of the cases is described in a video.

Cases based on the 2014 and 2016 qualitative approach:

Car Support Structure

In this case study the 2016 qualitative approach combined with an Hotspot analysis; it was developed by the BMW Group and BASF.

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Taskchair Component

This case study was performed by Steelcase and DSM around a Steelcase chair component, produced from DSM polyamide. The approach taken is the Qualitative approach.

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Serum and Hand Creme

This pilot uses the  2014 qualitative approach. It was developed by AkzoNobel, L’Oréal and DSM.

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Bleaching Chemical

This case uses the 2016 qualitative approach, and was developed by AkzoNobel.

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Cases based on the 2014 and 2016 quantitative approach:

Initially the Handbook had two types of metrics, a qualitative and a quantitative approach. After the third iteration (2016) we dropped the quantitative approach because (1) data collection turned out to be too difficult (e.g., suppliers do not tell you about forced labour in the company they source from and (2) we do not understand how to interpret or report the number of people in forced labour).The Cases Studies below mention some of these problems.

1 kWh of Windpower

This pilot uses the 2016 quantitative method; it was developed by Vattenfall.

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Tapered Roller Bearing

This case uses both the quantitative and the qualitative approaches from the 2016 Handbook. It was conducted by BMW Group & Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel.

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Run on Flat Cartyre

This pilot is based on the quantitative methodology proposed in the 2014 Handbook.  It was developed by Goodyear, BMW and BASF.

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A new way of collecting data for Social Metrics

The case study performed by Steelcase and Covestro was intended to try out a new tool for a more convenient data gathering approach.

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