Promoting sustainable retail investments

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) commissioned 3Keel to develop a sustainable retail toolkit to benchmark their retail clients and identify priority actions to place them on a more resilient footing. Our approach included developing country dossiers highlighting the food system attributes from farm to retail, a review of the regulatory framework for resource efficiency and the environmental profile of the region. A cross-sustainability assessment tool for bankers was then developed and tested in six countries of operation with EBRD’s retail clients.

Novus Supermarket, an EBRD client in Kiev, Ukraine.

The EBRD provides a range of support to retailers and food supply chains in developing and emerging economies beyond financial backing. One of the core purposes of the organisation is to enable the sustainable growth of its clients whilst promoting operational environmental and social resilience. However, the range of potential impacts that face their clients means that it can be challenging identifying and prioritising the most important areas to focus on for improvements.

The EBRD engaged 3Keel in partnership with Christof Walter Consulting and Green 2020 to develop a retail sustainability toolkit that would enable their bankers to quickly assess the sustainability risks across a range of indicators in four areas: resource efficiency, food quality and supply chain, social responsibility, and governance. As these are complex areas, their need was to have a simple approach that could be widely applied across their portfolio in order to benchmark and track the transition impact of their investments and partnerships.  These needs ultimately led to the creation of a Sustainable Enterprise and Environment Diagnostic tool (SEED).

SEED provides the intuitive process and interface to allow for the rapid diagnosis and prioritisation of performance areas by non-technical assessors. By using an interview-based framework the process for completing the assessment is simple enough to be completed within just a few hours with immediate feedback provided to companies on their biggest areas of improvement across the four areas assessed. The tool was refined and enhanced over the course of several visits to EBRD clients in Ukraine, Morocco, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia and Croatia to ensure that the process was fit for purpose and resulted in the correct action plan prioritisation. Additionally, 3Keel completed contextual research dossiers for each country of operation to ensure that the tool could be calibrated to local market, agricultural and regulatory environments.

The EBRD is now able to streamline their sustainability work to focus their teams on delivering the support that is needed by businesses from the bottom-up, rather than relying on top-down assumptions of impacts and performance. 

Victoria Zinchuk, Acting Director of Agribusiness, said: “Engaging our bankers and clients on identifying and prioritising the wide range of sustainability challenges we face has been a difficult task. By working with 3Keel we now have a tool that anyone can use in our business that provides clear prioritised actions for our clients that will make the most difference in improving food quality, resource efficiency, and social responsibility. The support provided has been instrumental in developing our approach and will aid us in establishing our transformation impact benchmarks."

 

Project lead

Will Schreiber

By working with 3Keel we now have a tool that anyone can use in our business that provides clear prioritised actions for our clients that will make the most difference in improving food quality, resource efficiency, and social responsibility. The support provided has been instrumental in developing our approach and will aid us in establishing our transformation impact benchmarks.

Victoria Zinchuk - Acting Director of Agribusiness, EBRD