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Case studies

Wise Move - Review service helps social enterprise to streamline transport operations

Leading social enterprise, the Wise Group delivers services that make a positive difference to people, communities, and society. It is committed to reducing the impact of activity on the environment.

With 200 staff, the business faced several key transport challenges - to reduce their fuel spend, lower emissions and become more fleet efficient, all without compromising service to customers who include the more vulnerable.

A vehicle pool fleet of 10 vans and 10 cars was travelling 262,425 miles annually, with an estimated fuel spend of £55,018 and 92.26 tonnes of CO2 emitted.

The business also wanted to inspire others to adopt greener options.


An Energy Saving Trust (EST) Sustainable Travel Review made a number of recommendations that could be made, for a potential saving of around 15% of current transport costs.

The Wise Group:

  • Provided Fuel Efficient Driver Training for staff.
  • Upgraded existing vehicles to *Best In Class models.
  • Introduced a Hybrid vehicle and an electric vehicle. Suitable for city driving, the Nissan Leaf qualified for the **Government plug-in car grant, and was part-funded by EST’s Transport Loan.
  • Installed an electric vehicle charging point using full grant funding from ***ChargePlace Scotland.


Annual savings made as a result of implementing EST recommendations are anticipated to be £8,208 and 13.29t CO2.

Business benefits include:

  • Fuel saving and reduced environmental impact due to upgrading vehicles
  • Saving on fuel costs and reduced carbon emissions due to FuelGood training
  • Fuel saving and reduced environmental impact associated with introducing an electric vehicle
  • Reduced overall business mileage
  • Staff encouraged to try electric and more fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Enhanced corporate social responsibility – the Wise Group lives its values.


"Introducing electric vehicles is helping us drive down costs and reduce our carbon footprint. Installing an electric vehicle charging point is in line with our commitment to helping to create a greener society, and to make electric vehicles more accessible to the public and business community. I encourage organisations to make full use of EST’s free review service.”

Laurie Russell, Chief Executive, the Wise Group

For more information and to find out how Energy Saving Trust can help you cut carbon emissions and save money, visit our website or email


*EST’s Best in Class search tool allows you to compare the efficiency of new and used cars registered since 2001.




Aidrian Novion - Common Wheel

“Our vision is for everyone with mental ill health living in the city to live a meaningful and satisfying life.”

Common Wheel is a mental health organisation based in Glasgow.

Common Wheel works with people who are referred by their mental health care workers. Due to their condition, this client group are generally unable to work when they join Common Wheel. Common Wheel provides a supportive environment where people can start to take part in activities that they enjoy. People are given the opportunity to learn new skills, work alongside others, develop their confidence and re-connect with their community.

There are two activities offered by Common Wheel: bike re-conditioning and music workshops. The bike project supports adults with a mental illness in repairing and recycling old bikes into ‘good as new’ bikes for the clients to ride away and keep. This project aids recovery through supporting people in establishing a weekly routine, reducing isolation, gaining confidence and developing many other life skills.The music project promotes recovery through singing, playing and listening to music. Participants report improvements in self-esteem, self-confidence and social experience.

Aidrian Novion joined the Common Wheel music project two years ago. At the time he was looking to get involved in something musical.

“There were many projects out there and I was involved in so much but couldn’t find the ri ght thing for me. I was happy to find Common Wheel – a music project doing something I really enjoy”.

At Common Wheel he joined one of our music workshops and started to play, learn and listen to a range of music styles. Aidrian experimented with percussion instruments, drumming and Gamelan music (Indonesian percussion instruments).

“I learnt so much at Common Wheel. I learnt to understand rhythms, how music works and how notes complement each other.”

Aidrian had experienced depression and anxiety related problems before joining Common Wheel.

“I had been very shy and generally felt awkward talking to people on a general basis. When I joined Common Wheel, I started to enjoy chatting more and became more relaxed over time since the members of staff were caring and welcoming, but also being respected and able to share similar interests with the other participants, a thing that in other places I did not experience”.

Two years later and Aidrian has just started an NC course in sound production at Glasgow Kelvin College City Campus. This is a one year course and Aidrian is currently applying to extend this to HND level next year. Longer term plans include completing a university degree and eventually working in TV production.

“I’m actually quite interested in a career in film-making, I like using video to convey ideas”.

Aidrian has progressed hugely over the past two years; the shy newcomer to the Common Wheel group is now seeking a career in television and is very much on the path to fulfil his dreams.

CEiS - The Social Enterprise Exchange 2012

Working in partnership with Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise Scotland, CEiS Events managed the inaugural Social Enterprise Exchange on March 27th at the SECC which hosted over 1200 delegates, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors that came together to trade, learn, debate and celebrate social enterprise in the UK and around the world.

CEiS Event

With a representation of 22 countries the event was the biggest social enterprise event in the world in 2012 and was a success for new partnerships, business exchange, networking and being inspired. For CEiS Events, the most successful outcome was that out of 28 suppliers, 25 of these were social enterprises. This achievement is what the team strives for in all events they manage and what sets them apart from other event management services. Some key event highlights are illustrated below:

• Delegate targets were exceeded, despite concerns that recession would have an adverse effect

• Sponsorship was difficult due to economic circumstances, yet the event covered its costs and generated a modest surplus for the event partners to assist their sustainability

• The policy engagement with contributions from Alex Salmond, First Minister, Chuka Umunna and Labour Party, Derek Mackay MSP, highlighted to local, national and international participants how mature and embedded social enterprise is within Scottish and UK economic and social policy

• Significantly, record levels of business to business trading were reported thereby vindicating the organisers’ decision to prioritise exhibitors by capping the capacity of plenary and break out space to 50% of total attendance

• The international dimension added depth to the event, from the business to business contacts established to the local economic benefits of post Exchange study visits, the opportunity to engage with international colleagues who are now raising international awareness of social enterprise in Scotland and the UK, and its potential worldwide

• Finally, a social enterprise trade fair where the catering is widely praised instead of being slated. The strategy of working with the SECC preferred supplier, Levys, to allow lunch catering by 5 social enterprises was an outstanding success as it highlighted not just the quality of product and service, but together with the other social enterprise suppliers, emphasised a movement that is supporting its own development and is capable of much if the environment is favourable.

Eco Drama – Inspiring Natural Change

Funded by the Climate Challenge Fund and with a social enterprise ethos, the Eco Drama team deliver theatre shows, drama workshops, CPD teacher training, and creative learning experiences to schools, communities, festivals and events throughout Scotland.

Below you will find a case study which illustrates some of the company’s latest work and highlights some of the real benefits that the project is bringing to young people and communities.

The Forgotten Orchard Project Eco Drama

The Forgotten Orchard is a play written by Eco Drama for ages 6+. The show draws inspiration from Scottish apples and our lost orchard heritage, and aims to spark imaginations and re-connect young people emotionally as well as intellectually with the theme of local food.

The show is currently being delivered to primary schools across Scotland, as well as being performed at Apple Days, festivals, community halls and theatres. As part of the Climate Challenge Funded project, schools not only receive a performance of The Forgotten Orchard, teachers are also invited to attend Orchard Training sessions with an apple growing specialist, receive 3 Scottish apple trees to help get their school orchard started, and are given comprehensive teachers resources, including a Classroom Activity Pack, local food educational poster and a variety pack of seeds.

Ultimately, the project aims to inspire a new generation of food growers and local eaters!

Here’s what our audiences have to say about the show: -

It was entertaining and captured their interest from the very start. The topic/ language wasn’t too hard and it was familiar to them . . . An excellent performance. The children (and teachers) loved every minute
Jemma Harrison, P5 teacher, Balornock Primary

It made me think about where I get my apples from and if I've ever tasted a Scottish apple
Zoe, age 11

a delicious morsel of story-telling to whet the appetite for learning about where your food comes from and a treat for anyone working on the Eco-Schools ‘Food and the Environment’ topic.
Eve Keepax, Policy Officer (Food and the Environment), Eco Schools Scotland

10 primary schools in Glasgow recently took part in our winter Orchard Training sessions, and subsequently 10 new school orchards have now been planted across Glasgow. Please see some feedback from the training participants below: -

‘I enjoyed all aspect of this course, from learning about general apple growing history to how to plant our trees and get the children involved. I thought this was an excellent training day! It left me feeling enthusiastic and prepared for planning and planting out school orchard. The Eco Drama representatives were fantastic, friendly and encouraging and Andrew thoroughly explained all the items necessary to get us well on our way.’

‘Thanks for the excellent opportunity to begin an orchard in our school. It is a fantastic idea and a great chance for inner city kids to experience something new!’

Below is a photo from St Antonine Primary’s apple tree planting ceremony: -

‘Thanks to the eco drama team and to Andrew Eco Drama Lear for the three trees in total we were given to plant. The Antonine Eco Group really enjoyed it and we had a helping hand from our janitor and from some parents and carers. The Eco pupils learned very quickly how to plant the trees and were doing it by themselves after the first tree. We enjoyed eating apples during the ceremony and toasted the health and future of the trees with apple juice then parents and visitors came inside for tea and apple pies. Thanks again’

Sarah Sinclair, St Antonine Primary, Glasgow Eco Drama

To help reduce the emissions of our visits across Scotland, Eco Drama tour in ‘The Magic Van’, a fun eye-catching vehicle run on recycled vegetable oil. Not only does this help reduce our C02 emissions by 85% in comparison to normal diesel, we are demonstrating ourselves to children and young people as positive green role models.

Street League - Jordan

Jordan joined our 'Get Ready for Work' programme having first spoken to Street League within his school at Port Glasgow.

He suffered from dyslexia and was low on confidence, but his timekeeping was good and his attendance excellent, so when it came to arranging his work placement we agreed to approach an employer of his choic Street leaguee, at a garage. The employer had high expectations and early on expressed their concerns. However when speaking with Jordan himself, he insisted he was enjoying the placement and “could do this”.

We chatted about his approach and how he could push himself more. Soon afterwards, Jordan began to grow into the role and his confidence blossomed. He made a conscious effort to be more sociable and confident when interacting with people. On speaking to the garage owners, they said they had seen a massive change and that they were discussing keeping him on as a paid member of staff and would train him up as a mechanic themselves.

Jordan was thrilled with this news and determined he would continue to improve in his customer service skills. He was granted an extension to his programme in order to give him more experience, after which the garage agreed to keep him on. Jordan was delighted and is now several months into his full-time role. He is being trained as a mechanic on site and will also start college to formalise his learning.