Student Case Study: Vigo Presses 

Name of Student:  Max Cousins

Degree Subject: BA Modern Languages

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Vigo Presses

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Our Apple Juices and Cider are made naturally, just using the apples from our traditionally managed ‘non sprayed’ Orchards at Whimple in Devon. Our Silly Cow and Prize Bull Ciders are naturally fermented using the wild yeasts on the skins of our Devon Cider apples. No sulphites or added yeasts or preservatives, just cider apples and love… Throughout October, the whole family, picked & pressed apples from our orchard, a ton at a time and discovered that the cider apples made delicious apple juice! We all play our part in the business & go out & about to sell our wares at farmers markets & food fares as well as selling via shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes & tea shops etc.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

  • Analyse business data including invoices, expenses, energy consumption etc to gauge current sustainability of the business and to highlight areas of improvement.
  • Conduct employee surveys in order to establish their knowledge of current sustainable strategies and to establish which type of recommendations would be best received culturally by the staff.
  • Generate a list of actionable steps to take action in making those improvements
  • Provide possible marketing strategies in order to not only ‘brag’ about current sustainable initiatives in the company but also to encourage sustainable behaviours amongst their customers

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a slide deck that audited and set out action steps to improve their sustainability in the following areas:

  • Energy Usage
  • Scope 1 & 2 Carbon Emissions
  • Procurement
  • Culture

Produced practical plan detailing how to run monthly ‘green meetings’ and how to use marketing channels to advertise these efforts.

Recommended that they separate their general waste and separate their recycling to make it easier to record waste data, waste reduction progress and to estimate their CO2 emissions from their waste management.

Provided list of possible and practicable next steps to help them achieve the status of B-Corp

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was by establishing a full picture of how the organisation operates and how the attitudes towards sustainability differ throughout the organisation. I was able to do this by working in an open office with the whole team and car sharing with a number of staff members during my commute as well as more formal interviews with staff members and the leadership team.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

I had to go to hospital due to an asthma emergency and so internship was disrupted. I was able to complete my internship remotely while I recovered.

There was no waste data which made it hard to measure key aspects of sustainability. I was able to identify the key data points that would be required and then provide actional recommendations in order to collect this data.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Written and Verbal Communication

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“Do It ! – through the green consultant internship you also will inevitable receive great insight into other functions of the business / organisation and you may develop interests in roles or sectors that you had never considered before.”