ST.7 Do a SWOT analysis



This activity provides guidance on how to perform a strategic analysis of the company using the data you have gathered during the Preliminary Assessment and the SWOT template.


• General opportunities and threats from activity PR.5 Identify the general opportunities and threats across the value chain.

• Strategic opportunities and threats from the activity ST.2 Interview the CEO.

• Strengths and weaknesses of the company from the activity ST.4 Do a Walk-Through Audit, and ST.5 Do a workshop/interviews with staff.

• An updated, company-specific list of sustainability impacts with hotspots from the activity ST.6 Update the sustainability hotspots.

• Key stakeholders from the activity PR.3 Build the right external partnerships.


• Categorized set of strategic factors to support strategy development. This output is used in the activities: ST.8 Develop a vision for the company and ST.9 Define the strategic goals.




Begin by gathering together the following sources of information:

Current business strategy (from the interview with the CEO)

Current business model (from the business model workshop or desk research)

Sustainability hotspots (from the Life Cycle Thinking template)

Significant opportunities and threats (from the PESTEL analysis and the interview with the CEO)

Strengths and weaknesses (from the Walk-through Audit and interviews/workshops with staff )

Key stakeholders (from the Life Cycle Stakeholders template)


Write a bullet point on a sticky note to summarise each of the sustainability hotspots, opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses.


Place the sticky notes in the appropriate cell of the SWOT template – an example for the Tasty Tuna Company is provided below.


Note that sustainability hotspots can be classified as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities of threats depending on the nature of the hotspot.


If you find that you have a lot of issues listed (more than 20) you should filter out any issues that appear to be significantly less important compared to the rest.

The final output of the SWOT analysis is a list of the high priority threats, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses.

Tips & Tricks


As you apply the SWOT analysis procedure it may be possible to identify innovation ideas that would enable the company to address the threats or to capitalize on the opportunities highlighted. However, the aim of this activity is simply to process the data into a more usable summary, which will be helpful when defining the business strategy for the company.


Print the SWOT template on at least A3 size paper to give you enough room for all the sticky notes.


You should write up a short report (no more than 10 pages) summarizing the data collection and analysis from the Preliminary Assessment, including the SWOT analysis. Ask the CEO and senior management team for feedback, particularly on the SWOT analysis. If you have missed an important issue, of if they do not agree with your conclusions, your efforts in defining a new business strategy will likely take you in the wrong direction.

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