About Green Knight
My name is Gavin Milligan and I started Green Knight Sustainability Consulting to work with businesses in agri-food and adjacent sectors which may not have their own experienced sustainability personnel, to help them with implementing the sustainability strategies that are sought by customers, prospective employees and other stakeholder groups. Clients could range from multi-site groups, through small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to micro- and social enterprises. The overall aim is to help organisations reflect the needs of society and the natural environment alongside the commercial drivers of a successful enterprise.
The UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) releases a periodic snapshot of the state of the sector. In the first quarter of 2018, agri-food remained the UK’s largest employment sector with 3.95 million employees, including 430,000 in agriculture and fishing. SMEs in agri-food account for 96% of organisations, 27% of employment and 19% of turnover. Very often, though, smaller organisations aren’t able to engage with sustainability for a whole host of reasons, not least the lack of dedicated experienced resource. That is where Green Knight Sustainability Consulting can help.
Having gained a PhD in analytical instrumentation, I first worked in the chemical industry before moving to the first of a series of food businesses. In the more than 20 years that I have spent in the food industry I have amassed considerable experience of the agri-food supply chain from a number of perspectives, in roles up to and including Board level. I have spent the last eight years delivering the sustainability strategy for a national-scale branded food producer and retailer and its broad range of subsidiaries, and continue to support them. All of this has given me the opportunity to work closely with many of the leading organisations in the field, some of which are listed below:
- Scientific and technical:
- The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre in Glasgow where I sit on the Commercial Advisory Board. IBioIC connects industry, academia & government and facilitates collaborations, provides scale-up capabilities, creates networks and develops skills.
- Campden BRI where I chaired the Agri-Food member interest group and sat on the Scientific and Technical Committee for the maximum 2 terms from 2012-2018 (https://www.campdenbri.co.uk/)
- The Royal Society of Chemistry where I am a committee member of the Agriculture Sector Group and sit on the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy Divisional Council (http://www.rsc.org/)
- Academia and research:
- Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) – a collaboration between Oxford, Warwick, City, Reading and LCIRAH which provides additional development opportunities for post-graduate students in a range of disciplines around the agri-food system (http://www.ifstal.ac.uk/)
- Sheffield Hallam University where I sit on the Industrial Advisory Board for their Masters course in food sector engineering (https://www.shu.ac.uk/business/access-our-expertise/food/the-national-centre-of-excellence-for-food-engineering)
- The University of Lincoln where I sit on the Industrial Advisory Panel for the MSc in agri-food launched in 2017 on which I am also a guest lecturer (http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/agrfdtms/)
- The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield where I am an Engagement Board Ambassador (http://grantham.sheffield.ac.uk/)
- The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) where I am a past member of the Sustainability Steering Group (https://www.fdf.org.uk/)
- The Third Sector:
- The Food Foundation – a small NGO leading an initiative to encourage increased vegetable consumption across the UK (http://foodfoundation.org.uk/)
- The Goodwin Trust – a social enterprise based out if a housing estate in Hull, delivering a range of services to people across the city (http://goodwintrust.org/)
- Industry-focused collaborations:
- BBNet – a ‘Phase 2’ BBSRC- and EPSRC-funded network where I am a member of the Management Committee (website details to follow)
- FoodWasteNet – a ‘Phase 1’ BBSRC-funded network where I chaired the Management Board
- Sustainable Futures – a peer-to-peer best-practice knowledge sharing initiative for farmers in Yorkshire (https://www.sustainablefutures.uk.com/)
- Food sector Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) – Innovate UK’s network partner and innovation network for other funders (https://www.ktn-uk.co.uk/interests/agri-food) which I represent on the European Technology Platform Advisory Board at FoodDrinkEurope
- Executive education alumnus networks:
- Harvard Business School
- Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
- Institute for Management Development (IMD) Lausanne
- Industry-focused charitable organisations:
- Business in the Community (BITC) where I have contributed to their initiatives on water (http://www.bitc.org.uk/)
- The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) where I was a member of the working group that produced the Working on Waste initiative (https://www.igd.com/charitable-impact)
- The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) where I am a member director representing ‘AB’ members which are typically branded manufacturers, and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee (https://www.sedexglobal.com/)
- The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) where I was a member of the Product Sustainability Forum steering group which ultimately led to the Courtauld 2025 initiative (http://www.wrap.org.uk/)
- I am a member of a number of informal cross-sector industry networks which bring together sustainability professionals for discussion, debate and learning
- I am a member of the Events Advisory Board for New Food, a long-standing thought-leadership platform which explores solutions to industry challenges and helps to catalyse progress.