About Green Knight

My name is Gavin Milligan and I started Green Knight Sustainability Consulting to work with businesses 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 range from multi-site groups, through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to micro-scale businesses, social enterprises and charities. The overall aim is to help organisations reflect the needs of society and the natural environment alongside the commercial drivers of a successful enterprise. I work on strategy with organisations in many sectors, including agri-food, chemicals, construction, packaging, services and the third sector.

Implementation projects are centred on agri-food and adjacent sectors. The UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) releases a periodic snapshot of the state of the sector. In the third quarter of 2019, agri-food remained the UK’s largest employment sector with 4.1 million employees, including 440,000 in agriculture and fishing, accounting for 13% of the UK’s workforce. SMEs in the food sector account for 79% of organisations, 27% of employment and 17% 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 started out 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 ten 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 Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) where I chair the Sustainability Steering Committee (click here)
    • 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 (click here)
    • 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 (click here)
    • 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 (click here)
  • 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 (click here)
    • Sheffield Hallam University where I sit on the Industrial Advisory Board for their Masters course in food sector engineering (click here)
    • 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 a guest lecturer (click here)
    • The FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnership consortium of 6 research centres across the UK where I sit on the Advisory Board (click here)
    • The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield where I am an Engagement Board Ambassador (click here)
  • Industry:
    • The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) where I am a past member of the Sustainability Steering Group (click here)
  • The Third Sector:
    • The Food Foundation – a small NGO leading an initiative to encourage improved health outcomes working with other stakeholders to increase vegetable consumption across the UK (click here)
    • The Goodwin Trust – a social enterprise based out of a housing estate in Hull, delivering a range of services to people across the city (click here)
  • Industry-focused collaborations:
    • BBNet – a ‘Phase 2’ BBSRC- and EPSRC-funded network where I am a member of the Management Committee (click here)
    • 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 (click here)
    • Food sector Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) –  Innovate UK’s network partner and innovation network for other funders (click here) 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 (click here)
    • The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) where I was a member of the working group that produced the Working on Waste initiative (click here)
    • The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) where I spent 4 years as a member director representing ‘AB’ members which are typically branded manufacturers, and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee (click here)
    • 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 (click here)
  • Think-tanks:
    • I am a member of a number of informal cross-sector industry networks which bring together sustainability professionals for discussion, debate and learning
  • Media
    • 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 (click here)
Green Knight Sustainability Consulting is a company registered in the UK, company number 10749198, VAT registration number 275 8050 86.Content copyright © Green Knight Sustainability Consulting Ltd 2020.