Coventry University research highly commended at Green Gown Awards 2019

Friday 29 November 2019

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Research by Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society has been recognised at the 15th annual Green Gown Awards.

The research project ‘Promoting Sustainability within the Cut Flower Industry’ ultimately aims to reduce the environmental impact of the industry. It was highly commended in the category Research with Impact (Institution) at a ceremony on Tuesday 26 November.

The prestigious awards put a spotlight on the innovative and inspiring sustainability work taking place in universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland, which lead the way with their commitment to the global sustainability agenda.

Led by Dr David Bek and Dr Jill Timms and supported by recently successful PhD Candidate Nora Lanari, the university project has been investigating sustainability practices in agriculture supply chains, with a focus on cut-flowers, fruit and wine production.

The project highlighted a gap in both producer and consumer understanding, particularly in floristry, around the impacts on the natural environment and society.

The research team is continuing to work with the British Floristry Association to inform practical interventions aimed at raising awareness of, and reducing the use of, non-sustainable materials, and reducing the carbon footprint in floristry.

Three industry representatives joined the research team at the awards, a testament to the impact the research has had on their sustainability practices.

Receiving an accolade from the prestigious Green Gown Awards is the icing on the cake for this project and our stakeholders.

Dr Jill Timms

This commendation demonstrates how the sustainability dial is starting to shift in the cut-flower market with benefits being created for small UK producers, as well as within global-scale production networks such as Fairtrade.

Dr David Bek

Other winning initiatives ranged from social projects, like Ayrshire College’s ‘Passing Positivity’ campaign that aims to tackle the high prevalence of suicide in its community, to environmental projects, like University of Gloucestershire’s work in South Africa to develop low cost technology to reduce the poaching of white and black rhinoceros.