Sustainable Production and Consumption

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Sustainable Production and Consumption

Focus of our research

This research team focuses on the ultimate goals of living within environmental limits and the attainment of social justice, through the delivery of responsible business and ethical consumption practices.

Our research takes a 'whole supply chain' approach, examining activities, attitudes and behaviours at different points in the lifecycle of products. This stretches across from technical development and supply through to consumption and post-consumption.

Our work focuses upon areas such as waste reduction, resource and energy efficiency, sustainable community and consumer behaviours, corporate values and supply chain governance.

Currently, our research agenda is framed by the interlinked concepts of the Green Economy, the Circular Economy and the Sharing Economy, which are highly influential in contemporary policy circles.  The UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals also provide an important focus for our work. We are especially interested in work which engages consumers through raising awareness of the imperative for more sustainable lifestyles and decision making.

The cluster enjoys strong links with industry, social enterprises and NGOs, through which this work is developed. We have especially fruitful partnerships within the automotive sector; food sourcing, production and distribution; the management of food waste; energy supply and consumption; tourism and cafe industries; fashion and SME sourcing and supply chains. Our industrial collaborators include large organisations, such as Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Unilever, Alliance Boots, the NHS and OHL, MM-UK, Tesco, Woolworths (South Africa), as well as a range of SMEs from different industries. Our projects reach to southern and central Africa and South East Asia.


Core Cluster Themes

There are four over-arching themes for the cluster:

  1. Sustainable communities and consumers
  2. Moving beyond compliance in ethical and sustainable sourcing
  3. Addressing strategic business challenges in the supply chain
  4. Implenting the circular economy on the path to a sustainable future

Read more in our Research Cluster Brochure.

Key Researchers

The cluster is led by Dr. David Bek, Professor Benny Tjahjono and Professor Ming Lim.


The Cluster is fortunate to be able to draw upon a range of skills and expertise from within its internationally acclaimed team of researchers. Professors Benny Tjahjono and Ming Lim are experts in the fields of sustainable supply chain and operations management. Their interdisciplinary projects involve close linkages with the corporate sector both in the UK and across South East Asia. Benny and Ming enjoy fruitful collaborations with colleagues Dr. Dong-Wook Kwak and Dr. Jiayao Hu.


Dr. David Bek has extensive experience of undertaking research and impact work focusing upon ethical and sustainable practices within horticultural supply chains rooted in South Africa. The premise that ‘sustainable business is good business’ underpins his work and links with Jordon Lazell and Lisa Ruetgers; research on food waste, Dr. Jennifer Ferreira’s rapidly evolving work on sustainability within the coffee shop industry; Dr. Jill Timms pioneering research mapping the implementation of certifications in the global flower industry; Dr. Qile He’s investigations into sustainable agriculture in China and Dr. Elizabeth Bos’s work on community-based food production.

PhD Opportunities

The Sustainable Production and Consumption research cluster is interested in supervising research that explores sustainable production and consumption. We welcome topics that take a ‘whole supply approach’, examining sustainable activities, attitudes and behaviours at different points in the lifecycle of products, and work around interventions and changing behaviour that go beyond existing approaches to changing consumption patterns and ethical consumption.  We are particularly keen in enhancing our research in sustainability and innovation in supply chain operations. For instance, at present we are exploring the innovative use of modern technology in improving supply chain efficiency and green practices in a complex and dynamic business environment to achieve a sustainability agenda and targets.  

  • Innovative Technology in the Circular Economy: Bridging the gap from the current state to achieve and manage the Circular Economy through innovative technology and process re-engineering (Prof Ming Lim).
  • Café Culture: Rising café societies? Business diversity, sustainability, consumer cultures and community creation (Dr Jennifer Ferreira).
  • Sustainable Businesses: Investigating the links between good ethical/environmental practices and productivity in the South African horticultural sector (Dr David Bek).

For all enquiries in the first instance, please contact Dr David Bek (

Guidance on Coventry University’s PGR eligibility and application process can be found here. 

More detail on the Centre for Business in Society can be found here or contact the Centre’s PGR Director, Dr Jason Begley (