A course in Cumbria may help influence an industry which has been criticised for causing environmental damage.
Gregory Foster is working to raise the sustainability profile of the oil palm industry in Malaysia and has just completed an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability at the University of Cumbria.
Running his own research and development company in Malaysia he says his mission is to ‘raise the sustainability profile of the oil palm milling sector’ and improve the sector's reputation as a more responsible member of the palm oil supply chain.
Gregory said: “The industry really needs leadership; as a production engineer who has always been involved in technological development I want to see how I could link innovation and technology to improve the sustainability of the palm oil industry.”
Gaining an overall distinction Gregory's dissertation was entitled "A collaborative supply chain approach to innovation development for improving Triple Bottom Line outcomes in the Malaysian oil palm milling industry." At a ceremony held at Carlisle Cathedral (Wednesday 28 Novemer) he received the prize for postgraduate student of the year in recognition of his work.
Dr Grace Hurford, senior lecturer in public services leadership and residency module lead, said: “Gregory attended the June 2018 residency at Ambleside and was a great team player who worked well with his colleagues as they developed their group project researching a food and drink sector company within Cumbria.”
He says the course proved to be a challenge. ‘Make sure you have your family on side’ is one tip Gregory offers; ‘don’t be in a hurry to learn the material’ is another.
Completion means he is now free to concentrate on developing sustainable ideas for an industry that is his passion.