We are very happy to introduce our PhD fellow Floris!

Floris Leijten (ESR 05), supervised by Sarah Sim (Unilever UK) and Peter Verburg (VU Amsterdam), will be working on the research project Measuring the effectiveness of corporate zero deforestation commitments in South East Asia, based at Unilever UK.

Floris holds a MSc degree in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics. Previously based in Amsterdam, he has worked for PwC on several sustainability issues, and as a market researcher for a Dutch company in both Indonesia and Myanmar. He has been intrigued by questions such as how the environment and mankind interact, whether green growth is possible and to what extent corporate social responsibility may contribute to sustainable development. For him, being part of the COUPLED project is a great way to think about some of these issues; and the fact that he is based at Unilever allows him to to combine scientific knowledge and skills to identify and solve sustainability issues.

His research is concerned with the effectiveness of corporate zero-deforestation commitments (i.e. pledges made by companies such as Unilever to delink deforestation from their supply chains) using state-of-the-art econometric techniques and an integrated land-use modelling approach. One of the major challenges is to identify new methods to disentangle the various spillover effects from each other that result from leakage and other displacement effects in the face of limited data availability. The telecoupling framework may provide a useful tool to face this challenge and to shed some new light on the increasing global connectivity.

Again, a warm welcome to you, Floris! We are looking forward to a successful cooperation in the upcoming years.

You can find more information about Floris’ research project here.

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