Let us introduce Robin: our new LCA-specialist

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Hi Robin, welcome to our team! Could you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the field of LCA?

From a young age, I've had a strong interest in nature and food production. This passion had led me to study at Wageningen University, where I completed a BSc in Plant Sciences and a double MSc in Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology. During my studies, I've become acquainted with vertical farming and learned about the benefits of this high-tech cultivation method. This made me wonder if it was indeed better for the environment than greenhouse horticulture, in which the Netherlands excels. To compare the CO2, land, and water footprints of vertical farming and greenhouse cultivation, I encountered LCA. During my research, I collaborated with various companies in the sector and discovered the potential of LCA to provide insights into and improve the sustainability of our horticultural supply chains. Upon coming into contact with Greenhouse Sustainability, I immediately knew this was the perfect opportunity to put my knowledge into practice and help companies with their sustainability efforts.

Can you tell us about your first period at GHS? What have you been working on specifically?

Given that becoming an LCA specialist is not the most obvious choice for a plant scientist, I found it quite thrilling to start at GHS. Despite many things being new in my first weeks, I was able to get started quickly thanks to the support of my colleagues. At GHS, there is plenty of room for development, and taking initiative is highly valued. Recently, I have been involved in improving our underlying models, starting various projects with clients, and delving into the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

What are you looking forward to the most in your job as an LCA specialist at GHS?

Helping companies translate their climate ambitions into concrete steps in the most efficient and insightful way. By further developing our sector-specific tools, we can help companies across the entire supply chain map their scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. From these insights, I would like to help companies set their Science Based Targets, so that together we can make a positive impact that not only benefits our climate but also ensures the continuity of the Dutch horticulture sector.

What do you see as the biggest advantages of LCA in the horticulture sector?

In Wageningen, I learned how much admiration other countries have for Dutch horticulture. The ecosystem that has emerged here over the past 100 years is of immense value for making food production more climate-resilient and sustainable. LCA plays a crucial role in providing insights into the advantages and identifying areas for improvement across the entire supply chain. This identification is not only about CO2 emissions but also about land and water use, two increasingly scarce resources in the Netherlands. Moreover, LCA can help companies translate their (SBTi) ambitions and the steps they have taken into a concrete story, enabling them to gain recognition for their efforts.

How do you see the future of sustainability in horticulture, and what role do you think your work will play in it?

I believe horticulture will become increasingly important. Although there recently has been some negativity in the Netherlands, other countries are fully committed to Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). In the near future, greenhouses will not only produce sustainable food but will also play a crucial role in providing sustainable heat to homes, balancing our electricity grid, and reducing the pressure that agriculture worldwide puts on nature. I want to contribute to supporting this crucial transition by developing the tools with GHS that can map the impact of innovations across the entire supply chain. Additionally, I want to help companies achieve their climate ambitions in an insightful way. Let's make a positive impact together!

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