The world is facing the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss and one cannot be solved without addressing the other. Agriculture, forestry, and other land use account for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. They also support global food security, and millions of jobs.

As such, it’s crucial that countries include nature-based solutions in their climate plans, and for business to do the same.

This webinar will explore what companies in the UK and China, backed by world-leading science, are doing to develop such solutions and products, ranging from the adoption of the latest Chinese technologies in the protection of native species, sustainable cities that incorporate agriculture in their infrastructure, through to climate-positive spirits distilled using green hydrogen power.

A spotlight will be shone on the multiple collaborations that have been taking place in the pursuit of tech-savvy sustainable agriculture and the positive impact that these can have in the pursuit of net zero targets in the UK and China.



Helen Miles, Senior Engineer, Arup






Helen Miles, Senior Engineer, Arup

Helen is a Chartered Senior Engineer within the water team in the Arup Leeds (UK) office. She has experience working with wastewater treatment and drainage around the world.

Helen led the technical production of the new drainage masterplan for the central urban area of Shanghai. This included the coordination of design input from across displace specialists, close coordination with the local partners and the overall development of the multilayer storm water management masterplan.

Professor John Crawford

Professor John Crawford, Professor of Strategy and Technology Management, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

John Crawford is Professor in Strategy and Technology Management and a theoretical biologist with a research focus on systems approaches. He has active programmes of research on the integrated behaviour of the soil-plant-microbe system, food system optimisation; and in the application of AI in systems biology including tissue- and organ-level modelling of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Professor Crawford was previously Science Director at Rothamsted Research in the UK and Complex Systems programme lead in the executive team for the University of Sydney’s $0.5B Charles Perkins Centre, linking sustainable agriculture, food, diet and health. He was the Academic Champion for the UKRI’s successful bid to the UK Government for the £90M Industry Strategy Challenge “Transforming Food Production” programme and remains on the Steering Board. He is also current Chair of BBSRC’s Committee B.

In addition to academic work, Professor Crawford has undertaken consultancies with major multinational companies at the strategic level including supporting one of the largest acquisitions and mergers in history.

Iain Stirling - Founder Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery

Iain Stirling , Founder/Owner Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery

Iain Stirling is one of the Stirling Brothers who own the Arbikie Highland Estate on Scotland’s sunny east coast, just north of Dundee. Arbikie is a rare, field-to-bottle distiller as they grow, distil & mature their family of sustainable spirits, building on their family’s heritage of farming for over 400 years. Previous to Arbikie, Iain worked in the global drinks industry with Diageo, Jim Beam and Whyte and Mackay, starting his career as a graduate trainee with Marks and Spencer. 

Gary Zhao BRE China

Gary Zhao, General Manager, BRE China

Gary Zhao is the General Manager of BRE China with highly experienced background in the area of sustainable development. He is taking charge of leading the business growth of BRE in China as well as Asia, collaborating with both China/UK government and other stakeholders to support knowledge sharing and expand BRE’s business.
BRE is a world leading building science research institute, dedicating to improving built environment sustainability, quality construction and productivity.

Claire Urry

Introductory remarks will be delivered by Claire Urry, Chief Commercial Officer at the China-Britain Business Council

Claire leads on the commercial sales and delivery side of CBBC’s business. A Mandarin speaker, she graduated from Leeds University in 1991. She has been actively involved in doing business with China for over 25 years and while with CBBC has worked across a range of sectors including financial services, and food/drink sectors. She retains a close interest in the Agri-tech sector.