UK looks to China for sustainability opportunities

News editor

Sustainability in China, reponses to flood risk in the UK, help for new businesses and an enquiry into a wind farm in Scotland all feature on this week’s agenda

This week’s Briefing starts with a business lead for British companies wanting to tap opportunities created by China’s push toward more sustainable practices.

The Chinese government has set targets for enterprises to reduce their energy use and UK Trade & Industry (UKTI) sees this as a fine opportunity for British companies to come forward and offer their services.

In turn, UKTI will help those companies export their services but first it needs firms to come forward to sign up to its Clean and Energy Efficient Manufacturing (CEEP) directory.

UKTI is particularly interested in hearing from companies that provide the following:

  • energy and environmental audits, measurement and analysis
  • resource efficient factory design and infrastructure
  • factory heating, cooling and air conditioning
  • factory based micro renewables, energy management systems, low energy lighting and heat recovery
  • industrial water recovery and treatment
  • factory emissions control and filtration
  • energy efficient processes and equipment such as refrigeration, movement systems, drying and evaporation, compressed air etc

They are also said to be interested in sector specific equipment that reduces energy, water and waste in manufacturing.

For their part, UKTI will prepare a brochure on UK capability and translate this into Chinese, undertake a UK road show presenting the opportunities in China, and undertake a CEEP trade mission to China visiting Guangzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan.

Registration to the CEEP directory is free and a form can be found here. Good luck.

On a similar theme, the IET Berkshire Network is introducing the IET Technopreneur Accelerator business leadership programme tomorrow afternoon at the Henley Business School.

Designed to get ideas, propositions or small businesses up and running, the programme consists of six workshops that are based on the Henley Accelerator programme.

The organizers say, ‘the programme provides the opportunity for individuals to experience the learning environment of Henley Business School and prepares them to develop their skills and grow their businesses more quickly in an ever changing competitive environment.’

Further details, including costs, can be found here.

This evening UCL hosts the inaugural Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) Marine Science Lecture, ‘Marine Hazards: Waiting for the Flood’.

Events in the UK and around the world continue to show that flooding is a major threat to life and infrastructure. The lecture, delivered by Prof David Pugh, will address the science of sea level extremes, asking also if it is prudent to defend against flooding or not.

Anyone interested in attending this evening’s lecture and reception should send an email to

In February 2010 The Engineer ran a feature that included a reference to the Institution of Civil Engineers report entitled ‘Facing up to rising sea levels: Retreat, defend, attack?’ which argued ‘radical changes are needed to protect the UK’s coastline against the increasing threat of rising sea levels, sinking landmasses and more frequent rainstorms.’

The article, which looks at defence, attack and retreat options for Hull and Portsmouth, can be found here.

Engineers always have a very significant role in solving these types of problems and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is set to celebrate engineering achievements in its Prestige Awards for 2013.

The three awards, open to groups or individuals, will acknowledge significant achievements in modern engineering science, contributions to the understanding or reduction of risk in any area of mechanical engineering, and efforts made to make the profession more inclusive.

IMechE is now calling for nominations for the three prize categories, further details of which can be found here.

An engineering solution that appears to cause a great deal of local difficulty comes in the form of the onshore wind farm and later this week E.ON will host public information sessions for its Moriston Wind Farm in Scotland.

E.ON say the proposed wind farm would be located to the north west of Fort Augustus in the Highlands and could feature up to 36 turbines with an output of 108MW.

Members of the public will be able to find out more about the proposed development at Fort Augustus Memorial Hall on Tuesday and Glengarry Community Hall on Wednesday.

In a statement, Emma Clark, senior project developer at E.ON, said, ‘We’re an experienced and responsible developer, and will ensure that the local community have their views considered throughout the development of this wind farm.’

Some good news now from a survey that found 55 per cent of the UK’s manufacturing businesses confident about their prospects for 2013 despite concerns surrounding recovery in the Eurozone.

Conducted by YouGov on behalf of Baker Tilly, the ‘Your Outlook for 2013 – a business survey’ polled over 800 business leaders across the country about their expectations, opinions and priorities for the coming year.

Results from the survey showed that manufacturing was one of the most confident sectors, with 44 per cent of businesses expecting an increase in sales for 2013.

Full results are available here.

Finally, today marks the start of a bicentenary celebration exhibition held in honour of Sir Henry Bessemer.

Taking place from now until March 31 at Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London, the exhibition celebrates the achievements of the engineer, inventor and businessman best remembered for the Bessemer process used in steel manufacturing.

The Engineer’s summary of Sir Henry’s career can be read here.