challenges businesses and society
to measure and value economic development in new ways. It
challenges engineers perhaps most of all. ... The problems
of the environment and of social and economic equity are interrelated,
and their solutions are technological in nature. I believe
that engineers and the National Academy of Engineering have
a special role to play in this regard.
A. Frosch, a member of the National Academy of Engineering,
The Bridge, Vol. 29, Spring 1999
development brings economic as well as environmental benefits.
Profession Practice Curriculum (PPC) module, Rewards
and Challenges, online.
problem is that [humankind] has become so dependent on
nonrenewable resources and on technology from the old growth
paradigm that changing to new-paradigm engineering will take
considerable effort and ingenuity. ... Just as engineers use
safety factors due to the overriding need for safety, they
should similarly use a sustainability factor because of the
overriding need for sustainability. The safety of the human
race in the future demands it no less than the safety of the
human race in the present demands a safety factor.
Profession Practice Curriculum (PPC) module
United States and all nations have an obligation to continue
prudent and cost-effective measures to promote efficient use
of natural resources, conservation, recycling,
and environmentally responsible waste disposal. It remains
the responsibility of the engineering community to provide
technical leadership to address the world's environmental
Climate change policy (1999) addressing reduction of greenhouse
order to stay competitive, tomorrow's engineer will need
to become more culturally savvy, as well as adept at implementing
appropriate technologies. Capacity building is not about constructing
a showcase engineering project. It's about coming up with
practical, sustainable solutions that fit the environment,
its people and the culture as well.
Cathy Leslie, executive director of EWB-USA
incorporating the concepts of intergenerational equity
and ecological capabilities would be a challenge for scientists
and engineers in designing processes and products.
Sustainable Engineering Forum (SEF)
a sustainable world that provides a safe, secure, healthy
life for all peoples is a priority for the US engineering
community. It is evident that US engineering must increase
its focus on sharing and disseminating information, knowledge
and technology that provides access to minerals, materials,
energy, water, food and public health while addressing basic
human needs. Engineers must deliver solutions that are technically
viable, commercially feasible and, environmentally and socially
Declaration by US Engineering Community for Sustainability,
initiated by the National Academy of Engineering, U.S. State
Department, American Association of Engineering Societies,
and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, served as
the engineering community's statement to the World Summit
on Sustainable Development, 2002. Endorsed by ASME's Environmental
Engineering Division, the statement was also in affiliation
with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Engineers International
Roundtable, and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations'
Committee on Sustainable Technology.
[engineering] profession needs to adopt a new vision to
ensure that future engineers are broadly educated, become
leaders in the private and public sectors, and represent all
parts of society. They also must be able to learn and adapt
quickly and be capable of informing public policy. ... several
possible scenarios, such as breakthroughs in nanotechnology,
natural disasters caused by climate change, and global conflicts
caused by an unequal distribution of resources, [help] to
determine what skills future engineers might need. These potential
situations would require that engineers have the capability
to develop sustainable technology and to communicate ideas
to different groups, including the government, private sector,
and the public.
From NSPE's Engineering Times, July 2004, the
report cited is "The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering
in the New Century," sponsored by the National Science
Foundation, NEC Foundation of America, SBC Foundation, Honeywell
International, and the National Academy of Engineering Fund,
available online. Summary
at Community of Practice on Sustainable Engineering.
what is environmentally sound in one country or region
may not be in another, unless it is redesigned or adapted
to make it appropriate for addressing local needs. ... This
[environmentally sound technology] captures the full life
cycle flow of the material, energy and water in the production
and consumption system. It also implies the development and
application of environmentally sound technologies underpinned
by more holistic environmental management strategies based
on the characteristics of natural systems, which include species
diversity; resilience; adaptiveness; regenerative capacity;
interconnectedness; spatial and temporal fluctuation; etc.
UN Environment Programme, International Environmental
Technology Centre, Freshwater Management Series No. 7, Phytotechnologies,
A Technical Approach in Environmental Management.
development challenges organisations and individuals to
confront a series of painful choices between economic
growth, social justice and natural resources; between further
industrialisation of the North, and the under-development
of the South; between wealth for the few, and poverty and
hunger for the many; between globalisation and localisation;
between gratification of human desires and the survival of
other animal and plant species.
John Benington, director of the Warwick Institute of
Governance and Public Management at Warwick Business School,
Leadership," Community of Practice on Sustainable
Engineering forum article.
warming caused by fossil fuel emissions is a serious problem,
but it is a problem created by technology for which there
are technological solutions. ... The small number of affluent
nations that are responsible for about half of CO 2 emissions
can take unilateral steps that would drastically reduce the
global warming problem right now.
Michael Lind, Whitehead senior fellow at the New America
Foundation in Washington, D.C., July 2004, "A Future
Population of 9bn Can Enjoy the Lifestyle of Today's Rich
Without Crippling the Environment."
reform, to promote competitive pricing, technological
innovation, customer choice and trade in energy services,
coupled with appropriate regulation to address fairness and
sustainability issues (such as capacity, reliability, affordability
and environmental goals) is the first priority of energy policy.
Keeping energy options open in face of growing demand for
electricity is a close second.
Energy for People, Energy for Peace: Markets, Sustainability
and Drivers, Gerald Doucet, World Energy Council (ASME's
International Pipeline Conference, Calgary, Canada, 2002).
participating with others in civil society in the development
of global environmental principles, ethics and policies, engineers
will become respected partners in the future built environment
and in the implementation of a sustainable future for humanity.
Engineering participation in the evolving Earth Charter presents
a rare opportunity. Around the world, the Earth Charter process
is building in intensity each month and engineering visibility
is almost totally missing in the process. ... Without our
involvement, our absence will be noticed, and we will lose
a platform from which to explain the value of engineering
to the quality of life for all people.
James W. Poirot,"Engineering
Implications in the Earth Charter," World Congress
on Sustainable Development, Engineering & Technological
Challenges of the 21st Century; Calcutta, India, January 21,