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Sustainability Guidance

Engineers have a significant role to play in helping society achieve a more sustainable future. To support this, the Engineering Council, the regulatory body for the UK engineering profession, has issued updated Guidance on Sustainability for engineering professionals at all career stages.

The Guidance is reviewed periodically and, following a wide-ranging consultation with the engineering community, this edition replaces and updates the previous Guidance. The revised Guidance on Sustainability emphasises the inter-connectedness of environmental challenges and solutions, the role of regeneration and restoration, and consideration of the whole life cycle – including safe disposal.

Alasdair Coates CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH, CEO of the Engineering Council said:

“Sustainable development is an increasingly important issue for society and the engineering profession works to meet the challenge of the climate emergency. Engineers have a key leadership and influencing role in working towards sustainability, increasingly as part of multi-disciplinary teams that include non-engineers, and through work that crosses national boundaries."

“This updated Guidance on Sustainability supports individual engineers in achieving sustainable development through engineering, as well as helping professionally registered engineers – Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians – to meet their professional obligations.”

This Guidance sets out six principles to ensure all engineering professionals integrate understanding of the environment and sustainability of resources into all aspects of their work:

  1. Contribute to building a sustainable society, present and future.
  2. Apply professional and responsible judgement and take a leadership role on sustainability.
  3. Do more than just comply with legislation and codes: be prepared to challenge the status quo.
  4. Use resources efficiently and effectively.
  5. Seek multiple views to solve sustainability challenges.
  6. Manage risk to minimise adverse impact and maximise benefit to people and the environment.

The full Guidance on Sustainability leaflet, along with a convenient wallet card of the six principles can be downloaded free from: www.engc.org.uk/sustainability.

The Engineering Council also produces Guidance documents on Risk, Whistleblowing and Security, in addition to the Statement of Ethical Principals, published jointly with the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). This Guidance is reviewed regularly and can be found at: www.engc.org.uk/standards-guidance.