Engineers Working On Crossrail Engineers Without Borders UK Launches Ethical Transformation Strategy
Engineers Without Borders UK’s 2021-2030 strategy calls on the industry to make social and environmental justice a cornerstone of engineering to help achieve the UN’s global sustainable development goals.
Engineers Without Borders UK, which aims to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering, has launched its latest strategy to radically change the current culture in the engineering sector to ensure a safe and just future for all.
As an organization, Engineers Without Borders UK will accelerate its efforts to inspire, educate and drive industry change, involving 500,000 practicing and student engineers by 2030.
UK plans to make global responsible engineering mainstream. The strategy’s three objectives are to enable a turning point toward globally sound engineering.
The three stated strategy goals – to inspire, refine and drive change – are designed to respectively encourage a lifelong, meaningful commitment to globally responsible engineering;
equip the engineering community with the skills and expertise to be globally responsible, and encourage collaboration with organizations to make globally responsible engineering mainstream.
To illustrate worrisome issues, Engineers Without Borders UK highlighted key statistics, including how 39 percent of global carbon emissions are produced by the building and construction industry;
33 percent of Earth’s soils have already been degraded and more than 90 percent could be affected by 2050;
that about 14 percent of food is lost between harvest and retail, while 9 percent of the world’s population is malnourished and about 10 percent of the world’s population has no access to electricity.
These concerns have informed the global challenges of Engineers Without Borders UK, which it intends to address through its 2021-2030 strategy, namely the risk of failing to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals;
that we are living in a climate emergency and a biodiversity emergency, and that the impact of the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will last for years.
The new strategy also requires engineers working in the industry to commit to the four core principles of globally sound engineering, thereby enhancing the way engineers, at both an individual and organizational level, practice their profession:
- Responsible: Meeting the needs of all people within the boundaries of our planet. This should be at the heart of engineering.
- Targeted: taking into account all the consequences of engineering, from the start of a project or product to the end of its useful life. This must be done on a global and local scale, for people and the planet.
- Includes: ensuring that diverse viewpoints and knowledge are incorporated and respected in the engineering process.
- Regenerative: To actively restore and regenerate ecological systems, instead of just reducing the impact.
Emma Crichton, Head of Engineering at Engineers Without Borders UK, said: “We urgently need to strike a balance between the needs of all people and the needs of our planet.
Engineering continues to rely on unsustainable methods and research shows how engineering education should adapt, including education within our profession in general.
We must take urgent action to ensure a safe and just future for all. “Our new strategy will provide the inspiration and tools to mainstream responsible engineering globally by integrating these principles into education and industry.
It’s an ambitious strategy, but the scale of the challenge demands it. Bringing together thousands of people and organizations, we will develop unstoppable momentum to achieve social and environmental justice through engineering.
“The stated goal of Engineers Without Borders UK is to engage and empower the engineering community to ensure a safe and equitable future for all.
As part of a global movement of more than 60 Engineers Without Borders organizations, it aims to inspire, educate and stimulate the engineering community and take concerted action to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering The organization believes that despite the fact that engineering employs approximately 5.7 million people in the UK, there is still a lack of clarity exists about the obligations of the profession “to people and the environment.
” While professional engineering institutions have individual codes of conduct and a statement of ethical principles already exists, to make a better world possible there must be a professional commitment to principles to put every day into action, it says, socially and ecologically To achieve justice, those working in and around engineering must commit to global responsibility.
The full 2030 strategy is available online. As the IET celebrates its 150th anniversary, E&T marked this engineering milestone by identifying seven “Technology Critical Targets” that must be met in order to survive on Earth for the next 150 years.
The IET has outlined its own stance on sustainability and climate change, outlining five core principles for engineering professionals, namely:
think long-term; think globally; strive for innovation; use all resources responsibly and be a champion.