Implementing Sustainability: Principles and Practice has just been released by Engineers Australia. It provides engineers of all disciplines and at all levels the principles for enacting sustainability as well as specific information for Australian conditions.
Most of you will recognise that sustainability is important and understand that it means future generations having equal or better environmental, social and economic conditions than at present. But, to achieve that, we need to understand the relationship between those environmental, social and economic aspects.
Sustainability requires recognising that this is an interdependent relationship. If we do not have a better environment, and better social conditions, then the economy is not serving us well. Another way of saying this is that society exists because environmental conditions allow and that the economy exists because society developed it: not the other way around.
Another principle is to recognise that the sustainability process is a powerful form of risk management because the process includes stakeholder and community consultation. This reduces the risk of nasty surprises developing during construction of a project when it is usually expensive to change. This is a reason for adopting sustainability as a mainstream process in addition to our ethical responsibilities.
Enquiries can be sent to [email protected].