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Sustainability (and the challenge for engineers) Dr Sally Uren EPC Brighton Congress 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability (and the challenge for engineers) Dr Sally Uren EPC Brighton Congress 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability (and the challenge for engineers) Dr Sally Uren EPC Brighton Congress 2005

2 Sally Uren22 March 2005 About Forum for the Future… in a slide Sustainable Development charity (NGO) –Educate and promote SD for charitable status Partnerships - with key actors and decision- makers across various sectors –‘Critical Friends’ Solutions orientated Transformation Share learning and disseminate

3 Sally Uren22 March 2005 What is sustainability? It’s urgent: Climate change identified as one of the top 2 challenges for this Government. Future Flooding, Office of Science and Technology 2004 It’s important: UK Government Sustainability Strategy 2005 shows a high level commitment. It’s real: Global Warming floods threaten 4 million people in the UK. It’s about justice: If the world’s food were distributed equally, no one would go hungry. It’s about you: ‘Engineering is one of the best routes to protecting the plant’ Lord Sainsbury of Turville

4 Sally Uren22 March 2005 Understanding sustainability Environment Society Economy Triple bottom lineSustainable Development There is a hierarchy: the environment underpins all activities

5 Sally Uren22 March 2005 The 5 Capitals SUSTAINABILITY - the point at which all capital stocks are being maintained or enhanced to secure the “flows” (or services) on which we depend. Intellectual capital STOCK FLOWS Natural Capital Social Capital UTILITY/BENEFIT TO HUMAN KIND Financial Capital Human Capital Manufactured Capital

6 Sally Uren22 March 2005 The Natural Step: Systems Conditions In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing... 1… concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust 2.…concentrations of substances produced by society 3… degradation by physical means and, in that society 4… human needs are met worldwide

7 Sally Uren22 March ,000 kg Raw Resource 1000 kg Finished Product consumed 100 kg long-term durables left in home Manufacture DISCARD 6 months USECONVERTEXTRACT Biffa, 2000 The Challenge to Engineers

8 Sally Uren22 March 2005 Four Change Challenges Choosing the sustainability option must become cheaper and easier The capacity of teachers and trainers to integrate sustainability into courses must be developed Specifying for sustainability criteria in materials and processes must become an effective tool for change, at both end of supply chains Sustainability thinking and practices must be embedded into organisations and across different professional groups

9 Sally Uren22 March 2005 Engineers for the 21 st Century: Phase 3 What needs to happen for young engineers moving into leadership positions within the next few decades to have the education, training, professional and technical support, and the working environment they need to contribute positively to the challenge of sustainable development? How can the profession modernise to become an attractive choice for talented young people who want a life-affirming career?

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