Sustainable Engineering & its Guidelines

Dr. Kamal Bansal, Dean, College of Engineering Studies, UPESSustainable engineering can be considered as engineering to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising on the needs of the future generation. It requires understanding of the need to plan and quantify performance over the life-cycle of a project or programme, integrating technical performance with social, environmental and economic outcomes. It also involves the ability to conceptualise and define possible alternative engineering approaches and evaluate their advantages and disadvantages in terms of functionality, cost, sustainability and all other factors. It is the engineers that have the task of using the appropriate material and energy to fashion their products.

Engineer’s Role in Making Businesses Sustainable
A sustainable business is one which can adopt new methods/technology effectively and adapt quickly and smoothly to the changing market scenarios and demands. The word sustainability in current times has come to be associated with the environment; however, that is not the only aspect of sustainability that a business has to aim for. The sustainability of the business in both environmental aspect and economic aspects are linked; one cannot exist without the other.Engineers are the ones that can make this possible. Equipped as they are with technical know-how; they are aware of the advances in technology and can advise on how to go about incorporating them into the business and help them transition smoothly towards the ever-evolving goals of sustainability.

Emphasis of Sustainability in Engineering Curricula
In basic disciplines of engineering, sustainability is emphasised in one or two separate general subjects of environment sciences only. There is urgent need for a transformation of engineering education globally – within higher education institutions and in professional development. So that the society is equipped with professionals who can address our 21st Century sustainable living challenges. It is critical that both the latest information about global systems as well as the current and emerging endeavours to address sustainability challenges are integrated into engineering education in a timely manner. Such a transition involves content and cultural adjustment within the teaching fraternity. The call for a transformation of graduate knowledge and capabilities is coming from both industry and our future learners.

The sustainability of the business in both environmental aspect and economic aspects are linked; one cannot exist without the other

At post graduate level there are some programmes on sustainability, environment and energy technology. However, it is imperative that a novel instructional arrangement for engineers or upcoming engineers must be developed introducing sustainable development into the curriculum both for undergraduate, graduate level and also for the professional skill levels.

Importance of Sustainability for Organisations
Sustainability can have a variety of meanings, depending on the business context. In terms of the environment, sustainability may mean ensuring that natural resources are replaced or conserved for the long term and that ecosystems are not harmed. In terms of employment practices, sustainability may mean ensuring that employees are paid enough and given sufficient benefits to build families and contribute to their communities. And in the context of business practices, sustainability may simply mean that the overall corporate policies are not self- defeating or dangerous to the organisation’s long term well-being and reputation.

Integration of sustainability within a company’s core strategy has become imperative for its reputation and economic success. Through development of more sustainable business practices means efficiency in operations is going to increase. With better use and conservation of resources, operations will be streamlined and costs will decrease. Sustainability has an effect on the organisations, irrespective of their sizes. Increasingly, businesses are finding that embracing sustainable practices leads to better corporate culture, more reliable products and greater long term profitability.