Sustainability

Climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse are the most serious issues of our time and transformational action is required in all engineering sectors and disciplines. Engineers have a critical role, and an ethical obligation to play this role, in the transition to a more sustainable society.  

The Council of Engineers Ireland approved a Sustainability Framework on 18th July 2020 to align our sustainability actions with our core objectives under the headings: Learn (professional formation and development), Live (operations), Lead (advocacy and regulation) and Link (collaboration). 

Our approach to sustainability includes the resilience of our built and natural environment in the face of extreme weather (climate adaptation), the need to reduce emissions related to our buildings, vehicles and infrastructure (climate mitigation), biodiversity protection and enhancement, and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainability Framework includes a set of initial actions which has been developed in consultation with our members and staff. The Sustainability Framework will be delivered alongside the Engineers Ireland Strategy 2021-23, progress is reported to the Council and Executive Board and further actions will be undertaken as our work develops.

Engineers Ireland
Sustainability Framework
Engineers Ireland's Sustainability Framework aligns our sustainability actions with our core objectives under the headings Learn, Live, Lead and Link.


Declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

On 22nd February 2020, the Council of Engineers Ireland – which includes representatives of our engineering divisions and regional branches – passed a motion to declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, publicly recognising that climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse are the most serious issues of our time. The Council of Engineers Ireland acknowledges the considered opinion of the scientific community that transformational action is required to achieve meaningful outcomes.  

The planet has ecological limits and a finite biocapacity, a paradigm shift is required to realign humanity’s ecological footprint within this capacity. Indeed, with our existing technologies and fossil fuel dependence, we will fail to achieve our existing commitments. Engineers Ireland is adding our voice to those of professional bodies and other organisations around the world by declaring a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency.

Engineers Ireland members will take action to address the impact of the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. In this most important of missions, we will collaborate with scientists, environmentalists, government, their advisors, public service, other professions and civil society.

As a professional body with 25,000 members, we will act as a leading voice for sustainability. Under the environmental and social obligations of our Code of Ethics, our members shall for example: 

  • promote the principles and practices of sustainable development and the needs of present and future generations.
  • strive to accomplish the objectives of their work with the most efficient consumption of natural resources which is practicable economically, including the maximum reduction in energy usage, waste and pollution.
  • promote the importance of social and environmental factors to professional Colleagues, employers and clients with whom they share responsibility and collaborate with other professions to mitigate the adverse impacts of their common endeavours.
  • foster environmental awareness within the profession and among the public

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Marguerite Sayers 200x167

The above Declaration was made by Former President of Engineers Ireland, Marguerite Sayers, on 4th March 2020, World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development. This UNESCO-WFEO international day aims to highlight the achievements of engineers and engineering in our modern world and improve public understanding of how engineering and technology is central to modern life and sustainable development.