Today John Staves, our Managing Director attended the Institution of Structural Engineers “Engineers Declare” summit in London.
Climate change and its impact on the construction industry have been recognised for some time. Recently, the UK government announced a groundbreaking move to legislate a Net Zero Carbon target, ringing the alarm bells for all involved in the built environment. This shift will place substantial responsibilities on structural engineers to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
Supporting a Positive Change
In response to this pivotal moment, IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) is embracing the “Structural Engineers Declaration,” an initiative led by influential structural engineers. This declaration urges companies to transform their working methods to address climate and biodiversity emergencies.
The Role of IStructE
IStructE is committed to supporting its members by sharing best practices and providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary professional development. This support will help individuals navigate the changing landscape of structural engineering.
The Urgency of Climate Action
The declaration highlights the dire consequences of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss. The construction industry contributes significantly to these issues, being responsible for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. It’s time for a paradigm shift in our industry, where we create buildings, cities, and infrastructures as integral components of a self-sustaining system in harmony with nature.
- Commitment to Change
- Structural engineers are committing to:
- Raising awareness of climate and biodiversity emergencies among clients and collaborators.
- Advocating for regenerative design practices and government funding.
- Measuring success by climate and biodiversity mitigation principles.
- Sharing knowledge and research openly.
- Evaluating projects to contribute positively to climate mitigation.
- Prioritizing extended use of existing buildings.
- Incorporating life cycle costing and whole-life carbon modelling.
- Embracing regenerative design principles.
- Collaborating to reduce construction waste.
- Shifting to low embodied carbon materials.
- Minimizing wasteful resource use in structural engineering.
A Call to Action
IStructE hopes that every structural engineering practice in the UK will join in this commitment to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. It’s time for the industry to embrace change, advocate for sustainability, and work toward a more regenerative future. The “Structural Engineers Declaration” is not just a starting point; it’s a collective step toward a sustainable and resilient future for all.