Reaching the tipping point for globally responsible engineering
Our 2021-2030 strategy provides a strong, persuasive plan to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering, ensuring a safe and just future for all.
Doctors have a moral duty to their patients, first and foremost. Lawyers have a moral duty to justice, first and foremost. But what about engineers?
For a sector that employs 5.7 million people in the UK alone, we continue to have a surprising lack of clarity around our commitments to people and planet. We have the Professional Engineering Institutions individual codes of conduct and the Statement of Ethical Principles, but to enable a better world a professional commitment should be about putting principles into action, every single day.
As we look ahead to the 2030 deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is time for the engineering community to proactively consider how we can address the destruction of global ecosystems and the current failure to meet the basic human rights of everyone.
The engineering community is uniquely placed to address these challenges – and can do so if we take a different approach and act urgently.
There needs to be a rapid move towards globally responsible practice. This means critically reflecting on the role of engineering in society and understanding the social, environmental and economic impacts engineering has, both locally to where it is implemented and globally through supply chains and operational outputs.
We need to move from an approach of engineering for people and planet to an approach of engineering with people and planet; a globally responsible approach.
This is an ambitious strategy but the scale of the challenge demands it. By bringing together thousands of people and organisations, we will develop unstoppable momentum towards achieving social and environmental justice through engineering. Whether you are an engineer, academic, university student, or involved with engineering in any way, we want and need you to be a part of this movement for change.
To achieve social and environmental justice, we need those working in and around engineering to commit to global responsibility. Our 2021-30 strategy sets out four key principles for globally responsible engineering that we want to see adopted across the engineering community and embedded in the culture of how all engineering is taught and practiced.
Responsible. To meet the needs of all people within the limits of our planet.
Purposeful. To shape outcomes to be equitable and ethical throughout engineering and the life cycle of any project.
Inclusive. To ensure diverse viewpoints and knowledge are included and respected in the engineering process and outcomes.
Regenerative. To maximise the ability of all living systems to achieve and maintain a healthier state and naturally co-evolve.
Introducing the Global Responsibility Competency Compass
To further understand how to embed these principles into your day to day practice, we have developed a Competency Compass that identifies the key competencies required to deliver on the four principles of globally responsible engineering.
We are stronger together. Through strategic partnerships with organisations that share a commitment to ensuring a safe and just future for all, we can drive lasting and effective change.