The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) says it is asking members to “show leadership” on environmental issues after being called on to demonstrate how it is helping to combat climate change.

Legal & General Investment Management has written to several professional bodies to ask them to explain how they have made a deliberate effort to embed climate change mitigation and adaptation into their qualifications.

“We would like to understand what your professional body has done to embed, not as an ad hoc voluntary area of learning but as an integral part of the professional qualification and practice of all your members,” says the letter. “Given the UK’s phenomenal reputation in the built environment for skills both in engineering, design and project management, leadership by your professional body to embed this revolutionary change into how we design and implement and create our built environment within the next 10 to 20 years is fundamental.”

In response, ICE director general Nick Baveystock said: “The issue of climate change, and more broadly sustainability, are something that the ICE takes incredibly seriously and has done for many years.”

The ICE said it had built on the Engineering Council standards and structured one of the nine attributes in its professional review process around sustainability. Candidates seeking to become Chartered Engineers or Incorporated Engineers must demonstrate knowledge of sustainable development, it said.

As a member of the Society of the Environment, the ICE can award the title “Chartered Environmentalist” to qualified members. “Becoming a Chartered Environmentalist confirms an engineer’s credentials as an expert in environmental matters, giving employers, clients and peers trust in their professional capabilities,” Baveystock said.

Baveystock said the ICE had held a round table discussion as part of its “energy, resilience and climate change” knowledge campaign.

“At that, it was agreed that engineers should show leadership in this field,” he said, “The ICE has initiated numerous project groups tasked with tackling infrastructure challenges and providing guidance on many issues, including the sustainability of civil infrastructure.

“The ‘ICE’s aim is to tackle these identified issues head-on and share this knowledge among civil engineers and infrastructure professionals.”

A Global Engineering Congress will be held in October which aims to focus on “how engineers can better the lives of the billions of people around the world who still face a myriad of challenges including water poverty, slum accommodation and poor health, and who deserve better in the 21st century”.

Source : New Civil Engineer

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