Sustainable Development is the challenge of meeting human needs for natural resources, industrial products, energy, food, transportation, shelter and effective waste management while conserving and protecting environmental quality and the natural resource base essential for future development.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognizes the leadership role of engineers in sustainable development, and their responsibility to provide quality and innovation in addressing the challenges of sustainability. The ASCE Code of Ethics requires civil engineers to strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties. ASCE will work on a global scale to promote public recognition and understanding of the needs and opportunities for sustainable development.
The demand on natural resources is fast outstripping supply in the developed and developing world. Environmental, economic, social and technological development must be seen as interdependent and complementary concepts, where economic competitiveness and ecological sustainability are complementary aspects of the common goal of improving the quality of life.
Sustainable development requires strengthening and broadening the education of engineers and finding innovative ways to achieve needed development while conserving and preserving natural resources.
To achieve these objectives, ASCE supports the following implementation strategies:
Engineers have a leading role in planning, designing, building, and ensuring a sustainable future. Engineers provide the bridge between science and society. In this role, engineers must actively promote and participate in multidisciplinary teams with other professionals, such as ecologists, economists, and sociologists, to effectively address the issues and challenges of sustainable development.
SOURCE: ASCE (2004a).