Sustainability can be defined as the maintenance of a resource or development at a specific level. Consequently, it can be used to mean the careful measures taken to avoid exhaustion of natural resources with a view of maintaining ecological balance. The second meaning is of great significance especially to the engineering family. In as much as engineers have to carry out projects and get paid, they have to keep an eye on the future of the environment. There is a great relationship between the discipline and the environment in general. It is the duty of the professions to ensure that no destructions are made in the environment in their line of duty (Catalano, 2014). After all, they are meant to create but not to destroy. To ensure sustainability and accountability, it is important to incorporate some of this issues into the curriculum. Curriculum-based ideologies are unlikely to fade away. Individuals in the profession have to be trained fully on the do and don'ts so as to avoid environmental destruction. This can only be achieved by emphasizing as well as the implementation of some of the principles and factors of sustainability.
One of the key principles is that the viability of the planet and to be more specific earth has to be maintained. In any case, engineers have to lead the rest of the world as far as this is concerned. It can appear as an easy task to an ordinary man but it is only the individuals in the profession who knows the difficulties involved in the whole process. The integrity of global systems especially those that can never be replaced has to be maintained or else the world is heading towards the wrong direction. Similarly, more efficient products are being produced so that whatever resources that are available should never be depleted with no reasonable products. The waste products from the manufacturing industries are being recycled to ensure that there is no much wastage. It is, therefore, the duty of engineers to ensure that there are available systems that can support the recycling of these materials. Apart from the recycling of the wastes, there should be a system that allows for treatment of some of the non-renewable waste products. For example, wastewaters from the industries have to undergo some treatment processes before they are channeled into the natural water bodies. This will ensure safety to the aquatic life as well as the society. On the other hand, engineers are to ensure that there is a balance between the depletion of the non-renewable sources of energy and the innovation of new ways of generating energy. This will reduce the chances of the world living in dilemma due to a lack of energy resources.
Another principle that relates engineering and sustainability is that there should be some sort of equity between the current generation and the future generations. It can be very mean of one to only care about the current issues forgetting that there is always a tomorrow. It is the duty of the profession to ensure that there is no rift between generations due to their negligence (Boyle, 2005). Additionally, the engineers should never do their work in favor of the rich. In most cases, it happens that only the rich have the chance to access this resources which is very wrong. In as much as technology is important, engineers should have in mind several other factors so that they don't have to act blindly.
From the few paragraphs, it is evident that engineers can never run away from their responsibilities as ambassadors of environmental conservation. Engineers must consider issues of public interest and should never be swayed by money or political waves to compromise their work. They have to stand by the professional ethics and help to make the world a better place to be. After all, it is their duty to build but not to destroy. The first goal of any competent engineers it to champion for a better environment.
Boyle, C. (2005). Sustainability principles and practice for engineers. Retrieved from https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/2292/244/244.pdf?sequence=1
Catalano, G. D. (2014). Engineering Ethics: Peace, justice, and the earth.
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