Supporting Engineers Declare
On 1st May, the UK Government passed a motion making the UK parliament the first in the world to declare an ‘environmental and climate emergency.’ Shortly after, in June, they stated that they will bring forward legislation to set a Net Zero emission target into law. Around the same time, the past 17 Stirling Prize winning architect practices collaborated to launch, ‘Architects Declare’, which was their public declaration of a ‘Climate and Biodiversity Emergency.’ They outlined 11 action points towards achieving the goal of a zero carbon economy by 2050 and they invited every UK practice to join them. As of 30th July, 546 practices had signed up.
Following this lead, other disciplines within the built environment have looked at how they can get involved and in July ‘Structural Engineers Declare’ and ‘Civil Engineers Declare’ were launched. These declarations are supported by both the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers. The declarations highlight the challenges facing the construction industry and set out action points to help achieve the goal of the UK becoming a net zero economy by 2050.
As a Practice, our vision is, through our engineering design, to enable people to lead happier and healthier lives and ensure our structures and places have a positive impact on the environment. Given our major infrastructure systems account for approximately half of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, we have a real responsibility to lead the way, change the way we work and design, and ensure true collaboration across the built environment. We’re already doing a lot of this but we could all do more. So, to support us in achieving the goals and action points we have endorsed, we will have a dedicated Champion within the business to work with our collaborators. There’ll be more news on this in the near future……
We will also be encouraging our team to get involved. A great example of someone who is already doing this within the Practice, is Hannah Rathbone, one of our Senior Engineers in our London Studio. Hannah is a Graduate Member of the IStructE Council. She recently attended the July Council Meeting where the environment and climate emergency was the key topic. At the meeting the Institution’s role in supporting members to work towards the Net Zero carbon target was discussed, as were the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals which aim to deliver a sustainable built environment by 2030.