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Engineers To ‘Get Real’ About Sustainability

23 May 2006

Engineers To ‘Get Real’ About Sustainability

“Engineers need to ‘get real’ about sustainability” says professional engineer and past-President of IPENZ, Gerry Te Kapa Coates. “Most of us have been able to ignore it for too long, but with oil depletion and global heating now a reality, we have to change our practices”.

Gerry was commenting on the launch of ‘Sustainability and Engineering in New Zealand’, a guide for engineers trying to make the transition to thinking sustainably in the 21st century.

“It is possible to make the transition to renewable energy and reduce our greenhouse gas emission if we start now,” he says. “The way we currently use resources of all kinds is unsustainable”, says Gerry. “We need to reduce use by 10 to 50-fold which is achievable through cleaner production, recycling and sustainable technology design. Engineers are involved in all aspects of resource use, so we need to take the lead on sustainability – it’s our professional responsibility”.

Gerry is a consulting engineer and from 2003 to 2004 was President of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). During his presidency he initiated and led a Task Committee that focused on putting sustainability back on engineers’agendas. This document is the result of that work.

‘Sustainability and Engineering in New Zealand’ was edited by Dr Ir Ron McDowall, New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science.

The other authors are: Carol Boyle, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Civil and Environment Engineering, Auckland. Andrew Macbeth, Group Leader, Transportation for MWH New Zealand Limited, Christchurch Ian Shearer, Energy Consultant, Energy Information Services Limited, Wellington Nadine Wakim, Environmental Engineer, Maunsell’s Auckland Environment Services Group, Auckland

‘Sustainability and Engineering in New Zealand’ is available from the IPENZ website


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