Consulting engineers promote sustainable development

ACEC report reviews sustainability measurement systems for engineering projects

OTTAWA, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Today the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Canada (ACEC) is launching Sustainable Development for Canadian Consulting Engineers, a valuable resource for consulting engineers as well as owners of both public and private infrastructure. In addition to explaining the important role engineers play in ensuring our sustainable future, this report identifies proven practices and tools developed by the engineering community around the world that will help consulting engineers and their clients achieve sustainable projects that meet the needs of our population over the long term.

"As an industry and as a country it is imperative that we both promote practices that serve today's needs and those of future generations," said John Gamble, President of ACEC. The concept of sustainable development – the idea that we must improve resource efficiency and environmental protection while we build a world-class economy – is inherent in good engineering practice and has been embraced by the Canadian engineering community for decades. However, sustainability has not formally and explicitly been embedded in the way in which consulting engineers do their work in Canada. "It is in the long-term that the value proposition of engineering is strongest. Consulting engineers provide the best value to both clients and society when measured against criteria such as life-cycle savings, design life, reliability and environmental sustainability," according to Gamble.

The report's author and internationally recognized authority on sustainability, Dr. John Boyd, P.Eng., Ph.D., believes that "Canada has an opportunity to be a world leader in environmentally sustainable projects that meet the needs of today's modern economy. Those twin goals are not mutually exclusive. Delivering the infrastructure our economy needs in a manner which takes future generations' needs into account is increasingly viable."

Sustainable development will increasingly drive our economy in the future. The industry takes this issue very seriously, and this report will both contribute to a growing body of knowledge and guide consulting engineering firms and their clients towards solutions that address today's needs and those of tomorrow.

"Canadian consulting engineers are among the best in the world," said Boyd. "We are ready to provide leadership in this vitally important area. Marrying economic growth with environmental protection is the challenge of this century. This report will provide vital guidance to our sector as it seeks to develop sustainable infrastructure solutions."

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Canada represents companies in Canada that provide professional engineering services to both public and private-sector clients. These services include the planning, design and execution of all types of engineering projects, as well as providing independent advice and expertise in a wide range of engineering and engineering-related fields. For more information about ACEC, please visit www.acec.ca.

John Boyd, P.Eng., Ph.D. has contributed to the consulting engineering industry through his 35-year tenure with Golder Associates and as a board member with various industry organizations, including ACEC and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). He participated in the development of FIDIC's Project Sustainability Management System and has provided sustainability training for consulting engineers in Canada and internationally. Dr. Boyd currently teaches a graduate course on sustainability for engineers at the University of Toronto.

SOURCE Association of Consulting Engineering Companies

For further information: John Gamble, CET, P.Eng., President, (613) 236-0569 ext. 201, jgamble@acec.ca