Approved by the Committee for Sustainability on July 18, 2013Approved by the Public Policy Committee on August 14, 2013Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 8, 2013Policy The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) defines sustainability as a set of economic, environmental and social conditions in which all of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and improve its quality of life indefinitely, without degrading the quantity, quality or the availability of natural, economic and social resources. Sustainable development is the application of these resources to enhance the safety, welfare, and quality of life for all of society.
Issue ASCE recognizes the leadership role of engineers in sustainable development, and their responsibility to provide effective and innovative solutions 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.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. Rationale 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, and work with the communities served and affected to effectively address the issues and challenges of sustainable development. ASCE Policy Statement 418First Approved in 1993