Environmental sustainability in the IET rules of conduct

Examples of specific rules that are relevant to the value of environmental sustainability.

29. Persons in any category of membership shall at all times uphold the dignity and reputation of their profession, act with fairness and integrity towards everyone with whom their work is connected, and towards other members and safeguard the public interest in matters of health, safety, the environment and otherwise.

What are the demands of fairness with regard to the environment? Are you trying to be fair to the people directly affected by your work? To people in general? To people who are not yet born? To things other than people (animals, plants, etc.)? Analysing the public interest in environmental matters is a very complex question, to which there are no easy answers. One thing is clear – the environment is now something which no engineer can choose to ignore.

9. Members shall take all reasonable steps to avoid waste of natural resources, damage to the environment, and damage or destruction of man-made products. Lawful work undertaken by members in connection with equipment intended for the defence of a nation will not infringe this Rule or Rule 8.

Your conception of what is ‘reasonable’ in this context may differ greatly from that of other engineers. Openly discussing these issues is therefore vital.