National Environment Guideline
The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers has approved a new national
guideline to promote greater consideration of the environment and sustainable
issues in the practice of engineering. Developed by the Environment Committee
of CCPE's Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board, the Practice Guideline
on the Environment and Sustainability for all Professional Engineers sets
out the core principles of environmentally friendly engineering.
It also sets out the environmental responsibilities of engineers, and
defines the terms sustainability and sustainable development, says a CCPE
"CCPE developed the new national guideline in conjunction with our 12
members, the associations/ordre responsible for regulating the profession
of engineering in Canada. We encourage them to make engineers across Canada
aware of the guideline, and to incorporate its principles into their own
provincial/territorial guidelines," said Marie Lemay, ing., CCPE's chief
"The new guideline is intended to promote the same core principles as
CCPE's national Code of Ethics, which calls on engineers to hold paramount
the safety, health and welfare of the public and the protection of the
environment. Following the principles contained in the guideline is in
the best interests of the public, the environment, engineers across Canada,
and the engineering profession."
CCPE's new guideline, which updates and replaces its 1995 guideline,
the Environmental Practice of Professional Engineering, is based on four
* Education, awareness and competence - all engineers must ensure that
they are suitably equipped to practice in an environmentally responsible
Integration and protection of the environment in engineering work - all
engineering work must include an evaluation of its impact on the environment
and of its sustainability;
Cooperation and compliance - all engineers should play a prominent role
in promoting compliance with sound environmental practices, and in promoting
the principles of sustainability. They must comply with regulations and
cooperate fully with regulating authorities; and
Leadership and responsibility - all engineers have an obligation to take
a leadership role in environmental issues which they are competent to
address, and in promoting sustainability.
The environmental obligations of professional engineers are summarized
in the guideline's conclusion: "Environmental protection/enhancement and
sustainability are fundamental to the practice of all areas of engineering…All
engineers bear a responsibility to make a positive contribution to the
environment through their decisions."
Sustainability is defined as a process or state that can be maintained
indefinitely, and which integrates an appropriate balance between a viable
economy, protection of the environment and social well-being. In turn,
sustainable development is defined as "development that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their own needs."
The new guideline has been published and will be posted on CCPE's website. All of CCPE's
other national guidelines are currently posted on the site, and will
be available in a downloadable PDF format.