Image credit: https://www.nwahomepage.com/news/celebrate-earth-day-at-botanical-garden-of-the-ozarks/
On April 22nd, we will celebrate Earth Day! In this month’s DEI Spotlight we would like to discuss the concept of environmental justice and provide some examples of how the structural engineering community can play a role in and commit to a greener and more sustainable future.
Environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (EPA). Some examples of environmental injustices could be the disproportionate impacts felt by low-income communities in coastal areas where sea level rise will threaten their homes or the effects of harmful pollutants emitted from refineries or manufacturing plants built near affordable housing communities.
Structural engineers, and those in adjacent industries, can play a role in addressing these issues by being aware of how our projects contribute to or help mitigate the impacts of climate change. One resource is the SE 2050 Commitment Program, a response to the SE 2050 Challenge which states “all structural engineers shall understand, reduce and ultimately eliminate embodied carbon in their projects by 2050.” This program is organized by the ASCE SEI Sustainability Committee and is a great tool for understanding how the construction industry can play a role in the environmental future of our planet.
Additionally, we would like to wish a peaceful and happy Ramadan to our colleagues who are celebrating for the month - Ramadan Mubarak!
SEAONC SE3 Committee
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Group
The SEAONC SE3 Monthly DEI spotlight is a forum to engage our members and share resources relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the structural engineering profession.
You can also find the DEI Spotlight each month SEAONC Post Newsletter!