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Note for Sustainable Engineering - SE By Jyotirmayee Reddy

  • Sustainable Engineering - SE
  • Note
  • Sreepathy Institute of Management and Technology - SIMAT
  • Computer Science Engineering
  • 28 Topics
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Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Exhaustion of Resources – Water, Petroleum, Forests Loss of Biodiversity - Extinction of Animal/Plant Species due to Water, Soil, Air Pollution Deforestation - conversion of forestland to farms, urban use etc. Ozone Depletion - reduction of the amount of ozone in the stratosphere due to the emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFC/s emitted from the industries, rises to the Stratosphere. Sunlight breaks CFCs to release Chlorine. Chlorine reacts with Ozone and destroys it. Acid Deposition – results in acid rain, acid fog and acid mist. Desertification - type of land degradation in which a land region becomes dry, typically losing its water bodies, vegetation and wildlife. Eutrophication - form of water pollution occurs when excessive fertilizers run into lakes and rivers. This encourages the overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants. Global Warming - gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases – Carbon oxides, Nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides, Fluorocarbons The environmental impact, caused by economy on production and society on consumption, leads to the following damages to human life. 1. Fresh water scarcity 2. Climate change 3. Exposure to toxics in food, air, water and soil 4. Emerging diseases 5. Food insecurity resulting in poverty 6. Energy scarcity due to depletion of non-renewable resources 7. Ecosystem damage and habitat loss due to pollutant discharges 8. Sea level rise The need of sustainability is to reduce these damages and create a livable planet earth for the future generations. For this, United Nations presented the following key sustainability concepts:- Intergenerational equity – Expects the present generation to hand over a safe, healthy and resourceful environment to the future generation. Intra-generational equity – Emphasize the technological development should support economic growth of the poorer section, so as to reduce the gap between nations. Sustainability means balancing environment, society and economy, as shown in Fig 2. Fig 2: Sustainability Page 4

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Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT 4. SOCIAL- ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY CONCEPTS The concept of sustainability is based on the basis that people and their communities are made up of social, economic, and environmental systems that are in constant interaction and that must be kept in harmony. SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY There are six principles of sustainability that can help a community ensure that its social, economic, and environmental systems are well integrated and will endure. A community or society that wants to pursue sustainability will try to: 1. Maintain residents’ quality of life. Quality of life has many components: income, education, health care, housing, employment, legal rights. Each locality must define and plan for the quality of life it wants and believes it can achieve, for now and for future generations. 2. Enhance local economic vitality. A viable local economy is essential to sustainability. This includes job opportunities, sufficient tax base and revenue to support government and the provision of infrastructure and services, and a suitable business climate. 3. Promote social and intergenerational equity. A sustainable community’s resources and opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, cultural background, religion, or other characteristics. Further, a sustainable community does not deplete its resources and destroy natural systems. 4. Maintain the quality of the environment. A sustainable community tries to find ways to co-exist with natural environment and ecosystem. It avoids unnecessary degradation of the air, oceans, fresh water, and other natural systems. Page 5

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Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT 5. Incorporate disaster resilience and mitigation into its decisions and actions. A community is resilient in the face of inevitable natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and drought if it takes steps to ensure that such events cause as little damage as possible. 6. Use a consensus-building, participatory process when making decisions. Participatory processes are vital to community sustainability... It encourages the identification of concerns and issues, promotes the wide generation of ideas for dealing with those concerns, and helps those involved find a way to reach agreement about solutions. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Environmental sustainability requires: 1. Maintenance of biodiversity (genes, species and ecosystems) 2. Protection of natural capital (air, water, soils etc) 3. Maintenance of the energy and material cycles of the planet 4. Health and resilience of all life support systems. This can be achieved by: 1. Reduce dependence upon finite, virgin resources like Fossil fuels, minerals and metals 2. Nature must not be subjected to increased concentrations of substances produced by society. This requires that consideration be given to the biodegradability of substances and the length of time it takes the earth to reabsorb them. 3. The physical basis for the productivity and biodiversity of nature must be not systematically degraded. This requires that we protect diverse and special habitats. 4. There must be efficient use and fair distribution of resources to enable humans to meet their needs. This requires a reduction in consumerism, especially among wealthy nations. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY The economic sustainability ensures that the industry or business is making profit without creating much damage to environment/ecology. Economic growth is expressed in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is the total amount of production produced within a nation, within one year. Economic growth has to be sustainable, if it improves quality of human life. Thus population factor must be included to ensure fair resource consumption. Developed Country Developing Country Resource Consumption Population Not Sustainable Sustainable Sustainable Not Sustainable Page 6

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Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT ECONOMIC-SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MATRIX Quality Economic Issue Social Issue Environmental Issue of Life Unsustainable Sustainable Unsustainable Sustainable Unsustainable Sustainable Concerns Access to Drinking Adequate High-level of High cost of drinking Conservation of water water pollution in Water drinking water denied existing fresh availability supply to lakes and water to weaker water bodies at low cost all sections rivers section Overuse of fertilizers and pesticides High cost of Access to Adequate Food is of pollute the food and use Good food good food access to nutritious environment. Food of fertilizers available at denied to good food quality and and pesticides low cost weaker to all related diseases Deforestation in farming section sections are lowered. - conversion of forestland to farms Overuse of energy by the Adequate Use of High cost and Electricity rich society energy Use of fossil renewable Energy intermittent available at and available fuels and resources.(solar, power supply low cost inadequate to all pollution wind, biomass) energy sections distribution 5. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The concept of sustainable development has received much recognition after the Stockholm declaration in the year 1972. Sustainable development is the development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Definition proposed by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 in their report “Our Common Future”). Page 7

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