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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
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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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Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT The three pillars of sustainable development are environment, society and economy as shown in Fig.3. Fig. 3. Pillars of Sustainable Development Sustainable development should have the following features:1. Satisfying human needs 2. Favouring a good quality of life through decent standards of living 3. Sharing resources between rich and poor 4. Acting with concern for future generations 5. Looking at the ‘cradle-to-grave’ impact when consuming 6. Minimizing resource use, waste and pollution WHAT IS TO BE SUSTAINED? Nature – Earth, Biodiversity, Ecosystems Life support – Resources, Environment Community – Cultures, Places WHAT IS TO BE DEVELOPED? People – Child survival, Life expectancy, Education, Equity, Equal opportunity Economy – Wealth, Production, Consumption Society – Institutions, Social capital, States, Regions MEASURES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The following are the measures of sustainability development:(i) Technology: Using appropriate technology is one which is locally adaptable, eco-friendly, cost effective, resource efficient and culturally suitable. Nature is often taken as a model, using the natural conditions of that region as its components. This concept is known as “design with nature”. (ii) Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Approach: The 3-R approach advocating minimization of resource use, using them again, and recycling the materials. It reduces pressure on our resources as well as reduces waste generation and pollution. Page 8

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