Module 1 - Introduction to Sustainable Engineering - SIMAT
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