INNOVATION November-December 2013
pra t i ce ma t ter s
APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines – Changing Obligations for Members S ustainability has become an important issue for engineers and geoscientists in BC, across Canada, and internationally. APEGBC members have a responsibility and significant role to play in the development of a sustainable society through their professional practice. In an effort to reflect changing practice, and for the association 2. Integrate Sustainability into Professional Practice Integrate sustainability considerations into professional practice, reflecting our Code of Ethics’ requirements to maintain public safety, health, and welfare, and to protect the environment. Members must consider the combined environmental, social, and economic aspects that take into account the direct and indi- rect impacts over the full project life-cycle. 3. Collaborate with Peers and Experts from Concept to Completion
to provide relevant and helpful resources for professional engineers and geoscientists, the APEGBC Sustainability Committee undertook an extensive review and consultation period to update APEGBC’s former Sustainability Guidelines, originally adopted in 1995. APEGBC Council approved revisions to the APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines at their November 30, 2012, meeting. The guidelines will come into effect for members in January 2014. The guidelines’ primary directive is that members must discuss with their clients or employers the opportunity to incorporate sustainability into the project or work. Sustainable options would only be presented if the client or employer wishes to proceed. If the client or employer declines, the member’s obligation is complete. Below are the five guideline statements that form the APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines. Further elaboration is available online at www.apeg.bc.ca/sustainability. Within the scope of professional practice, members and licensees have a responsibility to: 1. Maintain a Current Knowledge of Sustainability Maintain a level of competence on matters of sustainability related to the member’s area of expertise, and seek additional expertise as necessary. The knowledge, concepts, and opportuni- ties for sustainable solutions are rapidly evolving and members should strive to keep skills up-to-date, and advance the under- standing of sustainability in their field of practice.
Collaborate with peers and experts at key stages, particularly across disciplines, to identify appropriate alternatives and new opportunities for more sustainable results. 4. Develop and Prepare Clear Justifications to Implement Sustainable Solutions Discuss opportunities and document decisions made related to the integration of environmental, social, and economic metrics. These discussions should occur early enough to enable the client or employer to make informed decisions about how to implement an appropriate level of sustainability considerations in the task or solution. 5. Assess Sustainability Performance and Identify Opportunities for Improvement Identify opportunities to improve knowledge and professional practice related to sustainability, where best practice is to assess actual performance of implemented solutions against the original design goals and metrics. Training and educational seminars and webinars on the revised guidelines will be organized by the Sustainability Committee and APEGBC, and offered throughout the province as continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. An audio recording of the Sustainability Guidelines presentation that took place at the 2013 Annual Conference will be made available online in the near future.
APEGBC resources are available to assist members in integrating sustainability considerations into their professional practice:
Meeting the Client’s Needs - Environmental Social & Economic Criteria Seminar – March 7, 2014 The APEGBC Sustainability Guidelines
Examples of past Sustainability Award projects can be viewed online at www.apeg.bc.ca/ sustainability. Questions? Comments? Formore information, contact us at sustainability @apeg.bc.ca.
are available online at www.apeg.bc.ca/ sustainability.
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