GEC Panel Conference debate Sustainability is bad for good development (for all)
26th October 2018: Presented and designed by UKBCSD
Panel members from left: Tassos Kougionis (BSRIA); Jacke Sadek (UK Regeneration); Martin Cooper (Prologis) and Allan Simpson (Anglian Water)
In attendance, a global representation of the civil engineering profession. Chaired by Jackie Sadek, the panel of professional experts engaged with the audience in a lively debate regarding the implications of whether they can demonstrate how sustainable development is beneficial for their practice and client base.
Time for doing rather than talking
During the Global Engineering Congress held at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London in October, UKBCSD hosted a panel discussion designed specifically to challenge the audience with the proposition “Sustainability is bad for good development”.
Jackie Sadek, Chief Executive of UK Regeneration, chaired the debate, in front of an audience representing the global engineering profession. The panel of professional experts included Tassos Kougionis of BSRIA, Martin Cooper of Prologis and, Allan Simpson of Anglia Water, who together engaged with the audience in a lively debate regarding the implications of the conference title and whether it really does represent their experience and views.
Among the headlines emerging from the discussion were a unanimous agreement from the panel that there is a business case for sustainability. Sustainable development is good development. Over-regulation and over-prescription, rather than commercial leadership, leads to box ticking and bad development. The industry needs regulation to address market failure but not at the expense of innovation, which must not be stifled. It was acknowledged that this is a delicate balancing act.
The panel agreed that there is no ‘silver bullet’ or ‘one size fits all’ solution to meet IPCC commitments but partnership and collaboration is critical, if the agenda is to be moved forward towards tangible results. Engineers need and welcome non-engineers in creating tomorrow’s solutions for greater resilience and better places to live.
The panel concluded that measuring impact is the demonstrable evidence vital to communicating why sustainable development is good for communities and other stakeholders. The time is now right for doing rather than talking, a point emphasised by younger engineers who want the profession to take a more active leadership in this.