Digitalization, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile telecoms will transform the role of engineering, from construction and manufacturing to design, operation, maintenance and renewal. This digital-first approach will unleash the huge untapped potential of engineers to deliver change.
To take just one example of how we are tackling the most fundamental impact of all – CO2 emissions – industry has already agreed on best practice that is easily scalable.
The impact of the built environment on CO2 emissions is very significant. UN figures show it is even larger than impacts from solid waste or water effluents. As a result, we know that we need to Assess, Reduce, Offset, and Declare and Report on the progress we are making to manage CO2.
BSI took a decision some years ago to re-position its work to support the implementation of standards in the built environment to a digital-first approach, recognizing that the future of construction and asset management is being transformed through software and data.
Through our standards work we already have the tools, including world leading standards for carbon management in organizations, cities and infrastructure – the PAS 2060, 2070 and 2080 series. What we need is the commitment to use these standards in our organizations and our projects. We know we have levers we can pull - now we must pull them.
It’s all about mindset. We are on a journey in the built environment that has taken too long to get going, but which is finally accelerating. It’s a journey from compliance to leadership –accelerated by consensus. For too long we have been locked in a compliance mindset. As a sector, we need to see our role as leaders in shaping a sustainable built environment, not merely as the agents of others.
Just as the work of the Engineering Standards Committee helped British engineering collaborate and achieve consensus back in the early 1900s, so today BSI is a facilitator of collaboration and consensus, and a custodian of industry best practice. As such, we will work tirelessly with industry, government, the professional institutions and associations in the built environment, and the wider public to deliver our part.
Facing up to the future requires leadership to move beyond a compliance mindset: to recognize that collaboration builds trust, and that trust brings success.