Environment theme policies and campaigns

Promoting economic growth while mitigating and adapting to climate change and the depletion of natural resources is key to a flourishing economy.

We need to minimise waste, pollution and our impact on the world around us. We must also adapt the way we do things to cope with the climate changes that are already underway.

We provide thought leadership around the environment theme, particularly the role that engineers play in tackling:

  • Population growth – as the population increases, and increasingly moves to urban regions there are significant challenges in the built environment, transportation and supporting infrastructure.
  • Global food supply - reducing food wastage and ensuring more food reaches end point without waste. This covers the supply chain, storage, transportation and customer expectations.
  • Water - as climate change means that both flooding and droughts are becoming more common-place, the water industry has to manage these extremes, ensuring that growing populations can continue to have access to clean water, manage sewage and ensure that environment is protected and biodiversity maintained.
  • Waste and recycling - traditional methods of dealing with waste such as landfilling or burning and burying produce unacceptable harmful emissions. Instead, different waste streams should be regarded as differentiated resources which can be re-used or re-manufactured. For many other types of waste, recovering their value to provide electricity, heat and/or transport fuels is an easy, valuable and more environmentally sound solution than recycling or landfilling.

Mechanical engineers work in many areas that are at the centre of resource consumption, ranging from energy generation and distribution, through transport and built infrastructure, to the manufacture of industrial and consumer goods. Our profession is therefore in a strong position to influence the use of the world's resources, through the designs we create, the materials we specify, the manufacturing processes we use, the efficiency of operation that we can achieve and the end of life options we provide for products and machines.

Dr Jenifer Baxter

Dr Jenifer Baxter

Environment policy spokesperson

Dr Jenifer Baxter joined the Institution as Head of Energy and the Environment in May 2015. Jenifer works closely with members to raise the profile of engineers and engineering potential, to generate discussion and provide thought leadership in the energy and environment sectors.

 Read Jenifer's full biography

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