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Energy, environment and sustainability explained

Energy Environment and Sustainability Group (EESG) represents engineers working towards the transition to a “sustainable future”.

We focus on the many challenges arising from climate change and resource depletion, including the engineering changes that enable desirable technological and non-technological changes.


Energy is the capacity of a physical system to do work. In the context of EESG, it covers the science, technology and engineering relating to the conversion, supply, storage, distribution, conservation, and use of energy in all its various forms.

Environment in the context of EESG covers the science, technology and engineering relating to the management, protection, conservation and enhancement of the environment, for benefit of society and the earth's natural ecosystems. EESG recognises that human society exists wholly within the natural environment, and that it is wholly subject to the laws of ecology.

Sustainable Development and Sustainability have been defined in various ways. We accept and work with the following:

Brundtland Report, 1987

"Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."

The Engineer of the 21st Century Inquiry, 2000

“Sustainability can best be defined as the capacity for continuance into the long-term future. Sustainability depends upon maintaining, and where possible increasing our stocks of certain assets, so that we manage to live off the income without depleting the capital. Sustainable development is the process by which, over time, we succeed in managing all the different capital flows in our economies on a genuinely sustainable basis.” 

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