The Sustainable Development Goals form the UN’s plan to achieve a more just, egalitarian, and sustainable world by the year 2030. All member countries are actively working towards their achievement, together with thousands of public and private entities around the planet. But from AQPE we ask ourselves: how can engineering become a key player in the fight to achieve the SDGs? Can engineers contribute their knowledge and experience in favor of these goals? Let’s see what these goals are, and what we can do as engineers to make them a reality.
- End poverty: Engineers are a major driver of job creation by developing tens of thousands of projects around the world, and needing an efficient workforce and a strong industry to support them. If we focus on expanding our projects to the neediest countries, we will be contributing to bringing them ever closer to the end of poverty in their territory.
- Zero Hunger: As engineers, we have the potential to become the ideal agents for the eradication of hunger: building more efficient infrastructures for a more equitable distribution of food and essential goods in underdeveloped countries, or optimizing food industry processes to the maximum, among other actions. In this way, we can help ensure a continuous supply of food that reaches every last corner of the planet.
- Health and well-being: Engineering applied to health is making great advances, becoming one of the main agents in the advancement of the medical industry. We are essential when it comes to working for the entire population’s health and universal access to free, public, and quality healthcare.
- Quality education: The construction of decent spaces for the development of education throughout the world is essential to guarantee the quality of teaching and the suitability of educational processes. Efficient, safe, and affordable spaces for institutions in all countries are essential to ensure equal opportunities for future generations.
- Gender equality: We have the optimal potential to become a leading sector in the integration of women, demonstrating that we have tens of thousands of competent women in our sector who are fully qualified to undertake the largest projects in our industry.
- Clean water and sanitation: Engineering is essential when it comes to creating the necessary infrastructures, not only for the distribution of water to any inhabited territory but also for its correct sanitation and purification. Thanks to our work, we can guarantee a clean, sustainable, and affordable water supply for everyone.
- Affordable and non-polluting energy: As engineers, we play a key role in promoting alternative, more affordable, and environmentally friendly energy methods. But we must not only focus on their creation but also on the optimization of their costs and their distribution to all types of territories so that more and more populations have the necessary tools to carry out their energy transition.
- Decent work and economic growth: It is our responsibility to ensure that all workers involved in the development of our projects have decent working conditions when carrying out their professional activities. We can never forget that without their help it will be impossible to carry out the projects we have dreamed of.
- Industry, innovation, and infrastructures: Many territories in dozens of countries around the world still lack basic road, water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructures. We cannot stop working to ensure that all territories have the necessary means for a dignified life for their inhabitants, thus also increasing the possibilities for economic development in these places.
- Reducing inequalities: The jobs created around engineering projects will also contribute to the reduction of inequalities and equity of opportunity for the working classes.
- Sustainable cities and communities: Engineers will be key in the development and implementation of smart city models, creating more sustainable and future-proof cities and communities.
- Responsible production and consumption: Optimizing production processes in all types of industries will be essential to reduce their environmental footprint and fight against the pollution traditionally emitted by them, in addition to ensuring the preservation of the planet’s resources.
- Climate action: All engineers specialized in the development of renewable energies are already actively contributing to the fight against climate change. Strengthening this area in engineering will be our way of continuing to move towards a 100% sustainable horizon.
- Underwater life: In turn, the work of ocean and naval engineers is essential for the conservation of marine life and the sustainable use of the resources it offers us.
- Life of terrestrial ecosystems: As engineers, we have all the necessary tools to guarantee the life of terrestrial ecosystems, being respectful of them in the construction and implementation of our projects.
- Peace, justice and strong institutions: A new economic flourishing in third world countries, and the creation of new professional and personal development opportunities for their people, will contribute to a more peaceful society, and to governmental institutions capable of continuing to work to improve the lives of the inhabitants of their countries.
- Partnerships to achieve the goals: All engineers around the world must unite if the implementation of the SDGs is to become a reality rather than a utopia. International partnerships between governmental, public and private institutions must always have a common goal: to create a better world for us and future generations.
And you, how do you think engineering is helping to achieve the SDGs? What are you doing as an engineer in your day-to-day work to achieve them?