ESG Considerations for Civil Engineering 

Apr 14, 2024

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are becoming increasingly common and expected across all industries and practices. The same can be said for civil engineering.

The skeleton of the world we live, work, and play in, civil engineering should be spearheading ESG initiatives and can integrate ESG initiatives into various aspects of civil engineering projects.

Environmental Considerations

Sustainable Design: When planning a project, civil engineers should prioritize sustainable designs and materials that limit environmental impact. Specifying the use of recycled materials and reducing infrastructure by using non-structural best management practices in their designs are all ways to encourage sustainability in design.

Environmentally Conscious Infrastructure: Find ways to incorporate infrastructure that helps the planet in the long term. Recommend things like solar roofs and rainwater cisterns and gardens to manage stormwater runoff. Plant trees and other greenery to encourage biodiversity growth. Include EV charging in parking lots.

Climate Resiliency: Every year hurricanes, floods, and other climate catastrophes destroy infrastructure across the country. Civil engineers need to be aware of climate risks that may affect projects for years to come and build with those risks in mind. Learn more about climate resiliency in our webinar: CRE & Climate Resiliency: How Babcock Ranch Survived Hurricane Ian.

Social Considerations

Community Needs: Before a project is conceptualized, civil engineers should understand the needs and desires of the community they are serving with their project. How is it going to impact the community? What concerns do stakeholders have about the project? What are the biggest needs for the community and how is this project going to provide for those needs? Proactive communication with key stakeholders is crucial to the success of a project.

Accessibility: Ensuring accessibility to those with disabilities or people who may have trouble getting around on their own should be a priority for civil engineering projects. Inclusivity is crucial for thriving communities. Read more about ADA compliance in CRE Development where our experts answer common questions about accessibility in design.

Economic Development: The projects that civil engineers bring to life have the power to create jobs and communities that are catalysts for economic growth.

Governance Considerations

Regulatory Compliance: Civil engineers obey stringent regulations, laws, and industry standards crucial for structural integrity, public safety, and environmental protection. Not doing so can be catastrophic for both humans and the environment. Having regulatory compliance in place ensures civil engineers are following the law and guarantees accountability.

Code of Ethics: Civil engineers must follow a code of ethics prioritizing safe, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure while being honest and transparent with stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.

Risk Management: Regulatory compliance and ethics naturally encourage risk management. Mitigating risk strategies and plans should always be top of mind during a project.

Civil engineers play an integral role in creating safe, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive environments across the globe. ESG considerations play an integral part in encouraging long-lasting and positive infrastructure for generations to come.

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