The Prince of Wales has accepted an invitation to become an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), in recognition of his support to the engineering profession and in particular, his promotion of sustainable development.
Prince Charles’ interest in sustainability and the built environment is well documented and in February this year, at a joint ICE / Halcrow Lecture, he voiced his support for civil engineers and their role in creating a more sustainable society, referring to civil engineering as “a life-saver and a life-preserver.”
During his speech, The Prince said: “If there is one profession that has awoken to the need for more sustainable approaches, it is civil engineering, putting [civil engineers] firmly on the front line in the battle for sustainability.”
He also challenged the ICE to question whether its Royal Charter, granted in 1828 at the peak of the Industrial Revolution, implicitly encourages climate change. It describes civil engineering as “the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man”.
A number of The Prince’s charities are focused on the importance of sustainability. The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, for example, which he founded, works with communities to build sustainably for the future. The Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, of which The Prince is Patron, works with business, government and civil society on the global challenges of the 21st century in the sustainability field, and Business in the Community helps companies to be more environmentally sustainable.
In April, ICE Council unanimously agreed to elect The Prince of Wales as an Honorary ICE Fellow in recognition of his work and support of the profession. His Royal Highness joins The Duke of Gloucester, who was elected an Honorary ICE Fellow in 1980, The Princess Royal, who was elected as an Honorary Fellow in 1992, and The Duke of Edinburgh, who is the Institution’s Senior Honorary Fellow having been elected in 1952. Her Majesty The Queen is also Patron to the ICE, following her accession in 1952.