Trumpeting the M4i report on environmental performance indicators (EPI) is a bit premature (NCE 9/16 August).
On inspection, the report contains six proposed indicators, only three of which - use and emission of CO 2, and use of water - have measures indicated.
Crucial criteria needed to assess the impact of the transportation of construction products and the protection of the natural environment as biodiversity are missing.
The central issue for sustainability is how should civil engineering be changed to eliminate threats to natural harmony and the survival of species, including humans.
Minimising energy and water use and recycling resources only delays the inevitable environmental impact of a growth economy.
To protect species biodiversity requires the enclosure of space to be constrained. To promote natural harmony and diversity the extent of construction will have to be regulated. Putting limits on the transportation of materials would reduce deterioration of the natural environment dramatically.
The suggested EPIs will not achieve fundamental change.
To enforce such a change, a tax on unsustainable construction will be needed to fund research into new harmonious methods of construction, based on completely different technologies and decision making techniques.
Pat Toms (M) 68 Shakespeare Street, Glasgow G20 8TJ