Speaking at the ICE Yorkshire & Humber annual dinner in Harrogate on Friday, Yorkshire Forward head of sustainable development, Mike Smith, told the audience: "The big issues facing us all are of climate change. You, ladies and gentlemen, have to raise your game. You have to lead on sustainable development."
Smith added: "I have heard a lot about civil engineers tonight. I have heard how you believe
that civil engineers should rule the world.
"Well, I'm worried. Because we're not going to be building big anymore. We've got to be looking at sustainable development."
Yorkshire Forward takes a lead role on sustainable development in the region in relation to
economic regeneration. It supports projects only where "there are new business and economic opportunities based on utilising the region's environment, rather than against it".
ICE president David Orr responded to Smith's criticism's by telling the audience that civil engineers "symbolise professionalism" and that they did accept their responsibility to act sustainably.
Ironically, he then presented the ICE Yorkshire & Humber Award for Civil Engineering Excellence to the project team behind Barnsley Interchange – part-funded by Yorkshire Forward.
The £24M public transport interchange addresses sustainability issues through the use of recycled materials and design features that make use of daylight and natural ventilation.