Sustainable Development Group Board
The Sustainable Development Group (SDG) of IOM3 is a focus group where members from a broad range of disciplines, technical divisions and societies can exchange ideas and information on sustainability matters. Currently, the SDG has expertise in automotive applications, composites, construction, cementitious materials, iron and steel, light metals, materials design, minerals, mining, packaging, polymers, surface engineering, wood technology and sustainability, and so has significant coverage of IOM3 technical divisions and societies.
Sustainability is a broad subject area which requires the assessment of environmental aspects and impacts across the material life cycle, but also crucially needs to include the wider social and economic impact considerations. The basis of sustainable decision making is for these three aspects to be assessed in a life cycle context and potentially over a longer term time frame which means that new approaches and techniques need to be developed. The expertise of the SDG, helps define these methods and approaches and these help to inform and promote the role of IOM3 in the field of sustainability.
In terms of technical breadth, the group has expertise in life cycle assessment, mining and manufacturing impacts, product environmental impacts, waste management and materials and resource efficiency. The SDG engages and networks with a range of organisations and contributes to the debates, which influences activities such as the UK Government’s and the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency Action Plan and also with wider global initiatives such as the circular economy, sustainable cities and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The SDG supported the development of a policy statement for IOM3 on sustainability, followed in 2012 by a first sustainability action plan for the Institute. The three key elements of this plan are:
- For IOM3 to take a leading role in sustainability by organising and influencing events and debates on the subject.
- To consider how day to day IOM3 activities can be managed towards environmental and social improvements, and adopting good practice.
- To encourage and support technical communities and local societies to take account of sustainable development in their activities and to report on progress in their annual reports.