Position statements

Where does IChemE stand on sustainable technology?

IChemE supports the more rapid pursuit of a global energy policy based on using non-fossil primary energy sources (e.g. nuclear, including fusion in the longer term, and renewables, including solar, geothermal) coupled with the development of hydrogen, or other options, as energy carriers.

IChemE supports the continuing introduction of appropriate legislation, taxes and other fiscal measures to encourage a change of behaviour, coupled with targeted information and education to drive the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mentality deeper into industry and the consumers of its products.

IChemE believes that the necessary change in business strategy to speed the introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies should be led from the boardroom, facilitated and encouraged by chemical engineers at all levels in industry, commerce and academia.

Where does IChemE stand on health, safety and environmental risk?

Chemical engineers and IChemE will seek to exert greater influence on the process sector, regulators and academia to develop and utilise new ways for cost effective and sustainable risk reduction, where appropriate in conjunction with other relevant professional bodies.

IChemE will engage with corporate leaders, regulators and other professional bodies to create cultures that deliver real improvements in health, safety and environmental performance, and have benefits to all.

IChemE will work to influence industry groups and regulators to take a more proactive approach to passing on lessons learnt.

Where does IChemE stand on energy?

IChemE believes that nuclear power will continue to fulfill a significant part of global energy demand in the short and medium term, and calls on decision makers and opinion formers to conduct a rational debate that provides a positive climate for further R&D in waste management, spent fuel processing and advanced reactor design.

IChemE supports the view that, because the world is locked into fossil fuels usage for some time to come, the technological means of reducing CO2 emissions from their use must be implemented globally as an environmental and political priority, while more sustainable options are urgently pursued.

IChemE supports increased R&D on the development and deployment of renewable technologies and power storage systems, and the development of second generation biofuels combining biomass gasification with Fischer Tropsch synthesis.

IChemE believes that the widespread application of clean generation technology, coupled with carbon capture and storage and the application of technologies to maximise the efficiency of electricity generation and use, is essential to achieve major reductions in emissions.

Where does IChemE stand on carbon capture and storage?

IChemE believes that the widespread application of clean generation technology coupled with carbon capture and storage is essential to achieve major reductions in emissions.

In the short and medium term, fossil fuel use must be minimised by the application of currently available technologies to maximise the efficiency of electricity generation and use.

Incentives should be introduced by governments in developed nations to manage demand and prompt a step change in the deployment of clean generation technology with carbon capture and storage.

Where does IChemE stand on food and drink?

IChemE supports the development of technologies to maximise the use of viable waste streams from the food supply chain.

Chemical engineers as experts in examining systems and energy flows must play a prominent role in the development of precision agriculture technology and rendering farming methods sustainable.

IChemE will continue to press government to take a science based approach in the development of policies for agriculture.

IChemE supports appropriate regulation to enforce clearer and standardised labelling of food products coupled with consumer education to influence choice and market driven demand.

The delivery of safe, healthy and nutritious food demands the input of chemical engineers to explore new avenues in science and technology in collaboration with other disciplines.

Where does IChemE stand on water?

IChemE will work with other stakeholders to impress upon governments and international bodies the importance of developing and implementing sustainable regional water management strategies, especially by realistic charging.

IChemE is committed to the search for technologies which contribute to sustainable water supplies. The Institution will continue to press governments and companies to fund research programmes which support this objective.

IChemE supports the introduction of appropriate regulation which encourages more sustainable water supply and wastewater disposal, e.g. by water reuse in buildings (including homes), and beneficial use of sewage sludge rather than landfill.

Where does IChemE stand on climate change?

In December 2015, nations around the world will gather in Paris to develop a new international climate change agreement. In the lead-up to this important conference, we will be supporting the chemical engineering community in discussing and contributing to our understanding of climate change (through Chemical Engineering Matters) as well as its causes and impacts. We will also have technical meetings and wider community engagement activities focused on the many ways in which chemical engineering will contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change (for example this will be addressed through the launch of the IChemE Energy Centre in 2015 and publication of Green Papers addressing water, food and healthcare).

We have joined with the Royal Society of Chemistry to reaffirm our position in a joint statement on climate change. Read our statement on climate change - November 2014 >>

For more information about IChemE position statements, download our Technical Strategy: Chemical Engineering Matters or contact Alana Collis


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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).