Food, health and well-being

Food, health and well-being

Major improvements in agricultural production during the latter half of the 20th century have ensured that, to date, global food production has kept pace with population growth. However, land and water are finite resources, with competing demands upon them. The impact of climate change in particular will put significant pressure on future food supply.

Meanwhile, well-being does not just mean being well-fed, and free from disease and infirmity. It also means living in an environment that is healthy and promotes physical and mental harmony. Chemical engineering plays a fundamental role in facilitating health and social wellbeing to enable people to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

Why is food, health and well-being important?

Global food production, which has until now managed to remain in equilibrium with the land and water use, is under sustained pressure due to increases in global population, climate change and conflict. Improved agricultural production techniques alone cannot address this challenge. Chemical engineers can play a significant role in this area by applying systems thinking and advanced engineering principles through initiatives such as minimising energy and water use, and application of novel technologies and innovation.

The same skills also help chemical engineers develop new products and efficient manufacturing processes elsewhere. They champion the design of sustainable cities through decarbonised building construction, and efficient use of construction materials, energy and resources for building and maintenance. A similar approach is used in sustainable industrial design, where new materials and manufacturing processes are designed to achieve greater efficiency, reduced ecological footprints, and use of renewable feedstocks.

SDG alignment

This Priority Topic aligns with SDGs 2 and 3 – Zero Hunger and Good Health and Well-being.