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A Milestone Month for Climate Action at ASME

A Milestone Month for Climate Action at ASME

We are coming off a milestone set of weeks at ASME in regards to climate action. Enabled by the Board of Governors (BoG) and with the support of our Sustainability Steering Committee and volunteer leaders, ASME is rapidly progressing the development of our Climate Strategy. This new enterprise approach will allow our organization to scale its historic impact on behalf of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—to which ASME has been firmly committed since their inception.

One of ASME’s great strengths is our ability to convene and drive consensus, given our unique position at the intersection of industry, academia, policy, and society at large. With resources comes responsibility, and it is always imperative that we seek to understand before taking action. This principle has served as a guiding light in developing our enterprise approach to climate, and manifested itself during the most recent Climate Week NYC.

Climate Week brings together international leaders from business, government, and civil society to elevate awareness for global climate action. ASME’s goal for the week: prompting and answering key questions for the public and our key stakeholders in industry and society. Critical for our membership were questions including: What does deep, systemic change look and feel like? And, How can organizations prepare for a radically different economy?

ASME prompted these questions through a series of gatherings, each focused around a specific issue of significance. The first, a networking event and panel discussion entitled Powering the Future, examined how we might shape the workforce to meet our future energy needs. We also hosted an intimate dinner discussion with major corporate and public sector representatives around the issue of hard-to-abate industries, and we hosted our virtual event for early career engineers, E-Fest Careers—where the focus on impact and sustainability generated our highest-ever participation rate.

Climate Week allowed us to gather data and perspective from across the spectrum of climate action, which will help in ensuring we allocate resources in the most effective and efficient ways possible. But there is yet another milestone achievement to report. On October 9, 2023, I joined the inaugural meeting of ASME’s Committee on Sustainability (CoS), who are tasked with ensuring the Society’s approach is informed by evidence and supported by qualified leadership.

The CoS’s 11 voting members, all volunteers appointed by the BoG, will assist in defining and guiding the vision and aligned implementation plan for ASME’s sustainability strategy—empowering and mobilizing ASME to accelerate its response to climate change. We are fortunate to have strong volunteer leadership across our committees, and the CoS is no exception. I would like to recognize our inaugural Chair, Pratt & Whitney’s Sean Bradshaw, and Vice-Chair, Timo Marquez of Saint-Gobain. Personally, I am excited to engage with this new and essential group, with a goal of accelerating our impact.

Suffice to say, I can’t think of a more eventful and promising time for climate action at ASME. And we intend to maintain this momentum. Whether it’s continuing to grow our Engineering for Change platform, enabling emerging tech such as hydrogen and SMRs, or shaping the workforce to meet our future needs, we can expect to reach more milestones on the road ahead.

With regards,

Thomas Costabile, P.E.
ASME Executive Director/CEO

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