Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

By Dr Troy Coyle, HERA CEO

Recently I co-authored a report with International Institute of Welding (IIW) Fellow Chris Smallbone; this was the outcome of a review of the initiatives HERA has undertaken to achieve sustainable heavy engineering, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Among the 17 integrated SDGs, adopted by all 193 UN member states in 2015, are a focus on ending poverty, hunger and gender inequality; securing clean water and sanitation; taking urgent climate action; making cities and communities sustainable; and, critical for our sector, building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation.

In the course of this work we have identified how the SDGs align with other key initiatives that HERA and our industry support, including:

We found HERA is already executing work with direct correlation to each goal, and the report details what has been achieved to date. For example, we are improving national welding capability and building relationships with national and international networks, such as the IIW, which enable us to collaborate to progress the SDGs collectively.

Specifically in relation to SDG 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure, HERA conducts a range of research activities to assist with the advancement of building and infrastructure resilience, and continually updates design guides and technical solutions to account for recent research and development, climate change, lessons learned from past natural hazards, and to improve structural resilience.

HERA also significantly contributes to design standards development and amendment to provide a more reliable solution to assess and calculate the forces and deformations and design of buildings and other structures. These advanced solutions will assist design engineers to improve structural resilience. HERA’s promotion of an innovation culture also supports the SDGs and includes:

  • HERA’s Innovation Ready, Set, Go programme, which assists companies and individuals to build an innovation process and culture.
  • Fab4.0Lab, which showcases latest industry 4.0 developments relevant to fabrication, and supports related research and training.
  • HERA’s Innovation Centre, which will be a purpose-built facility to showcase the latest developments in Construction 4.0.

We hope this report will provide an opportunity and guide for our members and industry to similarly review their works against the SDGs. Not only does this help demonstrate their commitments to sustainability, but also provides a gateway to pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration.

Dr Troy Coyle brings more than 20 years’ experience in innovation management across a range of industries including materials science, medical radiation physics, biotechnology, sustainable building products, renewable energy and steel. She is a scientist with a PhD (University of NSW) with training in journalism and communications.

The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Xpress Engineer NZ, NZ Engineering News or the parent company, Hayley Media.