Engineering's New Best Friend: Sustainable Design 💡

The importance of sustainable engineering and entrepreneurship.

Emma Menebroker

7/27/20232 min read

Engineering's New Best Friend: Sustainable Design 💡


Ever feel like you're caught in a Hollywood movie, witnessing environmental challenges of apocalyptic proportions? Yep, 21st-century Earth can feel a bit like that. But here's the silver lining - sustainable design is making quite the entrance into the world of engineering! It's not just about eco-friendly inventions; it's about crafting solutions that scream resource efficiency, rock the durability, and walk lightly on Mother Earth from birth to retirement. So, why don't we pull back the curtain on sustainable design and uncover its exciting potential?

Designing Sustainability into Engineering

As engineers and entrepreneurs, we've got our hands on the steering wheel, driving the world toward our future. And boy, does it matter how we drive! Sustainable design is about going easy on the gas pedal, minimizing our environmental impact from the get-go to the finish line. So what does this look like in the real world?

Here’s something to chew…

A report by Accenture hints at a treasure chest worth $4.5 trillion of economic growth by 2030(1), all thanks to circular business models.

By weaving sustainable design principles into our work, we're not just eco-heroes, but we're also positioning ourselves smack dab in the middle of a market that applauds and rewards green thinking. And if that wasn't enticing enough, sustainable design could lead to some neat cost savings for consumers in the long run, thanks to improved efficiency and the magic of renewable and recycled materials.

Sketching a Greener Tomorrow with Engineering

Building sustainability into the design process is like solving a 3D jigsaw puzzle - every piece matters. Here are some ways engineers are getting creative:

Playing Matchmaker with Materials: More engineers are pairing up with sustainable alternatives like biodegradable thermoplastics or recyclable thermoset polymers. This way, we make green choices from the first doodle on our design pad.

Putting Energy Efficiency in the Spotlight: When we bring energy efficiency on stage during the design phase, it's like hitting the high note in our sustainable engineering symphony. Following the International Energy Agency's (IEA) tune, energy efficiency improvements could bring us 40% closer to the 2°C global warming limit set in the Paris Agreement (2).

Extending the Life of the Party: By using techniques like modular design and resilient materials, we're making products that not only last longer but are easier to fix. This helps us save those precious resources for the actual party - innovating and creating new solutions.



Sustainable design isn't just another buzzword. It's announcing our commitment to this incredible planet. With sustainability as our guiding star, we can trigger a wave of innovation, ramp up efficiency, and ensure our creations are a gift, not a burden, on the Earth.

As the famed architect and designer William McDonough once said,

"Design is the first signal of human intention." And as engineers, our intention is to marry sustainability and innovation for a future we can all be proud of.

Are you an engineer or entrepreneur itching to hit the green road of sustainability? We'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and ideas on embracing sustainable design in your work. The comments section is all yours - let's get the conversation rolling!


Accenture (2015), The Circular Economy Could Unlock $45 Trillion of Economic Growth, Accenture,

IEA (2019), Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, IEA, Paris, License: CC BY 4.0