ASME and our Changing Climate
For many years, ASME has placed a steadily increasing focus on initiatives, collaborations, programming, and standards with very clear ties to our changing climate. As we exist as an organization to leverage the power of engineering to benefit humanity, the advantages of this growing focus were and still remain clear to most.
However, in recent years, it became obvious that in order to best serve our members and other important stakeholders, an enterprise approach is necessary to ensure we consistently apply our best efforts to the areas where our expertise is most needed. And so, a rigorous process of market analysis, member feedback, and organizational self-examination was initiated by ASME’s Board of Governors to determine the challenges and the opportunities we might encounter in realizing that future vision.
Our initial assessments validated many of our working assumptions; above all, we should maintain our commitment toward action around climate and to build on the momentum we have created. But we must do so with a visible urgency as an organization that is a match to the magnitude of the problem–and the opportunity–to be more active participants in the solution. On January 31, 2023, at the most recent meeting of the ASME Board of Governors, we completed the first public step in illustrating that urgency, which was to define and establish ASME’s position.
ASME’s Climate position statement messages our stance on climate change, and sets the tone and course for action. Primarily, the statement acknowledges accepted facts and, most importantly, begins to detail the part we as an organization and the global engineering community play in addressing those challenges. It is the “north star” memorializing  ambitions and intentions–and it provides the strategic direction to unlock further organizational growth.
The topic of climate change elicits strong opinions, and we would like to acknowledge the passion that was expressed throughout the process. All perspectives were carefully considered. The final statement received overwhelming support from our Sector and Division leaders, as well as from our Industry Advisory Board, in a thorough process which was shepherded in a cross-functional collaboration between ASME staff and volunteer leaders.
Establishing the position statement was an essential step in our journey. But it is those subsequent actions that will truly define us, and the path ahead is long. As an immediate next step, we will work to formalize the role of climate within the business and operational structure of ASME. This will yield innumerable future opportunities for members, volunteers, and staff to participate in what is and will be the work of generations.
There is no doubt that we can further leverage our unique and global position to affect positive change. From the moment of our founding, we have convened leaders of all kinds to take on society’s biggest and most technical challenges. Today, as we stand confronted by our changing climate, we invite the world’s engineers to play a part in every solution.

With regards,

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

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