On Earth Day, Celebrating a Milestone in our Journey to Reduce Emissions

On Earth Day, Celebrating a Milestone in our Journey to Reduce Emissions

Earth Day Earth Day
Today marks the 54th annual Earth Day, celebrated in nearly every nation on the planet, which exists to focus attention on the state of the environment and the effects of climate change. As you already know, the scale and complexity of climate change is unprecedented. A changing climate threatens the stability and sustainability of economies, ecosystems, and communities, and it now claims a role in nearly every problem engineers set out to solve. And we at ASME are diligently working to support the global engineering community in driving a favorable outcome for present and future generations.

In my last update on climate action, I detailed our efforts to drive conversation around our future climate workforce during the UN General Assembly and Climate Week in New York—which are among the world’s most high-profile climate events. We maintained that momentum in the ensuing months. In December during COP28 in Dubai, which featured staff and volunteer leadership from ASME and E4C, we continued to elevate the pressing need for workforce development, as well as expanding opportunities for advanced technologies—from green hydrogen to small modular nuclear reactors. In a fitting capstone, the UN’s climate leadership acknowledged nuclear energy for the first time as a priority climate solution.

We’ve made other strides in ensuring awareness for key issues impacting our community, from commissioning this piece of thought leadership on the hydrogen economy from a member of our volunteer-driven Committee on Sustainability (CoS), to this global panel we hosted on to role of mechanical engineering in climate tech.

But while guiding global conversations is essential, ASME also sees the establishment of a robust climate strategy and the reduction of our own emissions as strategic imperatives. This past Wednesday, April 17, our Board of Governors received an update from the CoS against these goals. Among other important progress, I am excited to announce that ASME has completed a full accounting of our Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Key insights we’ve gleaned from the data include the fact that ASME has a relatively small direct GHG footprint, which comes from the electricity we purchase and the so-called “fugitive” gas emissions that leak from refrigeration equipment. Data was collected from the four office locations in the US and one in China where ASME has the ability to control or influence those emissions factors. In the US, ASME’s energy consumption is significantly below that of similar office-based companies. In New York, for example, we consume a third of the average per square foot.

Our next steps include measurement of Scope 3, or indirect emissions that occur in our value chain. This will include travel and all aspects of event production and logistics—and is expected to constitute the vast majority of our overall emissions. We will then establish overall reductions goals and report our results; when complete, this will make ASME a global leader in emissions measurement and reporting among major engineering societies.

Thank you for allowing me to share these few examples of how our organization is continuing to scale its impact to address our changing climate. I would like to acknowledge and thank our CoS members as well as our staff-led Sustainability Steering Committee for their leadership in guiding this organization toward a sustainable future, and for making it Earth Day, every day, at ASME.

With regards,


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

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