Level 5 – Sustainability

HND Unit 51: – Unit code: Y/615/1519


Living and working in the 21st century will bring a range of sustainability challenges that our society has not seen before. For many people on our planet key resources such as food, water and energy will be in short supply, whilst the effects of climate change will be felt by everyone.

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Engineers will be in the frontline of the battle to overcome the challenges of creating a sustainable economy, but no single discipline will have the capability to tackle the problems alone. Sustainability is a multidisciplinary challenge, and engineers of the future will have to work collaboratively with a whole range of other stakeholders, such as scientists, politicians and financiers, if they are to be able to produce the practical and technological solutions required within the necessarily urgent time scales.

On successful completion of this unit the student with possess a wide range of knowledge and understanding of the issues and topics associated with sustainability and low carbon engineering.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Determine the nature and scope of the technical challenges of ensuring sustainable
  2. Articulate the importance of collaborating with other disciplines in developing technical solutions to sustainability
  3. Evaluate the use of alternative energy generation techniques in relation to their contribution to a low carbon

Analyse a variety of data sources to estimate the carbon footprint of a socio- technical scenario.


Environmental and Climate Change issues:
Global demographics, trends and sustainable design
Climate change, energy balance, carbon cycle science, and obligations
Carbon capture, pollution prevention and management
European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and Carbon trading
Kyoto Protocol and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) series
Sustainable infrastructures:
Low carbon transport systems, sustainable cities and green buildings
Power storage and distribution and sustainable logistics
Alternative energy resources:
Nuclear, solar, wind, tidal and wave, geothermal, biomass and bio-energy
Whole life cycle costing
Types of carbon footprint:
Carbon footprint science
Calculation methodologies: direct and indirect system boundaries
Case study examples

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