The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Sustainability engineering SUEN

The development and application of appropriate knowledge and methods to assure sustainability in all phases of the life cycle of energy- or materials-consuming systems and services, including maintenance and re-use. These include such things as energy supply risk analysis, specification of guidelines for sustainable procurement of assets and materials, energy efficiency and sustainability factors influencing system design, system design for sustainable operation and use, efficient coding design and adoption of re-use/sharing principles, achieving behaviour change to more sustainable ways of working, and the verification of energy and resource efficiency in operation.


Defined at these levels: 4 5 6

Sustainability engineering: Levels 1-3

This skill is not typically observed or practiced at these levels of responsibility and accountability.

Sustainability engineering: Level 4

Investigates and recommends components and subsystems that meet sustainability criteria and levels.

Sustainability engineering: Level 5

Takes overall design responsibility for a project/system, ensuring that sustainability criteria, standards and best practices are adopted at all levels in the project, from the coding, hosting and tools used in building the system to the mechanisms adopted for testing and backing up the system in operation and how the project is run (eg team meetings etc.). Ensures business case options for design address sustainability and energy efficiency impacts.

Sustainability engineering: Level 6

Creates models/ develops technical architectures to ensure that new systems and services are designed so as to maximise their positive sustainability impacts and energy and carbon savings for the organisation, including the optimisation in use and recycling of materials and assets. Defines and promulgates best practices in sustainability.

Influences organisation’s recognition of current and upcoming regulatory sustainability and efficiency obligations, national and international standards, and marketplace capabilities.

Promotes and advocates for the organisation’s sustainability strategy for use of IT and Digital services including levels of sustainability, and encompassing, amongst other dimensions, travel, energy supply, consumables, waste and office provision, strategies, procurements and processes.

Sustainability engineering: Level 7

This skill is not typically observed or practiced at this level of responsibility and accountability.