Responsible Architecture or Engineering has been typically equated with Green Buildings and sustainable architecture. The use of non-renewable resources with restraint, with limited site damage has been the cornerstone of this movement. Responsibility includes sustainability and social responsibility.
Responsibility extends well beyond the time a product is used. Designers have to view the entire history of a product from materials extraction, through manufacture, transportation, sales, use, and post-use. They need to consider the materials used, are they recycled, can they be recycled, will they decompose, be reused, are they toxic in manufacture, use or afterlife? Is the product useful, does it fulfill a real need, is it robust and durable, easy to repair, use the least amount of materials for the most performance? Does it generate pollution, is it energy efficient etc.?