Trust is at the core of the IGS’s ambitious new plans for the years ahead. Building a credible organization that attracts and maintains the confidence of its members, stakeholders and the wider public is vital for longevity.
‘Trusted’ is one of the four bold aims that are part of the IGS’s newly-launched Strategy Report 2022-2026. Here, in the latest of our series spotlighting the Society’s strategic goals, IGS Officer and Immediate Past President Chungsik Yoo shares more about the exciting projects informing this goal.
Hello Chungsik. Please tell us a bit more about what being ‘Trusted’ involves.
We have three main aims with this goal. We are working on a Geosynthetics Handbook which is a global guide on the use and application of geosynthetics materials, customizable for individual markets. We are also creating a Sustainability Benefits Calculator to better quantify the sustainability benefits of using geosynthetics in specific projects. And we also want to develop a Professional Certification program to support responsible whole-life use of geosynthetics from adoption to disposal.
Why these particular projects? How would they improve trust?
We have chosen three deliverables that bring practical benefits to our members and at the same time show our stakeholders that we are taking tangible steps to ensure that geosynthetics are used responsibly. One concern we have is that confidence in geosynthetics can be undermined if they are not specified or installed correctly. A credentialling program combined with a Handbook on proper use will raise levels of professionalism. A Sustainability Benefits Calculator will provide an evidence-based and consistent means for our members to demonstrate to clients how geosynthetics deliver improved sustainability performance, including reduced carbon footprint.
How are they progressing?
We are moving quickly. We have already agreed a delivery partner for the Sustainability Benefits Calculator, One Click LCA, a Finnish software company with a global footprint, whose platform provides automated lifecycle analyses of projects. We are currently developing templates that IGS members will be able to adapt to their specific needs. These will be ready to demonstrate at the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics in Rome in September.
With the Sustainability Benefits Calculator we have opted to use an existing platform that is well-known in the market place. This is much better than trying to develop an entirely new tool, and has the benefit that it already has a huge database of product information that will allow us to compare geosynthetics with other materials.
The credentialling program will take more time. The first step is to develop the Handbook, and all our Technical Committees are busy on that right now. The initial challenge is to ensure we get the right scope so that it is widely relevant but still of real value.
What does ‘Trusted’ mean in this context and why is this important for the IGS?
We are a learned society. As such we want people within and outside the geosynthetics industry to see us as the leading global authority. Previously we have achieved this through our many high quality papers and the Digital Library that I championed as President. In the future we will have a number of key tools that will further build our reputation.
What would success look like by 2026?
The Sustainability Benefits Calculator will be widely used, and generating examples that demonstrate the sustainability of geosynthetics. Industry professionals will be seeking out our credentials and using the Handbook.
How does ‘Trusted’ work with the other three overall goals?
Our reputation is fundamentally based on being Trusted as a source of reliable, authoritative information on geosynthetics. The more we are trusted, the more we will be Influential and the more members will see the value of membership to them.
How can members support these aims?
We already have active committees which are developing the tools I mentioned. Once these are available, I would urge all members to get involved in using them, and sharing them with their network.
+++ Learn more about the IGS’s strategic aims by reading the ‘Strategy 2022-2026 Building On Firm Foundations’ report here. If you have any questions or would like more information about the report, contact IGS Executive Director John Kraus at email@example.com.