Geosynthetics make infrastructure more sustainable. They extend the service life of roads, reduce the use of aggregates, conserve and protect water, minimize land disturbance and control soil erosion.

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. IGS publications, events, lectures and research highlight the many ways that geosynthetics contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

IGS Sustainability Statement

The International Geosynthetics Society believes that geosynthetics and associated technologies make a significant contribution to the achievement of sustainable development.

The IGS is committed to complying with applicable legislation and maximizing the positive sustainability contribution of geosynthetics, while minimizing the environmental impacts of our operations, including events organized or endorsed by the Society. 

We will engage with, and communicate to, our employees, members, suppliers, and other stakeholders on the importance of sustainable practices. We will support them in improving their own sustainability performance. In order to lead by example, we will regularly report on our environmental performance against the objectives and targets we set, and we will seek to continually improve.

Read the full statement here. [PDF]

As the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) celebrated its 40th anniversary, David Shercliff and Kasia Zamara discussed 40 years of sustainability-related projects and influence in geosynthetics (November 6 – 10, 2023)


Paper prepared by Nathalie Touze from
Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, France


Paper prepared by Francesco Fontana, Manifattura Fontana SpA, Valbrenta, Italia


Paper prepared by John Kraus, Executive Director of the IGS, United Kingdom

Spotlight on Sustainable Solutions

Did You Know…?


Geosynthetics make significant contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. [PDF]


Geosynthetics can reduce the use of aggregates in infrastructure construction by 50% and up to 90% in some cases. [PDF]


Geosynthetics protect the environment from landfill waste contamination. [PDF]


Choosing geosynthetics offers the best of both worlds in cost effectiveness and sustainability. [PDF]


Geosynthetics protect land and water resources by preventing soil erosion and supporting vegetation. [PDF]


Geosynthetics prevent floods and protect lives, livelihoods and property. [PDF]


The enduring durability of geosynthetics saves resources, time and costs. [PDF]


Geosynthetics help save lives by preventing the devastating effects of landslides. [PDF]

Geosynthetics support the circular economy by helping to re-use and recycle waste materials. [PDF]


Life Cycle Assessment tools consistently show geosynthetics are the greener choice when it comes to construction. [PDF]


Geosynthetics are the hidden hero performing their function beneath other materials. [PDF]


Geosynthetics Enhance The Quality Of Soil For Construction [PDF]

Geosynthetics for Sustainable Development (Videos)
Dr. Nathalie Touze’s Giroud Lecture
IGS eBook on Geosynthetics & Sustainability

The IGS has called on the European Commission to fully understand the enormous sustainability benefits of geosynthetics when considering how to reduce microplastics in the environment. This important issue must be addressed using the best available scientific data and case studies. The Commission should recognise that geosynthetics are part of the solution. Read our press release and our response to the Commission’s consultation.

Additional Sustainability Resources
The following links will take users to other sites. The IGS is not responsible for the content on those websites or their differing privacy settings, cookies, and terms of use.


Review paper prepared by all four of the IGS Technical Committees and the Sustainability Committee and explores the many ways in which geosynthetics contribute to the sustainable construction of dykes and thereby water systems management. Features in a special issue of the journal Sustainability called Advances in Sustainable River Management: Reconciling Conflicting Interests Under Climate Extremes’.
Relative Sustainability of Road Construction/Repair: Conventional Materials versus Geosynthetic Materials.