1: How can Geosynthetics support Sustainability?
In comparison with classic constructions, Geosynthetics are a better solution as they have the following environmental advantages: - using geosynthetics reduces CO2 Emissions - using geosynthetics reduces Energy Demand - using geosynthetics reduces other Emissions Using Geosynthetics also preserves natural resources like sand or gravel as well as natural resource such as fresh water. With the anthropogenic mass overtaking the biomass (see graph) the natural resources must be protected.
2: How can Geosynthetics support the Global Goals of the UN for sustainable development?
The UN has defined several “sustainable development goals/SDGs” where some of them, depending on the application, are clearly supported by geosynthetics with:
- Environmental aspects
- Economic aspects
2a: Environmental Aspects:
- Life Cycle Assessments: LCA’s have proven, for 4 different application areas (filter layer, foundation stabilisation, landfill construction and soil retaining wall) that geosynthetics have a 75% lower environmental impact as compared with conservative materials (such as concrete, cement, lime or gravel).
- The use of geosynthetics preserve the use of natural resources such as: o The saving of quarrying sand, concrete aggregate, drainage stone o Preventing the use fresh water for installation of clay o Avoiding the milling of lime or cement into the ground o Significantly reduces the amount of traffic
2b: Economic Aspects:
With the use of Geosynthetics you can effectively reduce the overall cost of a project. Studies have proven that:
- The use of geosynthetics result in a significant reduction in construction costs
- The very high durability and life-time of Geosynthetics increases the service life of a construction and reduces the maintenance cost of constructions
It can therefore be concluded that Geosynthetics combine benefits from economic, technological and ecological perspective.
Geosynthetics clearly contribute to achieving the goals of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), the European Green Deal, the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment.
- at least 75% lower environmental impact
- minimally 30% lower costs
Geosynthetic materials (geosynthetics) are used in many different applications in civil engineering. In most cases, the use of geosynthetics replaces or enhances the use of other materials.
The EAGM commissioned ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and ESU-services Ltd. to quantify the environmental performance of commonly applied construction materials (such as concrete, cement, lime or gravel) versus geosynthetics.
NOTE: More information on this item can be found in the LCA section on the website.
Combatting climate change and developing a sustainable society is at the very top of the political agenda within the EU and its member states. Here, geotextiles and geosynthetics are part of the “green” solution, and in general can play an important role. In particular, they