The earth is experiencing unprecedented change driven by increasing population, industrialization and urbanization. This is leading to rapid climate change and scarcity of resources. Geosynthetics, which are polymeric based sheets and grids used in civil engineering application, offer sustainability and cost benefits over more “traditional” solutions. There is growing agreement globally of the need to deliver sustainable development to improve the lives of millions of people in low and middle income countries through provision of clean water, sanitation, energy and transport solutions. The response of the international community to this challenge is via the United Nations programme (published in January 2016), which establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including the response of nations to climate change. This talk provides a summary of the drivers for sustainable development and the case for using geosynthetics.