United Nation Sustainable goals

The Laboratory of Soil Mechanics joins efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable development and contributes to the sustainable goals.

What are the UN Goals?

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda and
its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a universal call to
action to “end poverty, protect the planet and improve the
lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere”. The key role that science, technology and innovation play in sustainable development has been recognised for environmental protection, economic growth, development and social inclusion and prosperity.

Our contribution to the United Nation Goals

The LMS acts at several levels to reduce the actual and future carbon footprint of our built environment. Geo-energy, a renewable, a local, carbon neutral and constant energy source is a topic of interest since decades at the LMS. Prof. Laloui’s team develop solutions for the development of resilient geothermal systems, from ready-to-be-use solutions as energy geostructures to methods for risk minimisation during fracture of EGS. While too much CO2 emissions have already been emitted, the team also conducts research on the behaviour of shales, a key geomaterial for the development of CO2 sequestration technologies, or transition energies such as unconventional gases. A sustainable future of today’s installation is also of concern, nuclear waste storage is since already 20 years one of the main focus of the laboratory.  
  Historically, the LMS worked extensively for the development of secured nuclear waste storage facilities, through the understanding of the geomaterial microstructure to the long-term behaviour of the whole facility. Research on optimisation, risk minimisation and new methods for enhanced geothermal systems have been conducted since many years and lead to the development of new tools and methods. Finally, the Laboratory is a pioneer in energy geostructures, innovation developed, tested and mastered since 20 years at EPFL, that couples the structural role of foundations to the energy role of heat exchanger and cut considerably installation costs compared to other energy systems.


Through an extensive understanding to the development of solutions, tools and methods in many domains, the LMS is actively engaged for a sustainable and resilient future of our cities and infrastructure. From the maximisation of local and renewable resources, to the understanding and risk minimisation of natural hazards, the development of safe disposal solutions or new bio-inspired methods, the research team tries to find innovative solutions and develop tools for the development of multi-functional, adaptive and resilient infrastructures.  
  The LMS team is particularly helping this topic on the energy perspective. The knowledge and tools develop by the group in the domain of geo-energy, is not only widening the access to geothermal resources, but also help the development and foster public acceptance of these technologies. If effort is put on production and optimisation in other institutions, Prof. Laloui’s team decided to put all its efforts on the development of safe extraction methods, reducing the risk of induced seismicity and environmental pollution.


Innovation is crucial for a sustainable development, the civil-engineering and construction industry lacks severely of innovation, and that is why the LMS is committed to reshuffle the codes with innovative, performant and environment friendly solutions. Bio-inspired technologies and solutions develop by the team aims to reshuffle the construction and ground-stabilisation industry, with non-pollutant and natured-inspired solutions. New methods and tools to increase efficiency and sustainability of urban infrastructures, geothermal solutions but also innovative approach for unconventional gases are some of the pathways taken by the research group to contribute to this goal.