Humans are today a significant geological factor affecting the Earth on a local, regional and global scale. Concerns about antropogenic impact on the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere and potentially toxic effects on the biosphere have raised the need for environmental forensics. In environmental forensics, stable isotopes, concentrations of metals and mineral identification are used to trace the sources of pollution and transport routes in the environment. Over the past 10-15 years, the topic has been broadened from having previously worked mainly with the mining industry's environmental issues to applications in infrastructure and society building, such as environmental issues linked to hydropower development, forestry, acid sulphate soils and sulphide-bearing rocks.
In Agenda 2030, the UN sets 17 Global Goals for an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development. Applied geochemistry focuses in particular on the three goals 6) Clean water and sanitation for everyone, 9) Sustainable industry, innovations and infrastructure and 13) Climate Action.