Achieving sustainable remediation

November 15, 2021

Vivien Dent, Associate Technical Director at RSK Geosciences, has participated in the Brownfield & Regeneration Network’s round-table discussion on achieving sustainable remediation. Hosted by Environment Analyst in October, the round-table group has now published its findings and recommendations on achieving sustainability in the brownfield industry.

The Brownfield & Regeneration Network aims to bring together professionals from across the brownfield community to “share insights and solve problems” and to “define the future of the brownfield industry”. The network’s leading professionals gathered for the round-table talk to discuss the question: “What is sustainable remediation and how can it be achieved?” Vivien was among the participants and contributed directly to the recommendations made, which will be taken forward to inform future practices and effect change within the industry.

Sustainable remediation practices are often under-utilised in brownfield projects and the low levels of take-up are beginning to lead to wider environmental challenges. Aiming to address the misconception that these solutions are a compromise and raise sustainable remediation’s profile as a viable solution, the discussion highlighted the need to take a holistic approach to balance environmental concerns with social and economic factors.

“As a risk assessor, I often see unachievable remedial targets developed for a site that can lead to the remediation of a site being unsustainable. As a member of the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SuRF UK) steering group, I am a great advocate of the SuRF UK approach to achieving sustainable remediation”, Vivien said of her involvement in the round-table meeting.

Following the discussions and presentation of ideas on the topic, a number of recommendations were made. These recommendations included:

  • ensuring resilience by broadening consideration of sustainable remediation
  • encouraging regulators to champion these solutions and practices
  • focusing on adaptation of existing techniques and developing smarter applications instead of novel technologies
  • encouraging cost–benefit and value to be considered in the application of sustainable solutions

Vivien added, “I found the round-table discussion very useful and thought-provoking. Some of the themes will be picked up by Environment Analyst at future events to keep the discussion going on this important topic.”