Enriching social and economic aspects in sustainability assessments of remediation strategies – Methods and implementation
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Over the last decade, there has been rapid development in promoting and implementing sustainable remediation. It is now common to include at least some sustainability considerations in remediation projects. Specific challenges that have been highlighted often relate to economic and social aspects not receiving enough attention: broadening the social aspects, community and meaningful stakeholder engagement, understanding stakeholders' risk perception, and a need for better estimates of site-specific economic costs and benefits. This study presents an application of the Sustainable Choice of REmediation (SCORE) framework with special focus on (1) demonstrating the working process for a broad sustainability assessment and (2) sharing the lessons learned from its application. Specific objectives are to describe (a) the types of stakeholders involved in the assessment, (b) the methods for collection of social and economic sustainability data, (c) residents' perception of risks, (d) the use of the sustainability assessment results in the decision-making process, and (5) possibilities for improving the methods and working process. SCORE was applied and evaluated with input from, and together with, stakeholders at the BT Kemi industrial site in the village of Teckomatorp, south Sweden, a former pesticide production site associated with the most infamous Swedish environmental scandal. A questionnaire (n = 78) was used to collect input from residents regarding local acceptance and economic externalities of the remediation alternatives. Alternatives with a high degree of removal of contaminants received a high ranking in the assessment, primarily due to social and economic effects. The working process can be improved, specifically regarding workshop preparation and workshop structure. A broad representation of stakeholders and early establishment of communication channels to residents is key for robust assessment of social aspects. The information from the sustainability assessment was used in the decision-making process, not least for revising remediation options.