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Volchko Y.,Chalmers University of Technology | Norrman J.,Chalmers University of Technology | Rosen L.,Chalmers University of Technology | Bergknut M.,Umea University | And 5 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment

Soil contamination is one of the major threats constraining proper functioning of the soil and thus provision of ecosystem services. Remedial actions typically only address the chemical soil quality by reducing total contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels guided by land use. However, emerging regulatory requirements on soil protection demand a holistic view on soil assessment in remediation projects thus accounting for a variety of soil functions. Such a view would require not only that the contamination concentrations are assessed and attended to, but also that other aspects are taking into account, thus addressing also physical and biological as well as other chemical soil quality indicators (SQIs). This study outlines how soil function assessment can be a part of a holistic sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The paper presents a method for practitioners for evaluating the effects of remediation alternatives on selected ecological soil functions using a suggested minimum data set (MDS) containing physical, biological and chemical SQIs. The measured SQIs are transformed into sub-scores by the use of scoring curves, which allows interpretation and the integration of soil quality data into the MCDA framework. The method is demonstrated at a study site (Marieberg, Sweden) and the results give an example of how soil analyses using the suggested MDS can be used for soil function assessment and subsequent input to the MCDA framework. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Soderqvist T.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy | Brinkhoff P.,NCC Construction | Brinkhoff P.,Chalmers University of Technology | Norberg T.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management

There is an increasing demand amongst decision-makers and stakeholders for identifying sustainable remediation alternatives at contaminated sites, taking into account that remediation typically results in both positive and negative consequences. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is increasingly used for sustainability appraisal, and the Excel-based MCA tool Sustainable Choice Of REmediation (SCORE) has been developed to provide a relevant and transparent assessment of the sustainability of remediation alternatives relative to a reference alternative, considering key criteria in the economic, environmental and social sustainability domains, and taking uncertainty into explicit account through simulation. The focus of this paper is the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a part of SCORE for assessing the economic sustainability of remediation alternatives. An economic model is used for deriving a cost-benefit rule, which in turn motivates cost and benefit items in a CBA of remediation alternatives. The empirical part of the paper is a CBA application on remediation alternatives for the Hexion site, a former chemical industry area close to the city of Göteborg in SW Sweden. The impact of uncertainties in and correlations across benefit and cost items on CBA results is illustrated. For the Hexion site, the traditional excavation-and-disposal remediation alternative had the lowest expected net present value, which illustrates the importance of also considering other alternatives before deciding upon how a remediation should be carried out. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Scharin H.,University of Stockholm | Scharin H.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Ericsdotter S.,University of Stockholm | Elliott M.,University of Hull | And 10 more authors.
Ecological Economics

Sustainable stewardship of the marine environment necessitates a holistic approach encompassing all the relevant drivers, activities and pressures causing problems for the natural state of the system and their impact on human societies today and in the future. This article provides a framework as well as a decision support process and tool that could guide such an approach. In this process, identifying costs and benefits of mitigation is a first step in deciding on measures and enabling instruments, which has to be accompanied by analyses regarding distributional effects (i.e. who gains or loses) related to different targets and policy instruments. As there are risks of future irreversible regime shifts and even system collapses, the assessments have to be broadened to include scenarios on possible future developments as well as ethical considerations. In particular, a deeper sustainable management strategy may be needed to respond to possible future increases in the rate of environmental change, amongst growing evidence of external pressures, interactions and non-linear dynamics. This adaptive management strategy should focus on building the resilience required to cope with and adapt to change. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Rosen L.,Chalmers University of Technology | Back P.-E.,Swedish Geotechnical Institute | Soderqvist T.,Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy | Norrman J.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 6 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment

The multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method provides for a comprehensive and transparent basis for performing sustainability assessments. Development of a relevant MCDA-method requires consideration of a number of key issues, e.g. (a) definition of assessment boundaries, (b) definition of performance scales, both temporal and spatial, (c) selection of relevant criteria (indicators) that facilitate a comprehensive sustainability assessment while avoiding double-counting of effects, and (d) handling of uncertainties. Adding to the complexity is the typically wide variety of inputs, including quantifications based on existing data, expert judgements, and opinions expressed in interviews. The SCORE (Sustainable Choice Of REmediation) MCDA-method was developed to provide a transparent assessment of the sustainability of possible remediation alternatives for contaminated sites relative to a reference alternative, considering key criteria in the economic, environmental, and social sustainability domains. The criteria were identified based on literature studies, interviews and focus-group meetings. SCORE combines a linear additive model to rank the alternatives with a non-compensatory approach to identify alternatives regarded as non-sustainable. The key strengths of the SCORE method are as follows: a framework that at its core is designed to be flexible and transparent; the possibility to integrate both quantitative and qualitative estimations on criteria; its ability, unlike other sustainability assessment tools used in industry and academia, to allow for the alteration of boundary conditions where necessary; the inclusion of a full uncertainty analysis of the results, using Monte Carlo simulation; and a structure that allows preferences and opinions of involved stakeholders to be openly integrated into the analysis. A major insight from practical application of SCORE is that its most important contribution may be that it initiates a process where criteria otherwise likely ignored are addressed and openly discussed between stakeholders. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Van den Burg S.,LEIWageningen UR | Stuiver M.,Wageningen University | Norrman J.,Chalmers University of Technology | Garcao R.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 16 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland)

European oceans are subject to rapid development. New activities such as aquaculture and ocean energy have gained importance. This triggers interest in "multi-use platforms at sea" (MUPS), i.e., areas at sea in which different activities are combined. MUPS are complex features with regards to technology, governance, and financial, socioeconomic, and environmental aspects. To identify realistic and sustainable solutions and designs for MUPS, the MERMAID project applied a participatory design process (PDP) involving a range of stakeholders representing companies, authorities, researchers, and NGOs. This paper evaluates if and how the participatory design process contributed to the design of multi-use platforms. It is based on interviews with the managers of the case study sites and a questionnaire administered to all stakeholders participating in the PDP workshops. Analyzing the four case studies, we conclude that the participatory design process has had a valuable contribution to the development of the four different designs of MUPS, even though the preconditions for carrying out a participatory design process differed between sites. In all four cases, the process has been beneficial in generating new and shared knowledge. It brought new design issues to the table and increased knowledge and understanding among the different stakeholders. © 2016 by the authors. Source

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