The Development and Use of Sustainability Criteria in SuRF-UK's Sustainable Remediation Framework.
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Sustainability considerations have become widely recognised in contaminated land management and are now accepted as an important component of remediation planning and implementation around the world. The Sustainable Remediation Forum for the UK (SuRF-UK) published guidance on sustainability criteria for consideration in drawing up (or framing) assessments, organised across 15 “headline” categories, five for the environment element of sustainability, five for the social, and five for the economic. This paper describes how the SuRF-UK indicator guidance was developed, and the rationale behind its structure and approach. It describes its use in remediation option appraisal in the UK, and reviews the international papers that have applied or reviewed it. It then reviews the lessons learned from its initial use and the opinions and findings of international commentators, and concludes with recommendations on how the indicator categories might be further refined in the future. The key findings of this review are that the SuRF-UK framework and indicator guidance is well adopted into practice in the UK. It is widely recognised as the most appropriate mechanism to support sustainability-based decision making in contaminated land decision making. It has influenced the development of other national and international guidance and standards on sustainable remediation. However, there is room for some fine tuning of approach based on the lessons learned during its application.