Repository logo

Assessing the trend in sustainable remediation: A questionnaire survey of remediation professionals in various countries

Accepted version



Change log


Hou, D 
Rigby, M 


Over the past decade, sustainable remediation has grown from an emerging concept into a widely accepted new institutional norm. Scholar literature increased exponentially from nearly none in late 1990s to over 400 publications per year in 2014. The present study used a questionnaire survey conducted in 2012 and 2014 to assess the global trend in the awareness and practice of sustainable remediation. A total of 373 responses were received from survey participants located in 22 countries. The survey found that the US and the UK similarly had the highest level of awareness and adoption rate of sustainable remediation. Asia and other developing countries had much lower awareness levels and/or adoption rates. For all regions, the adoption rates were significantly lower than awareness levels, indicating a large gap between awareness and practice. One specific example is regarding minimizing greenhouse gas emission, which is a focal point in sustainable remediation literature, but with very low adoption rate according to this survey. This study also found that the adoption rates of a few sustainable remediation considerations, such as "minimizing local scale secondary impact", "minimizing national to global scale secondary impact", and "bringing prosperity to disadvantaged community", had decreased between 2012 and 2014. On the other hand, the survey also suggests the remediation community has rendered more expertise, training, and resources in sustainable remediation between 2012 and 2014. The mixed results suggest that in order to enhance sustainable remediation adoption, it is imperative to employ continued effort to enhance the understanding of sustainable remediation by practitioners and to link self-interest and public interest with sustainable remediation considerations.



sustainable remediation, green remediation, contaminated land, questionnaire survey

Journal Title

Journal of Environmental Management

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title