Review of available tools and methodologies to calculate CO2 emissions of soil and groundwater management activities

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  • Published: June 2024
  • REF/ISBN: 978 1 78725 432 9
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a legal requirement and a corporate objective for many organisations globally. In 2018, the construction sector, including land remediation, was responsible for 39% of global energy and process-related CO2 emissions, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA). To effectively reduce these emissions, robust estimates, particularly for soil and groundwater management, are crucial. These estimates help manage emissions from site investigations, remediation operations, waste management, travel, and laboratory analyses.

This report reviews available tools and methodologies for calculating CO2 emissions from soil and groundwater remediation activities, identifying gaps in current knowledge emissions and providing methods and tools for achieving CO2 emission reductions. It emphasises the need for accurate CO2 emission estimates in soil and groundwater management to facilitate effective GHG emission reductions. The document is aimed at multiple readers, including energy site operators, environmental consultants, site investigation and remediation contractors, analytical laboratories, local authority staff, environmental regulators, and potentially others.

None of the reviewed GHG emission calculators consider all the remediation technologies listed in the land contamination risk management (LCRM) and most could not easily be modified to use UK data or to add new remediation techniques. In response, and following on from this report, Phase 2 aims to develop a user-friendly and editable tool for estimating the carbon footprint of soil and groundwater remediation within the Environment Agency’s Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM) framework. The tool is envisaged to support the appraisal stage of LCRM, particularly at stage two, by offering an estimate of the carbon footprint associated with remediation activities. The tool is currently under development and is expected to be launched in November 2024.

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