Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Technical Paper: Examining the carbon footprint and reducing the environmental impact of slope engineering options

Nick O’Riordan, Duncan Nicholson, Lynsay Hughes and Alan Phear (Arup Group). This paper was first published in GE’s February 2011 issue.


Considerable progress has been made in the assessment, management and maintenance of existing earthworks and in the selection of methods of construction of new earthworks. Techniques involving multi-criteria analysis, carbon-footprinting and life cycle assessment of competing schemes provide
transparent methodologies for use in environmental impact assessment.

This review paper provides examples of use of the various techniques, and in particular concentrates on areas of innovation including:

  • use of carbon calculators to choose between competing slope or earthwork stabilisation solutions
  • methods of ground treatment to minimise earthwork impact (eg insitu soil strengthening, soil nailing, or green walls)
  • combining performance-based design, under environmental load cases such as earthquake and flood, with carbon footprint and cost analyses.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.