Skanska looks beyond reducing impact to restoring the environment

Press release 22/04/2013 08:00 CET

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future, hosted a forward-thinking workshop for Skanska’s senior management team at its headquarters in Hertfordshire in March.

Mike Putnam, Skanska UK’s President and CEO, and Mats Williamson, Skanska AB’s Executive Vice President, were among the attendees of the ‘Beyond deep green’ workshop, which focused on the future of sustainability in construction.

Skanska’s Journey to Deep Green™ is its strategy to achieve construction with near-zero environmental impact. In the UK more than 65% of Skanska’s projects are defined as green because they exceed regulatory minimum environmental standards. The company is now looking decades ahead, beyond achieving its deep green aspirations. Skanska believes it is not good enough to simply reduce the impact of construction, but wants to have a net positive impact on the environment – that means restoring it.

Mike Putnam, who is also Co-Chair of the Green Construction Board, said: “Green is well-embedded into Skanska’s culture compared with our peers and society at large. We’re in a strong position but we have a long way to go – we will not rest on our laurels.”

The workshop included learning from successful case studies from other green leaders, including Marks and Spencer’s Plan A and Kingfisher’s Net Positive campaign.

Skanska generation Y employees – those aged under 37 years – joined the workshop to give their personal insights into the future of construction. They highlighted the importance of values, ethics and a commitment to protect the environment when choosing an employer. Embracing digital and mobile forms of technology to support flexible working, a good work-life balance and varied career opportunities were also named as priorities.

The group discussed how Skanska can support society’s progress from industrial capitalism to a collaborative economy, based on the concept of sharing excess capacity and maximising participation.