Winner: Skanska UK
For parts of the industry, sustainability remains a challenge the size and scope of which seems daunting.
In front of the judges, five deserving finalists in this category demonstrated how they are innovating both in their cultures and practices to lead by example in this field.
Skanska stood out among a strong shortlist by showcasing the extent to which sustainability is embedded within the company at every level, with a presentation that had the judges hailing the company as “hugely competent” and “industry leaders”.
“Skanska has set the standard that the industry should aspire to”
In 2010, Skanska developed a five-year strategic plan built around ambitious sustainability performance benchmarks for all the projects the company worked on, scored against internal measures that ensure ‘green’ projects go beyond BREEAM Outstanding and industry compliance.
An impressive 87 per cent of the contractor’s revenue comes from projects that meet its Green Standard, against a target set in 2010 of 55 per cent.
On the firm’s own Doncaster Bentley Works yard and offices it has embarked upon its first Deep Green scheme that will be fully zero-carbon.
The company’s commitment to embedding sustainable values in its people, its strategic direction and its relationships with clients and other contractors is readily apparent.
For example, Skanska has launched an Ideas App through which staff can submit innovative suggestions for green initiatives.
This led to the company setting up its Swap Shop where project managers can list surplus materials that other sites across the UK could re-use, saving waste going to landfill and money buying unnecessary stock.
Enthusing staff up and down a large business can be challenging, but Skanska instills its principles through initiatives such as the Skanska Way Week.
This sees UK staff compete to achieve carbon credits through activities such as cycling to work or attending sustainability workshops, and even going as far as to give employees electric cars.
The judges commended the commitment to sustainability demonstrated in the company’s representation on external boards and groups – with Skanska staff part of more than 60 green bodies.
“The firm is hugely influential across the industry, government and think tanks, and as a contractor its ethos and behaviours ensure it will deliver a more sustainable outcome”
The contractor also leads by example, investing in its own buildings – including its Woking office, where other businesses are present – to make the whole building greener, achieving energy savings of 45 per cent and carbon reductions of 55 per cent.
Reductions in energy (38 per cent) and carbon (48 per cent) at Skanska’s Maple Cross House office also impressed the judging panel.
The evolving and ever-improving efforts towards being a leading sustainable company, evident throughout the business, confirmed for the judges that Skanska was a worthy winner.