Sustainable Development can be defined in many ways. Common definitions include meeting the needs of the world today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In financial language, it means living on income rather than consuming finite capital. In family terms, it means not cheating on our children.
Contributing to a more sustainable world
The debate about Sustainable Development has been ongoing since the late 1980s and the Brundtland Commission’s report. Since the late 1990s, Skanska has been exploring and defining how it can, within its direct sphere of influence, contribute to a more sustainable world. Since 2002 this commitment has been incorporate in corporate policies including our Code of Conduct and our core values.
Using the Global Reporting Initiative
In 2006, Skanska started using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as its guiding Sustainability framework. Using this generic agenda, Skanska has developed its own Sustainability Agenda to better focus strategies and actions that balance the never-ending trade-off between Economic, Social and Environmental considerations; the so-called “Triple Bottom Line.”
The complexity of our organization
Skanska is a complex and highly decentralized company. At any given time 56,000 colleagues and perhaps four times as many subcontractors are executing some 12,000 projects for customers in our Home Markets. Being project based, the organization is constantly changing shape as teams of employees and subcontractors form, disband and reform over the lifetime of a project. The workforce “churn rate” at project level can be as much as 20-40% per month. Consequently, measuring true Sustainability performance using conventional methods such as baselines is difficult, if not sometimes impossible.
Nevertheless, our commitment to contribute to a more sustainable world is resolute. However, the ongoing implementation challenge is very real and highly demanding - our success or failure lies in the hands of our people at project level.