Skanska’s ongoing commitment to clean air

California has some of the worst air quality in the country, often falling out of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for healthy air.

As the construction industry aims to reduce its environmental impact, we’re actively reducing our emissions to help clean the air in California and beyond.

Poor air quality can cause breathing problems, asthma, COPD and even lung cancer, making this a public health concern throughout the state.

As the construction industry aims to reduce its environmental impact, we’re looking at ways to actively reduce our emissions to help clean the air in California and beyond. 

Modeling an electric path forward

Skanska is set to become carbon-neutral across our value chain by 2045. To achieve these ambitious targets, Skanska is accelerating our journey toward cleaner air through a variety of sustainable initiatives:

  • Increasing our portfolio of on-site electric vehicles and equipment: As the availability and capabilities of electric motor vehicles and equipment grows, we’re transforming the fleet that powers our work. Since 2020, we’ve added 50 electric and or Hybrid vehicles or equipment to projects across the country, with our pace of adding new vehicles and equipment hinging on supply chain availability. Under a new Skanska policy, we’re replacing approximately 80 Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles annually with electric or hybrid solutions. Additionally, we’re in the process of installing charging stations in four permanent facilities. On our Purple (D Line) Extension Transit project in Los Angeles, we’re currently piloting a zero-emissions electric excavator.  
  • Exercising our carbon neutral commitment: Going carbon neutral is a multifaceted effort. Our commitment to carbon neutrality shows in our efforts to minimize fossil fuel use, calculate embodied carbon with the EC3 Tool, and track how much energy our offices and owned developments use regularly. The open-sourced database, co-conceived and seed funded by Skanska, allows builders to see what material components are the most carbon-intensive. It also shows where there are opportunities to reduce embodied carbon during the construction process.
  • Anti-idling policy on construction sites: We’re all guilty of leaving our cars on longer than needed and we acknowledge that this behavior can carry into our work lives. To prevent Skanska from contributing to the air pollution problem, employees must adhere to an anti-idling policy on all our projects.
  • Offering flexible work modalities and green incentives: Skanska offers flexible work arrangements to diminish our environmental footprint. Skanska’s Green Auto Policy for commuters provides an auto allowance for those who own a SmartWay vehicle. A pre-tax transit card available through Skanska Benefits also encourages employees to take advantage of public transportation.

Operating, building and giving back—the sustainable way

There is enormous opportunity to drive impact at the intersection of sustainability and construction.

The weight of that opportunity alongside our sustainability goals—pushes us further. In each step of our work, we’re building with the environment and people in mind.

  • Incorporating biophilic elements: Biophilic elements such as living walls and the use of plants inside office developments—like in our 9000 Wilshire development in Los Angeles—can improve air quality by removing airborne pollutants.
  • Prioritizing air filtration: In our corporate offices, we’re utilizing and regularly updating MERV13 air filters. In all new CDUS projects, MERV13 air filters are used throughout the building.
  • Monitoring air-quality: We don’t know what we don’t measure. Across our job sites and offices, we’re installing air-quality monitoring systems to ensure the air is clean. If air quality ever dips below our standards, we take action to improve air quality in that area.
  • Swapping diesel for renewable fuel sources: We’re aiming to make our vehicle fleet and equipment cleaner. On five projects, including our L300 project in Seattle, Washington, we’re using renewable plant-based diesel in forklifts and heavy equipment instead of petroleum based fuel.
  • Going electric with MEP: Mechanical, Engineering and Plumbing (MEP) systems are the glue holding our projects together. Knowing how essential it is, we’re shifting to electric MEP systems where possible. Going forward, new commercial development projects will prioritize electric MEP base building systems.

As Californians struggle with the health burdens of polluted air, we’re committed to reducing our emissions to improve the communities in which Skanska operates.

Through innovative problem solving, we hope to deliver projects that foster healthy, resilient communities in which every individual has an equal opportunity to thrive.