Sustainable Building Week: Highlighting the construction industry’s sustainability efforts

The fifth annual Sustainable Building Week, an event-filled week to educate, connect and foster opportunities for future collaboration to Keep Portland Green, kicked off on October 10, 2022.

To celebrate, Skanska and Salmon-Safe co-hosted “Clean Water for Salmon: Skanska’s Journey to becoming Salmon-Safe,” to highlight the importance of protecting urban watersheds and share construction best practices for water quality protection.

The event took place at Skanska’s Portland office located at the historic Ballou and Wright Building, which received LEED® Silver certification for commercial interiors.

Salmon-Safe, the nation’s first accreditation program recognizing construction firms for excellence in water quality protection practices, serves as a vehicle for enhanced accountability in environmental compliance for construction site management in West Coast urban watersheds.

Skanska became the first contractor to achieve Salmon-Safe regional accreditation in both Oregon and Washington in 2020 by passing Salmon-Safe’s water quality requirements and third-party audits.

Salmon-Safe also recognized Skanska with the “Hero of Salmon” award in 2020 for its commitments to water quality and urban watershed protection in the Pacific Northwest.

As a global company, Skanska works to protect water and meet high environmental standards on all projects.

Skanska became the first construction management firm in U.S. to have all its environmental management systems registered to the ISO 14001 standard.

Our ISO 14001 certification represents Skanska’s commitment to consistent environmental performance and continuous improvement.

We run our jobsites using sustainable principles tailored to the needs of each project, with third-party verification.

Skanska’s sustainability efforts also include:

  • Certified green buildings: Our investors and customers expect comparable disclosures on sustainability performance, and we continue to offer our customers excellent certified projects using well-established certification programs such as Living Building Challenge, LEED, WELL and BREEAM.
  • Transformative solutions for a climate-smart built environment: The built environment accounts for about 40 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions. Our goal is to transition to low-carbon construction across all our projects and ultimately reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. To date, we have reduced our own carbon footprint by 51 percent since 2015, our baseline year. Skanska's climate target has been scientifically validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to be in line with the Paris Agreement on cutting carbon emissions and limiting global warming.
  • Reducing embodied carbon in our value chain: Skanska co-created the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool to reduce emissions related to the procurement and construction of a building. Skanska USA Building has committed to providing initial embodied carbon assessments on every new construction project over 50,000 square feet using EC3 to provide our customers with actionable information to make choices about reducing carbon on their projects. We also partnered with the Rocky Mountain Institute on a study to highlight low-cost and no-cost solutions for reducing embodied carbon in buildings during a project’s design and construction phases.
  • Mass timber: Building with mass timber, when compared to concrete or steel, typically reduces a structure’s carbon footprint because wood is a lower-carbon material. Additionally, mass timber is a renewable resource that can be sourced locally from sustainably managed forests, reducing vehicle miles traveled. To date, Skanska teams have completed 12 mass timber projects across the country with more on the horizon.
  • Renewable diesel: At select projects, we started to switch from using petroleum diesel to renewable diesel in equipment and vehicles. Renewable diesel is nearly chemically identical to petroleum diesel, which makes it directly compatible with engines designed to run on conventional diesel fuel, with no blending required. It can also be mixed with other types of diesel fuels with no noticeable differences. Using renewable diesel provides a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution.

During Sustainable Building Week and beyond, Skanska aims to reduce our environmental impact while being good neighbors in the communities in which we do business.

As we work to achieve our sustainability goals, we hope to build strong partnerships with community groups to implement solutions with broad-reaching benefits.

We look forward to celebrating Sustainable Building Week in the years to come, in the company of our partners, clients, friends and community members.

For more information on our sustainability efforts, check out our Annual and Sustainability Report.

Last updated: 10/14/2022