As the largest global builder and developer in the coalition, Skanska USA continues to play a leading role in shaping the business response to our global climate crisis
On March 29, 2021, Skanska USA became the largest global construction and development company to join America Is All In—the most expansive coalition of leaders ever assembled in support of climate action in the United States.
Consisting of major U.S. cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, schools, and faith, health, and cultural institutions, America Is All In advocates for whole-of-government action on climate and champions whole-of-society mobilization to deliver the transformational change that science demands—with the goal of a healthy, prosperous, equitable and sustainable future. The coalition is working to cut U.S. emissions in half by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The commitment is consistent with Skanska’s ambitious global target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in our operations and the value chain by 2045. It is also a re-affirmation of its enduring commitment, in the U.S. and globally, to the Paris Climate Accord's principles. In 2017, Skanska USA joined over 1,200 leading U.S. businesses, investors, universities, cities and states in signing We Are Still In, the precursor to the All In coalition, which indicated that Skanska USA would continue to align with the goals of the accord in the absence of unified federal climate action.
“Skanska USA has a proud history of leadership in sustainable development and construction that stretches back more than two decades. We have never wavered in our support of the Paris Accord and joining this broad coalition of leaders reaffirms our commitment to a carbon neutral future. We are doubly proud to be the first large contractor and developer to join, and we hope that it inspires others to follow,” said Richard Kennedy, president and CEO of Skanska USA.
The climate crisis is one of humanity’s most significant challenges, and the building and construction sector currently accounts for approximately 40 percent of all energy-related carbon emissions. Skanska USA is proud to be among those recognizing the urgency of the challenge and leading the way in the industry’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
Previous experience has proven that low-carbon solutions can benefit businesses by driving efficiencies and reducing long-term costs. Skanska has reduced carbon emissions in our global operations by 28 percent since 2015 while at the same time growing our revenue. In addition, 100 percent of our external funding for the company’s development projects come from either green bonds or with green requirements. It is these and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that have earned Skanska’s place on Fortune’s annual Change the World list for the second year in a row.
In the U.S., Skanska’s three business units are intensely focused on driving toward our carbon targets. Skanska’s U.S building operations, which provides construction management, preconstruction and design-build services, is focused on leading the transition to lower-carbon structures. “Our biggest effort right now is to develop a stronger presence in the mass timber market to advise and assist our customers in selecting the best mass timber solution for their project, explained Steve Clem, SVP and national sustainability lead for Skanska USA Building. “If that’s not appropriate for their project, we provide them with the lowest carbon solution for steel and concrete. We’re working on partnerships with various innovation investors and industry partners to make this a reality.”
Skanska’s U.S. commercial development operations, which self-finances its commercial properties, now uses the Skanska USA-initiated Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool on all of its projects to drive meaningful reductions in embodied carbon. “On the developer side, there’s exciting collaboration happening around reducing embodied carbon in construction materials. Owners and developers of large buildings and campuses are coming together to think about how we can collaborate and make some common asks of suppliers of key construction materials as we seek out less carbon intensive options,” said Sarah King, sustainability director for USA Commercial Development.
Skanska’s U.S. civil infrastructure operations is focused intensely on controlling operational carbon through steadily replacing their fleet of vehicles and equipment with electric vehicles and equipment. “We are also working with the manufacturers of those items and supporting them as they offer up products that have less carbon output,” said Mason Ford, director of sustainability and equipment services for USA Civil.
As a leader in sustainable design and construction, joining the America Is All In coalition is just one of the many steps that Skanska USA is taking towards a lower-carbon future. For more information on our commitment to sustainability, visit Sustainability at Skanska USA.