Skanska announced it has joined the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) as a charter member, one of the first full-service contractors and developers to do so. Skanska joins a group of progressive engineers, designers and experts seeking to align the delivery of heavy civil infrastructure projects with efforts to ensure the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the communities where they are built.
ISI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, structured to develop and maintain a sustainability rating system for civil infrastructure. That system – Envision™ – is a collaboration between ISI in Washington, D.C. and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
“Partnering with ISI to promote sustainable infrastructure is a way to reinforce Skanska’s view that construction ultimately should contribute to healthy, thriving communities,” said incoming Skanska USA President and CEO Richard Cavallaro. “Our support of ISI is a way to declare that no matter what you are building – from a hospital to the highway that gets you there – it can be built green.”
Skanska’s commitment to ISI will extend beyond a name listing. Skanska USA Chief Sustainability Officer Beth Heider will work with the ISI board while Skanska USA Civil’s Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety Paul Haining and National SHEMS Director Nicholas Bishop will provide their technical expertise to help speed adoption of Envision. Additionally, Skanska has been appointed to the chairmanship of the Envision construction work group, which organizes the Envision construction module. ISI will also provide opportunities for all Skanska employees to receive full training and credentialing for the Envision standard.
“Envision provides a way to plan, recognize and celebrate the good work many are already doing and a framework that will continually raise the bar,” Heider said. “Increasingly, our clients are asking us to go beyond our ISO 14001 environmental management system to also demonstrate how the process of construction can support the long term resilience and sustainability of the communities we serve. Envision is the tool to get us there.”
The agreement is the culmination of more than three years of collaboration with ISI, as Skanska’s Bishop and Project Engineer Ryan Prime have engaged in discussions about Envision’s development. Skanska is already working with clients for projects in California and Florida to seek Envision certification. Skanska was also an early supporter of the United States Green Building Council more than a decade ago when it launched LEED®. Skanska remains a Platinum member of the USGBC today.
“Sustainability in infrastructure is not just an option; it is a primary business and societal requirement,” said ISI President & CEO Bill Bertera. “Skanska embodies that commitment in its business philosophy and in its implementation. We are delighted to be working with a company and a team that embraces a sustainable future through infrastructure that meets our needs yet respects our dependence upon the natural world we share.”