Built environments are responsible for around 40 percent of all energy use and man-made CO2 emissions*. Fortunately, we’re a construction and real estate company.
Without a doubt home and work are a big part of people’s lives. So it’s logical that they would account for a large share of the strain on our planet. Since construction companies are so integral to both home and work, it follows that those companies bear a sizeable responsibility in our current situation.
As a construction company, we are uniquely qualified to make things happen. Together with our designers, supply chain and clients, we can contribute to true change. But fully meeting the challenges will require a change in society. Studies show that developers are unaware that buildings produce 30–40 percent of man-made CO2 – they believe the percentage is much less. They also believe it is more expensive to build green.** However, when the whole lifecycle cost is taken into consideration, green construction can be less expensive.There really has to be a change in society.
We have everything we need. Why wait?
At Skanska, we do more than just construct buildings, roads and other infrastructure. Our experience and knowledge have led us into a more active role as developer and partner at an early stage. Let’s not wait for initiatives, goals or directions resulting from international agreements and national mandates. We all need to think in new patterns, to think ahead and always do the things, large and small, that lead to a better future. The tools and technology exist. And, as you will see in this book, plenty of examples show that change is already happening. There is not one solution to the problems we face. There are thousands – and the solutions are getting smarter all the time. We are in the midst of intense growth in green-society thinking and construction. With 10,000 Skanska projects running simultaneously on three continents, we continue to gather the experience and expertise to move forward.
* Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Transforming the Market, WBCSD, April 2009.
** EEB Facts & Trends, September 2008.