Skanska pledges to go carbon-neutral by 2045

The construction and property development company Skanska has pledged to become a carbon-neutral business in the UK by 2045.

Skanska UK – which has previously worked on projects such as the Gherkin and Crossrail – has outlined its plans to reduce carbon emissions across its entire portfolio to zero, including emissions produced by its supply chain.

As intermediate goals, by 2030 the company says it aims to cut its carbon emissions to 50% of 2010 levels – amounting to 223,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) – and to reduce its carbon intensity to 130 tonnes of CO2e produced per £1m of its revenue.

Skanska UK’s president and CEO, Gregor Craig, said: ‘What makes these targets different is they include all the emissions produced by the whole of our supply chain, from their work on our projects.

‘We think that’s really important. The construction industry is different to other sectors. You’ve got to look at emissions produced by sub-contractors and suppliers during construction and maintenance. If you only look at your own direct emissions, you don’t get a true picture.’

Skanska has previously worked on projects such as the Gherkin in London. Credit: Harshil Shah (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Skanska UK has promised that it will look to achieve the above targets without using carbon offsetting schemes.

Cutting emissions across the whole life of its assets, using advanced analytics to identify and target high-impact areas, will form a key part of the company’s strategy, it said.

It will also publish its direct emissions levels and an estimate of emissions produced by its supply chain each year from this point forward.

Skanska’s pledge marks one of the most ambitious commitments made by a construction industry body yet to tackle their carbon emissions.

The construction industry is currently undergoing a drive to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement.

Earlier this month the UK Green Building Council published a new framework for construction industry professionals to help them transition towards net zero carbon buildings.

The framework aims to provide guidance to building developers and policy makers on how to make new buildings zero-carbon across their whole life cycle.