Coor – backing Skanska’s environmental work

By taking a proactive approach to environmental work, the Malmö office of construction group Skanska has become one of the sector’s most attractive workplaces. It received Skanska’s environmental prize last year, when the Malmö office also became an EU – labelled environmental office. Coor was part of this from the beginning, backing Skanska’s creative work, which resulted in the award.

“The journey’s been really exciting. Skanska’s environmental improvements sparked off enormous creativity that infected everyone participating,” enthused Coor’s Contract Manager Marie Krueger.

Environmental issues are becoming more important when hiring people because environmental consciousness is increasing – especially among younger applicants. Skilled and aware applicants are setting increasing standards on their employers on environmental and ethical issues.

That’s why a lot of companies are using environmental imagery as an important competitive tool in the search and selection process. One example is Skanska Sverige AB (Sweden), which focuses on the environment in its aim of offering the sector’s best and most attractive workplace – focusing on the environment.

“Skanska Sweden was quick to realise that giving environmental matters more space gave it an opportunity to enhance its attractions as a workplace,” continued Marie.

This environmental work really got going at Skanska’s Malmö office, and it was this site that eventually received Skanska’s environmental prize. It’s where the foundation of thinking that is now the benchmark for the whole Skanska group was laid.

“We’ve had a great partnership with Coor,” commented Pierre Börjesson, Controller of Skanska Sverige AB, “Coor has offered superb support and been a great sounding-board for us in the environmental measures we’ve introduced.”

It all began with Pierre’s vision of positioning Skanska as the best employer in the sector. It quickly became apparent that environmental issues were high on the agenda for achieving this goal.

Generally, the construction sector has made a lot of progress in environmental work in production, but Skanska also wanted to raise its environmental ambitions in and around its office sites. Coor made a contribution to the work on how workplace services could be enhanced, and took its role very seriously.

Coor’s approach

“We had an inventive start, when we brought together as many wise old heads as we could in a range of workshops. We combed through the skills we had in environmental issues within Coor, and partnered with Skanska’s people. We then selected and discussed all the services where we were able to identify environmental measures,” added Marie.

The package of measures we identified was substantial, and we were able to implement a range of them. Here’s just a few of them: notice boards for public transport, a free bike hire scheme and environmental and fair trade labelling of fruit.

The initiatives started to get results, and in 2008, the Malmö office gained recognition with Skanska’s environmental prize. The citation emphasized how the express environmental image has secured the Malmö office with high environmental status and a good PR pay-off.

“Coor taking overall responsibility and the ability to get an overview of the whole service provision process meant we were able to offer the level of support this environmental work required,” continued Marie, “it’s great to feel we can really help our customers meet their challenges, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work on helping all Skanska offices achieve the same environmental image.”

“These environmental measures mean a lot, not just for the planet we live on, but also because they cut costs. Coor has been really good at putting our environmental ideas into practice,” concluded Pierre.