“It’s important to practice what you preach”
That’s the conclusion at the head office of construction group Skanska, which has won the Environmental Star of the Year award. This new award, created by Coor Service Management, is designed to recognize high ambitions in the environment and FM services.
Agneta Wannerström, Skanska's Environmental Development Manager and Olof Sandqvist, Skanska's Category Manager, received the award at the Westmanska Palatset conference center in Stockholm, which was presented by President of Coor Sweden Staffan Ebenfelt. Skanska has decided to donate the prize money to support the activities of the National Swedish Association for the Promotion of Outdoor Life.
"It's fun and important to gain recognition for our environmental work. Coor's environmental audit was also a measure of how we're performing against other companies," comments Olof.
Skanska started working consciously on environmental issues because of internal demand. It quickly became apparent that customers took a very positive view of Skanska's environmental focus. The 'Green Workplace' concept was soon created to highlight internal environmental work, then 'Green Building,' to develop environmental work on building projects for customers.
"Quite simply, we think we do better business by demonstrating our substantial environmental commitment and highlighting its business benefit. That's why environmental work is a business strategy issue that starts with group decisions and then trickles down through the organization," adds Agneta.
Both of them think it's fairly easy to manage environmental issues at Skanska because many people there feel a personal commitment. But what's green today isn't necessarily so tomorrow. You need to keep making your criteria more stringent.
"This is continuous development work towards our goal—zero environmental impact," notes Olof.
Each year, Skanska runs a 'Green Week', which puts the focus on different environmental issues. But the decisive factor for well-executed environmental work is that it's systematic and covers the whole chain. Internal environmental work must capture everything from the tiny details to major complex processes, from paper choices in the office to how to work at an asphalting plant. Skanska raises environmental performance on construction projects above specifications, standards and legislated requirements by environmentally certifying buildings, for example.
"We were quick to realize that to succeed in our environmental work, we also need to work closely with the right collaboration partners and suppliers. We can't go the whole way ourselves," continues Agneta.
Coor shares this opinion—you can't go any further with your environmental work than customers are prepared to go. The collaboration with Skanska is a good example of both partners contributing to develop environmental work on specific assignments.
"Skanska is an excellent example of a customer with high defined environmental ambitions that also lives up to its goals. Its head office at Solna, near Stockholm, is also one of the offices achieving gold standard environmental labeling," says Staffan Ebenfeldt, President of Coor in Sweden.
This is the first environmental audit of FM services that Coor has conducted for various customers in the Nordics. Its audit was conducted using the Coor Green Services environmental tool. As a component of its environmental work, Coor has also created a new prize: Environmental Star of the Year, awarded to the customer in Sweden with outstanding work on sustainable FM services. The Environmental Star of the Year is the first comprehensive environmental award in the FM sector.
About Coor Green Services
Coor has developed an evaluation tool that maps the environmental impact of FM services. Services with a low environmental impact gain environmental accreditation. Standards significantly higher than those legislated are required for accreditation. The environmental labeling system has two levels: Coor Green Services Gold and Coor Green Services Silver. In 2010, Coor evaluated FM services at 120 offices and sites—5 achieved the gold standard and 51 silver. Skanska at Solna is one of the offices achieving the gold standard.
Want to know more about Coor Green Services?
Contact Magdalena Aspengren.