Alexandra Bomb Lange joined Skanska six years ago, and during that time has supported Green initiatives centrally within Skanska Sweden and now as Manager of Sustainability Programs within Skanska AB.
She felt that gaining a project-level perspective would be valuable to her Group-level work, so she discussed this with her supervisor during their development dialogue.
"I needed to experience the huge amounts of requirements that are put on projects – not only Green ones – and how the projects prioritize and handle all of those requirements," says Alexandra.
Welcomed with open arms
Her supervisor agreed, and also very supportive of the plan was the health, safety, and environment manager at Skanska's Hisingsbron bridge replacement project in central Gothenburg, on Sweden's West Coast. So Alexandra began a four-month-long, two-day-a-week internship at this project, which is creating a new landmark in her hometown.
"The project team welcomed me with open arms," she says.
She notes: "I had never met a customer, and after six hours on the project my colleagues asked if I wanted to join an environmental strategy session with the customer representatives. I said, 'Yes, please!'"
Making early contributions
Alexandra joined the Hisingsbron project at a fortunate time: The project was in its early stages, so ways of working with environmental requirements – including those from the customer – were still being defined. Alexandra, with her knowledge of Skanska’s Green priorities, quickly posed two questions to the team about Green fundamentals: 1) Have you done a carbon footprint? and 2) Where is this project on the Skanska Color Palette™?
The team had already started working on the carbon footprint to identify potential carbon and financial savings, but they had some questions. Alexandra tapped her Green network to quickly find answers.
"That felt like a real way I could contribute with my contacts and knowledge," she says.
Seeing strategies in action
With the Color Palette, Alexandra helped the team explore how to fulfill requirements within the four priority areas: Energy, Carbon, Materials and Water. Alexandra was gratified to learn that the Color Palette’s strategic approach aligns with the customer’s requirement to work systematically with environmental management.
Alexandra sees this experience greatly influencing her work with Group-level Green initiatives, which are part of Skanska’s sustainability approach. For instance, she now better appreciates the need to clearly communicate sustainability initiatives so project teams can quickly understand and adopt them, amidst their many other activities.