Construction is a carbon-intensive industry which typically involves the extraction, manufacture and transport of large quantities of materials, as well as construction activities. The way we design and construct buildings and civil and infrastructure projects can have a significant effect on the amount of emitted greenhouse gases. Skanska measure its carbon footprints on both project and corporate level and work on how to reduce our emissions.

Carbon emissions from the built environment

The construction industry has a significant indirect impact on greenhouse gas emissions through the use of energy and large volume carbon intense materials such as concrete and ferrous metals products. In addition, the built environment is a major consumer of energy and therefore indirectly responsible for a significant proportion of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the power generation sector.

Our carbon strategy

Strategic direction is informed by our Environmental Policy and we focus on things we can directly control and directly influence. We strive to reduce emissions of gasses associated with Climate Change. Where reduction is not possible, as a last resort we will balance our own emissions using reputable means. 

The Environmental Policy and the Color Palette™ recognize the need to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the built environment. They contain short and long-term actions that have been influenced by risks and opportunities related to climate change.

Since 2008 we have been developing expertise to reduce carbon emissions by:

  • Increasing energy efficiency in the construction process and in the operation of the completed projects

  • Increasing fuel efficiency in the construction process, e.g. logistics and fuel use on site

  • Identifying the means to select construction materials that can demonstrate a lower carbon footprint, provided they meet necessary technical and economic requirements

Project Carbon footprints

We perform carbon footprints in our projects. Since 2013, we have performed more than 700 project carbon footprints, helping us to realize improved environmental and economic project performance.

A carbon footprint is defined as an estimate of the embodied carbon – emissions related to construction materials and activities. The reduction of embodied carbon via value engineering efforts often provides cost effective ways to minimize the environmental impact of Skanska’s projects. Selection and reduction of materials and reducing the amount of transport can realize both environmental and financial savings.

Green Strategic Indicator (GSI)

For the Business Plan 2016 - 2020, Skanska have ten Green Strategic Indicators. The Green Strategic Indicator for carbon is “the number of projects that have been submitted to a Preliminary Carbon Footprint”.

Greenhouse gas emissions from Skanska’s operations 

Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges for mankind. We are accountable for further generations to minimize the carbon footprint on our operations today. In 2015 Skanska Sweden set the target to be carbon neutral (zero carbon) by 2050. This includes the whole value chain; our production and construction projects, material from suppliers and subcontractors and finally the operation of the buildings, civil and infrastructure projects.

Greenhouse gas emissions from Skanska’s operations

Greenhouse gas emissions from Skanska’s operations Direct (Scope 1) and Indirect (Scope 2) in tons CO2e  

Scope 1


 330,758 367,791 386,154 354,518 341,869 305,986
Scope 2, location based approach


49,207 60,494 51,305 50,981 67,886 110,866

 In 2016, Skanska changed the reporting year for carbon to cover a 12-month period from the fourth quarter of the prior year through the third quarter the following year. The 2016 carbon emission metrics cover from the beginning of the fourth quarter 2015 through the end of the third quarter 2016.

Direct and indirect emissions

Scope 1 includes direct emissions that occur from sources that are owned or controlled by Skanska, e.g. emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc. Scope 2 includes indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the Skanska. Scope 2 emissions physically occur at the facility where electricity is generated.

Skanska’s greenhouse gas reporting covers all Construction and Developing units and the greenhouse gas inventory is developed in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions from the construction units are third party reviewed and disclosed in our Annual Report and to CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project. Skanska is reporting in accordance with the Location based approach in Annual Report and in accordance to Market based and Location based approach to CDP.

Scope 3 is an optional reporting category for other indirect emissions that are a consequence of Skanska’s activities, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by us, e.g. the extraction and production of purchased materials; transportation of purchased fuels; and use of sold products and services. We disclose our scope 3 emissions to CDP.

Climate leadership recognition by CDP

Skanska AB score A- and achieve Leadership level in CDP's 2017 climate change questionnaire. This excellent result indicates Skanska AB has implemented a range of actions to manage climate change, both in its own operations and beyond. Companies at Leadership level show evidence of at least one of the following: meaningful targets and emissions reduction activities and verified or assured emissions data. Skanska has participated in CDP's climate change investor program since 2007 and CDP's climate change supply chain program since 2008.


Green report about carbon

Carbon emissions caused by humans affect us all. This issue of the Green Urban Development Report delves into the built environment to find ways of eliminating carbon, which not only saves money but also creates new business opportunities.

Read our Green Urban Development Report No. 4