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Sustainability of materials

The concept of Sustainable Development is well understood from a high level perspective but when applied to construction materials it is still in its infancy. For example, only relatively few construction materials or products are covered by product declarations displaying the material's environmental performance.

Our definition of a Sustainable material includes consideration of aspects such as transparency in the supply chain, local environmental impact during extraction, harvesting and manufacturing as well as the ability to reuse and recycle the product and materials at the end of life.

Many construction products and materials are globally traded and can have many links in a supply chain which often lacks transparency. Our focus on Sustainability of materials involves chain-of-custody considerations. Since 2008 we have endeavored to gain a better understanding of how to source sustainable timber and quarry products. This is a significant and complex challenge given our decentralized business model combined with the scale of our operations.

A big challenge is to totally eliminate the risk of illegally logged timber finding its way onto projects through our supply chain. This has become even more important given recent legislative developments such as the Lacey Act in the USA and the EU Timber regulation which are measures to prohibit illegal timber and timber products to be placed on these markets. .

Third-party certification

We use 3rd party certification systems where these exist, for example Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Eco-Reinforcement certification scheme. These certifications are seen as tools for increasing the use of verified sustainable materials. We interact with internal and external parties to better understand the practicalities of improving the use of sustainable materials and sustainability in our supply chain.

Forest Footprint Disclosure

Each year CDP Forests program asks companies on behalf of their investor signatories to disclose their impact on forests. Katie McCoy, Head of CDP's forests program, said:

'We congratulate Skanska on their participation in CDP's forests program for the fifth consecutive year. The company continues to show commitment to corporate transparency and ambition to meet their sustainable sourcing targets.

Eco-Reinforcement certification scheme

Skanska was a principle industry stakeholder that contributed toward the establishment of the Eco-Reinforcement certification scheme in the UK. The scheme is used to assess and verify responsibly sourced reinforcing steel products. Eco-Reinforcement has been developed as a sector-specific third-party standard, which complies with the requirements of Building Research Establishment's (BRE) BES 6001 Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products. The standard consists of a framework for the organizational governance, supply chain management and environmental and social aspects that must be abided by to ensure compliance. Read more about the case study Skanska UK´s Eco-Reinforcement Steel Supply Chain.