One of the most serious effects of Climate Change will be changes in rainfall pattern and related impact on water resources in different parts of the world. We strive to increase water efficiency in the construction process and in the final built structure and where applicable, substitute potable water for alternative quality grades.

Water in the built environment

The built environment requires water for many different purposes – human consumption and hygiene as well as for construction processes and production of materials. Water use in the built environment is a local factor.

There are different qualities of water depending on the purpose of its use, ranging from potable water to “grey” water generated from domestic activities and “black” water from sewage.

The challenge in water management is to recognize that different qualities of water exist and to use each water quality in the most efficient way and for the most appropriate applications.

Water management

In the built environment, most water consumption occurs in the use-phase of the structure, especially if it is a building. In comparison to the use-phase, the construction process uses relatively small quantities of water and the water intensity of materials used for construction varies. However, opportunities to make both the construction process and the use-phase of the building more water efficient exist and are recognized by Skanska.

Changes in precipitation pattern increase the vulnerability of some regions resulting in need for adaptation of the built environment. It may lead to changes in the location of building and infrastructure developments, and the nature of these developments might have to change to increase resistance and decrease damages to the built environment. For Skanska, being a developer and contractor, this potential upcoming need is a challenge but also an opportunity to offer our skills and services.

Water is a strategic question for Skanska at corporate level. In some parts of the company it is locally important but in others it is an abundant resource for as far forward as we can see. The water availability in our home markets has been assessed by Skanska as follows:


Skanska RegionAvailabilityTrend
Nordics Good Stable
Central Europe Good Declining
UK Declining More Decline
USA Declining More Decline

 Water policy and strategy

Skanska’s approach to water is to focus on things we can directly control and directly influence. Strategic direction is informed by our Environmental Policy (see related information) that states “We will...reduce demand for, conserve and recycle water resources”. In addition “we will minimize the negative impact of our operations on water".

The Skanska Color Palette™  defines external products and services for our
customers. Water is one of the priority areas on the Color Palette™.

Both the Environmental Policy and the Color Palette™ have been shaped by recognition of the need to increase water efficiency and mitigate risks in changed precipitation patterns related to the built environment. Our evolving water strategy is to

  • Increase water efficiency in the construction process and in the final built structure
  • Where applicable substitute potable water for alternative quality grades and reuse and recycle water to the extent technically possible.
  • Utilizing our competency and risk management system to mitigate and offer experience to our customers to address long term changes that precipitation extremes could have on the built environment.

Further develop an understanding of the relevance and significance of water footprint concepts to our operations and projects.

Measure progress in water

For the Profit with Purpose Business Plan 2016-2020 a set of Green Strategic Indicators (GSI) is agreed by the Group Leadership Team as a means of monitoring environmental progress. The GSI for water refers to water efficiency by reducing the unnecessary use of potable or drinking water.

Environmental Policy

Based on the strong belief that project development and construction can make a major contribution to a more sustainable world, Skanska is committed to proactive environmental management at all levels from local to global. With this approach we can positively influence key stakeholders, especially customers and suppliers. 

Green report about water

In many countries and markets, not just developing, but developed as well, the issue of water is real and must be solved. In this issue, solutions on both a local and global scale, are explored, together with experts in the field.

Read our Green Urban Development Report No. 3