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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sweden’s first net zero energy neighbourhood and Skanska’s first ever net zero energy and Deep Green residential project.

Skanska´s Journey to Deep Green™ – a 2 degree solution

Jennifer Clark, Senior Vice President, Green and Corporate Community Investment, Skanska AB

26 August 2015


As part of our series of blog posts to mark #100daysToParis, where at COP21 the world will make its international agreement on climate change, we welcome guest blogger Jennifer Clark, SVP at Skanska, member of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, to share her organisation’s climate change challenges and opportunities.

As a leading green project developer and contractor committed to responsible business, we support a progressive agreement from Paris in December since it helps deliver long-term legislative certainty and incentives to accelerate green investments, that will contribute to the wellbeing of future generations.

A rise in temperature will lead to more frequent extreme weather events such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. This and the threat of natural resources shortages will put new and higher demands on us and our industry. Our industry needs to integrate climate and natural resource considerations into business decisions and deliver more resilient buildings and infrastructure going forward. Together with our customers and supply chain, we must think anew in terms of materials and equipment selection.

And we are firmly part of the solution. By 'building green' we can minimise the usage of depleting natural resources and help our customers to reduce carbon emissions and cost. Green building is a great business opportunity for us as it is right for the planet, attractive to clients, communities, and employees alike; and it creates value for our shareholders. The best part is that we don’t have to wait. Skanska already has the competence and technology we need to build green.

For example, Our Journey to Deep Green™ represents a new approach to construction and development and puts climate and resource considerations at the heart of our business. Skanska Deep Green projects are projects with a near zero environmental impact and demand a Net Zero or better energy performance. These projects are typically delivered in close cooperation with our customers, municipalities and suppliers.

Solallén net zero energy neighborhood in Vikaholm, VäxjöIn the Swedish town Växjö we have designed, developed and constructed our first Deep Green residential neighbourhood, Solallén (shown here). The townhouses generate more energy than they are using over the course of a year thanks to its roof-mounted photovoltaic solar system and geothermal energy system. Therefore Skanska offers homebuyers a lower carbon footprint as well as significantly lower energy bills.

Our first Deep Green project in the UK is Bentley Works in Doncaster, our regional engineering, manufacturing and servicing hub that has been redeveloped into a state-of-the-art facility designed to achieve net zero primary energy. The facility is equipped with a solar photovoltaic system and two biomass boilers that utilize waste biofuel which saves carbon and money. By using lifecycle optioneering, the team could identify the most optimal solutions that provide the best long-term value for money and environmental efficiencies throughout the lifecycle.

We hope that a successful COP21 will lead to tougher requirements and incentives that will reward those that have started their journey to deep green and incentivise others to follow. 

About the author

Jennifer ClarkOur guest blogger Jennifer Clark has been Senior Vice President, Green and Corporate Community Investment at Skanska AB since April 2015. She joined Skanska in 1999 in the UK driving green and community investment into the business. Prior to working for Skanska, Jennifer worked in major global construction projects including the new airport in Hong Kong, Chek, Lap Kok and the Channel Tunnel in Kent, England. She also has experience working for regulatory authorities and consultants to get a broad perspective of the construction industry.

About Skanska

Skanska is one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. Based on its global green experience, Skanska aims to be the clients' first choice for green solutions.

Skanska is a member of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group. The Corporate Leaders Group helps business to reach their sustainability goals and partnership with policymakers to rewire our economy for low carbon transition, eliminate carbon emissions and increase resilience and efficiency.


Guest articles on the blog do not necessarily represent the views of, or endorsement by, the Institute or the wider University of Cambridge.


Adele Williams, Director of Communications  

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