Carbon Leadership Forum

September 26, 2019

Skanska’s Elizabeth Heider: “Carbon reduction in construction: a net benefit, not just to the environment, but to the bottom line”

LinkedIn post by Elizabeth Heider, Chief Sustainability Officer at Skanska USA Inc.

Today marks the start of Climate Week NYC. On this day, or any day in this age, there should be no debate on the merits of reducing the level of carbon circulating in the atmosphere. What is debatable is the best way to take action on carbon reduction.

The carbon footprint of the built environment is simply massive—in the extraction, fabrication, transportation and erection of construction materials, but also in how we operate and maintain a structure after it’s built. Reduction of the latter, or operational carbon, is better understood and has been promoted through leadership tools like LEED® followed by regulatory legislation across the country.

Today, we announced our collaboration with over 30 sustainability leaders to help create the revolutionary EC3 tool. When the EC3 tool is made free and publicly available on November 19 at Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, this increased availability of data will improve awareness about the impacts of embodied carbon and help drive carbon reductions by enabling more informed material choices. It is also expected to incentivize manufacturers to produce low-carbon products. In the meantime, we are leveraging it with our teams and clients to illustrate the benefits of “decarbonizing” our supply chain—which can also cut costs.

Also released today is the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) “call to action” report that focuses on embodied carbon emissions and the systematic changes that are needed to achieve full decarbonization across the global buildings sector. The main objectives of this report? To communicate the deadlines and actions that must be met in order to reach the goal of net zero embodied carbon by 2050. I’m proud to say that Skanska and the EC3 tool are both mentioned in the solutions section of the report.

Read the full post on LinkedIn