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Early involvement key to delivering sustainability opportunities

Opportunities to introduce sustainable solutions to geotechnics elements of construction projects are being missed through late involvement of contractors, according to Skanska environment director Jennifer Clark.

“The construction industry has a big role to play in improving sustainability but so many opportunities are missed – contractors need to be involved earlier to deliver these benefits,” said Clark speaking at a Cementation Skanska sustainability round table event yesterday.

Supply chain and client guests at the event question the contractor’s role in influencing sustainability. Clark said that Skanska has a strong environmental ethic in its business from its Swedish parent company that was driving it strategy and added: “We shouldn’t wait for legislation – we have the technology so we should play a part in making it happen.

Clark said that the business was looking at the contribution made at site level and added that the drive to improve sustainability is as much a behavioural issue than one of policy. She said that the company has started to deliver tool box talks, in a similar format ones used to promote health and safety, to update site staff on how their contribution is making a difference.

Cementation Skanska managing director Martin Pedley said that its policies were already helping clients to reduce the carbon output on foundations work being undertaken by the company, as well reduce costs on the schemes. Pedley said that many of the schemes where the company has been able to deliver these improvements are ones where the company was involved at an early stage.

As part of its commitment to driving improved sustainability, Cementation Skanska has committed to carrying out water use monitoring on all of its sites by the end of the year. “It is not a figure we have been asked before by a client but we want to know what demand we are making on resources and find ways to reduce this demand,” said Pedley.

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