Skanska, one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups is driven by a strong commitment to have a positive social and environmental impact. The Swedish multinational company’s purpose is to build for a better society. Marcin Łapiński, Managing Director of Skanska Property Hungary discussed how the built environment can generate value both for business and society.
Skanska is always at the forefront of doing business through value creation in a responsible way and contribution to the society. Is Profit with Purpose a strategic way for your company?
Our Business Plan 2016-2020, Profit with Purpose, outlines the strategic direction that will take Skanska to the next level. Our aim is to increase shareholder value while working toward a more sustainable future for employees, customers and communities. Profit is needed to deliver our purpose; and a strong purpose will contribute to our profit. It is not about doing one or the other; it is about doing both at the same time. This is how Skanska creates Profit with Purpose. Drawing on our Scandinavian heritage, we’re green and innovative. We look at business decisions through sustainability lens and create futureproof solutions in order to contribute to the community in which we operate in a meaningful way, leaving a long lasting legacy. Our buildings will serve their users and communities for many more years, and we do have to use the natural resources wisely and in a sustainable way to ensure the best possible outcome. Developing green and sustainable buildings is the only way forward for property developers.
What do you think makes Skanska a trendsetter of sustainability solutions?
Constructing “green” buildings is a major step to decrease carbon footprint, to help preserve our environmental heritage and to reduce tenants’ maintenance costs on a longer term. A huge emphasis is during the design phase. But these days it is not just about more efficient light bulbs, solar panels and green roofs. It is about making greener the whole construction process: usage of local and energy-friendly materials and pre-fabricated elements, decrease carbon emission during transportation, introduction of time-efficient formwork systems and implementation of waste management solutions.
Furthermore, Skanska takes a long-term view towards futureproof buildings so that they are sustainable for many decades to come. Our new innovative solution - currently under testing - is the usage of semi-transparent perovskite solar cells to cover our office buildings on a commercial scale, in collaboration with the technology provider Saule Technologies. The usage of perovskite cells is an important step towards energy self-sufficient buildings.
Skanska also integrates water-efficient solutions within its projects. Mill Park, our latest office development uses around 75% less water than a conventional office building in Hungary and includes a rain and soil water harvesting system for toilet flushing and irrigation.
Could you give more details on that project?
Mill Park, located in Budapest’s 9th district, is really the combination of great location, access to transportation with high-quality office space providing sustainable solutions. We believe that people are the heart of our business. It’s why we place such a strong emphasis on creating the right working environment and care for the neighbouring community, for example a new crosswalk on Soroksári road was developed to provide safe crossing for pedestrians, as well as easy access to the Danube promenade. A public bicycle network station will be placed near the building to offer bike service to the office workers and the neighbours. All these features reflect Skanska’s commitment to creating high-quality buildings that make positive contributions to local communities.
Mill Park opened recently. What’s next for Skanska?
We have just started the third phase of Nordic Light office complex on the Váci út office corridor. The new building, Nordic Light Trio aims for WELL certification, to be the first Skanska development in Hungary achieving it. A warm and welcoming lobby with a feel of a cosy living room will offer space to work, meet or have a coffee in a relaxed environment.
Top notch and smart solutions are the key to delivering a high-quality experience for our customers. Connected by Skanska is the most integrated operating system for the office buildings and we developed it aiming to connect smart technologies of the building, but more importantly to integrate people in the workplace. At Nordic Light Trio, it will support people working in the building with an activity-based parking system, as well as with a virtual reception and mobile access. The all-in-one app will offer unique networking and social opportunities as well.
A spirit of true and honest partnership with surrounding communities, building strong and effective relationships with them is an integral part of each our project. For example Nordic Light Trio project’s 2,400 sqm multifunctional garden was designed to provide green, relaxing area open not only to tenants but to the neighbours, too.