Main content | back to top
Skanska isn’t just one of the world’s largest construction companies, it’s also one of the greenest. Fleet manager Paul Bellamy explains…
Skanska UK Fleet Manager Paul Bellamy is on his way to a meeting relating to replacement of all the street lamps in Croydon and Lewisham. He doesn’t have to spend much time on the road these days, but when he does he drives an electric car. “My electric car is the first one in the company. I never see myself as a volunteer but invariably I end up that way,” he says smiling.
Pioneer may be more accurate. Prior to his position within Skanska, Paul worked as the fleet manager for DHL for 24 years, and won an environment award from Fleet News for introducing LPG vehicles to the delivery company’s fleet in the mid-90s. His green credentials are a good fit for Skanska, which in June this year was named the UK’s Best Green Company across all industries by The Sunday Times in the paper’s Best Green Companies Awards. “Our parent company is Swedish and I think it’s very much the culture there to be green,” says Paul.
Skanska has very green credentials; the environment and sustainability is very much part of the business ethic.
Skanska is one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups, specialising in the development of commercial and residential properties, and public private partnerships, such as the Cross Rail Joint Venture. High profile projects include the Swiss Re building (the ‘gherkin’ in the City of London) and the Olympic Park in Stratford (Essex). “Although most contractors are involved in that somehow!” laughs Paul.
“Our company car policy is very green: 130 CO2 and below,” he says. “We use Shell fuel cards, so a lot of our drivers are filling up with Shell FuelSave.”
“It’s hard to prove exactly what effect it’s had but I’ve seen recent statistics that say we’re getting a better return on our vehicles.”
“The rising cost of fuel has been significant for businesses but the car industry has risen to the challenge. Vehicles are now more fuel efficient. But getting the best return on MPG is something I am always conscious of – especially with regards to the environment. I think the two tend to go hand in glove.”
Shell is helping Skanska maintain its green initiative. “Through education as well as through the fuel we buy,” says Paul. “People’s perception is that fuel is dirty or it’s a polluter, so it’s good to hear what Shell is doing about that.” Shell representatives attended Skanska’s annual Environment week in June this year and manned a stand that displayed the message: “Helping customers use less, emit less and save more.”
“Shell also did an extremely good presentation about the company and its products, which was received very well,” says Paul. “Shell FuelSave was an element of it but it was also interesting to hear about the wider aspects of what Shell is doing, the sorts of technologies it’s investing in, for example, in terms of the environment.”
“The presentation highlighted where Shell as a supplier in the supply chain can assist us.”
“We’ve got to drive down our costs and get improvements and efficiencies, and I think Shell can help us with that. It’s about working together.”
And with that, Paul is off to tend to today’s mini energy challenge: the upgrade of the good people of Croydon’s street lamps to state of the art technology. As for the bigger energy challenge of the future Paul will be keeping his fleet as green as he can, getting some help from Shell along the way.
At a Glance
The fuel saving facts
- Skanska was founded in 1887 in Sweden, evolving out of a business that manufactured concrete products.
- It played a key role in establishing Sweden’s infrastructure, and within 10 years of its formation, was receiving orders from around the world.
- Skanska in the UK started out as part of the British conglomerate Trafalgar House, established in 1963, and had interests in a variety of property, construction and engineering projects.
- In 1996, Trafalgar House was sold to Kvaerner, who then sold the construction business to Skanska in 2000.
- By combining the skills and experience of their construction operations and their infrastructure development business unit, Skanska have become a UK leader in private finance initiative/public private partnership schemes covering healthcare, education, defence, transportation and street lighting.