Skanska bolts U.S. Chamber as LEED dispute heats up
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Skanska has taken issue with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's opposition to more transparent LEED rules.
Skanska USA announced Tuesday it will leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest of the Chamber’s position on environmental building measures.
Skanska made the decision after the Chamber backed “a chemical industry-led initiative to effectively ban the future use of LEED for government buildings.” The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard govern design and construction specs on new federal structures.
Skanska is the Portland area’s second-largest commercial contractor, with more than $300 million in billings during 2011. The company overall billed about $5 billion worth of projects that year.
The company is also known as a strident sustainable practices backer.
The Chamber backs a group called the American High-Performance Building Coalition, which opposes a stricter LEED certification program that encourages transparent reporting of building materials.
According to Skanska, the LEED program has helped the green building industry accommodate 7.9 million jobs nationally.
“Skanska spent the last week in discussions with the Chamber, asking its leadership to reconsider its position and remove its support for the AHPBC’s position concerning LEED, which, according to Skanska, would significantly undermine the LEED program, impact more than 196,000 LEED-accredited professionals, and cripple the progress of environmentally responsible construction across the country,” the company wrote in its release. “When talks broke down, Skanska removed its name and its funding in protest of the Chamber’s decision.”
Mike McNally Skanska USA’s president and CEO, added that the Chamber is seemingly going against its own interests.
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