When the University of Washington (UW) Board of Regents developed plans for the Animal Research & Care Facility (ARCF), the No New Animal Lab responded as focused pressure to stop the lab through the point of construction...
Records requests obtained from the University of Washington indicate that construction management contracts have been awarded to Skanska USA. Skanska is a Swedish-based multinational construction corporation; It is the largest in terms of market shares in the world. Skanksa has offices all over the world, including over 30 offices and geographic markets in the US alone. Skanska prides itself on sustainability and claims it to be one of their core values. Yet they are about to begin construction on a project that is the embodiment of waste and callous treatment of life.
Construction began in April 2015. We are putting the pressure on Skanska USA to terminate their contracts with the University of Washington. Without a construction company, no facility can be built. Without a facility, no animals can be held captive and tormented. It’s that simple. We are going to demonstrate to Skanska how simple it is.
The contract between Skanska and University of Washington provides a unique opportunity for campaign strategy. Skanska is one of the largest construction companies in the world. Their revenue in 2013 was over $20 billion. Some of their largest contracts provide billions in revenue alone. The ARCF contract offers just over $90 million to Skanska for general contract management. The profit margin that Skanska would earn from the project would be a fraction of that $90 million, which is spare change to a corporation as large as Skanska.
Skanska is no stranger to controversy. They have faced major community opposition, corruption scandals, government fines and sanctions, racial harassment lawsuits, and contractual disputes with business partners. If their history is any sort of indicator, it is clear that Skanska favors compromise over confrontation, and is willing to lose millions in order to maintain its desired public image and shareholder opinion. They have terminated contracts in the middle of construction over lesser disputes than opposition to the lab, and they have lost millions in revenue doing so.
Within the animal research industry, a corporation like Skanska presents a vulnerability. They are essential to the construction of this lab. Yet they are weakly invested, avoid controversy and public pressure, and have corporate offices all over the U.S. and Europe. The No New Animal Lab campaign exists takes advantage of all of this.
Where to protest Skanska?
Please check out our dynamic map, Pressure Points: No New Animal Lab Campaign Directory, for a complete listing of Skanska and UW targets throughout the US.