Annual & Sustainability Report 2017

The global challenges around sustainability are enormous. However, with challenges come opportunities. White’s annual and sustainability report for 2017 shows how we drive development forward through our projects, R&D and initiatives. Through architecture, we can make a difference!

The big issues in the industry during 2017 were the climate impact of materials, the shift to a more circular economy and inclusive urban planning. Our efforts in wood architecture, zero carbon projects and norm creativity are very timely.
Anna Graaf, Director of Sustainability

The result of 38,9 MSEK for 2017 was better than expected due to an increased volume of work, more employ­ees and better business in general. Key projects such as Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Carlanderska Hospital and Chalmers Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering completed in 2017 while we won several competitions and prizes in Sweden and internationally.

Annual and Sustainability Report 2017

You are reading an extract from the 2017 report.
Would you like to find our more? Read the full report as a pdf.

Our investments in research and development, for example within digital design, daylight, timber construction, inclusive spaces and re-use amounted to 35 MSEK in 2017. We are convinced that these invesments are critical to develop architecture and run a successful business. The circular economy will hold the key to new, sustainable business models in the future, which is why we are engaged in collaborations and projects focusing on re-use and circular flows.

Read about our initiatives in our Research Programme 2017-2019 (pdf)

The facade of Humanistiska Teatern is a result of the collaboration between Dsearch and artist Ann Lislegaard. The prize-winning building’s perforated aluminium facade turns the auditorium into a piece of art.

The human in focus
Architecture affects everyday life. By designing housing for different levels of wealth, creating meeting places and public spaces for girls, children and the elderly, we can contribute to a society where everyone feels at home. Flickrum is an example of such a project which garnered a lot of attention in Sweden in 2017. The lead architects even got Architects Sweden’s prize Årets Arkitekt(hen).

For their purposeful work to challenge the idea of who the city really belongs to and increase the opportunities for girls to feel at home in the city's public realm.
Jury for Årets Atkitekt(hen) 2017

In 2017 we launched our manifest ”Six Steps for Cultural destinations”. In many projects we use the power of culture as the glue to connect different parts of cities and groups of people. Halland Art Museum and the GoDown Arts Centre are examples of this.

Stronger Together

White is owned by its employees. Of 916 employees, around 650 are shareholders. Diversity is necessary to tackle today’s challenges and deliver successful projects, which is why we have built a collective of different disciplines, experiences and backgrounds. In 2017 we introduced a mentoring programme to increase the knowledge exchange between our younger and the more experienced employees.

Planning for green and blue
As urban density increases, ecosystem services and blue-green infrastructure and are crucial for the creation of more attractive cities supporting human wellbeing. Broparken is a great example of a technical stormwater system disguised as an attractive urban social space that has transformed a characterless stretch of land into a much-loved public park.

Broparken is not just a park, it is also a technical stormwater system

Climate action!

To meet the global climate targets, we must reduce carbon emissions. White has set a challenging goal to fulfil 30 projects with a zero carbon footprint by 2019. Five of these projects were initiated during 2017. The Climate Innovation District in Leeds is not just one of the UK’s largest districts built in wood, it is also aiming for zero carbon.


Using wood and timber is key to zero carbon buildings. Our efforts on this space is driving results: in 2017 we designed 25% more timber constructions than we did the year before. Skellefteå Cultural Centre with its nineteen storeys is one of our most talked about projects; it sets a new standard for tall timber constructions.

By taking sustainability seriously we inspire our coworkers to make more sustainable choices. In the past three years our CO2 emissions have decreased by 63% per full-time employee!
Anna Graaf, Director of Sustainability

A role model

Real change begins with oneself. Our travel policy is clear; we travel by train whenever possible! In 2017, we used the train for 94% of our business trips within Scandinavia. We climate-compensate all our air travel by supporting the Kariba Forest Foundation in Zimbabwe and we follow-up to ensure that electricity, consumables and other day to day items in our offices have as low environmental impact as possible. To promote a sustainable lifestyle, we host bike repair workshops, clothes swapping days and are phasing out products containing palm oil.


  • Anna Graaf

    Anna Graaf

    Sustanability director

    Environmental specialist


    +46 31 60 86 28

  • English