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What is sustainability in project management?

What is sustainability in project management?

In the latest of his "Future Trends in Project Management" series Project Management advisor and lecturer, John McGrath shares four key considerations when it comes to achieving sustainability when managing projects.

Engineering and construction projects often involve building bigger and better. We are often pushing the envelope and looking to achieve something that has never been done before.

This is especially true in civil infrastructure and mega projects.

But we are now at a crossroads in terms of the environment and within all projects, we should now be considering the environmental impact.

Sustainability in project management is a challenging and complicated issue.

Why are projects under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint?

Projects, just like every part of the business, are under pressure to do more with less, to reduce their carbon footprint, and build sustainability into the entire project lifecycle. And also, in turn, having a positive impact on bottom-line return on investment.

Project teams need to explore ways of reducing emissions, reducing the carbon footprint throughout the project lifecycle.

Project initiatives that can demonstrate responsible global citizenship will lead the way in the future. The time to get ready is now.

What questions should we be asking to improve sustainability?

Questions we should be considering asking to try and improve sustainability in project management include the following:

  • What renewable energy measures is the project introducing to offset or reduce the impact on the carbon footprint?
  • Can specified materials be sourced from natural projects or can they be sourced from reused and recycled materials?
  • Was an environmental impact conducted prior to the project initiation?
  • What environmental issues are on the risk register?