An Initial Approach to Integrate Sustainability Management into the Project Management Body of Knowledge.
In a world where an ever-increasing population is demanding more and more resources, global sustainability is getting significant relevance in everything we undertake. Nowadays people involved in projects should think in a socially responsible way, making decisions which benefit not only the businesses but also the society and the environment. Governments are imposing regulations, environmental organisations and social groups are rising their hands and companies are including sustainability in their business practices as they realised they can deliver sustainable products while getting more profits. All these factors are impacting the way project managers develop their work and evaluate project constraints. In that sense, every phase in a project presents a potential opportunity for project managers to incorporate sustainability principles while moving towards delivery of sustainable products and services.
As project manager professionals, we think our profession has reached the point of maturity where sustainability management could be effectively integrated into project management practices. This approach would assure project managers will fully consider sustainability in projects as an important component throughout the project life cycle and it will also enable the delivery of sustainable outcomes. In addition, this approach complementing and reinforcing the sense of social responsibility described on it.
The main objective goes beyond the “green” wave the world is experiencing at all levels in our economies. More than “green”, the outcome of projects should be sustainable to the full extent of the concept. This is the big picture, the big challenge all project managers face today in developing solutions for a sustainable future.
Marianela Abarca, MBA, PMP. Business Consultant (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Mirla Ferreira, MBA, PMP. Emeteclass Lda (Aveiro, Portugal)