KPIs for Adopting Sustainability – Metrics and Monitoring

One of the most important performance indicators is the implementation of metrics to align corporate environmental goals to projects.

Having metrics that measure project progress is nothing new to project management however when you are able to tie in long range corporate goals that may or may not even pertain to any specific project’s immediate business objective, you will find that your projects have a greater significance when sustainability is a corporate goal, and if not, incorporating a few will make the hurdles of sustainability adoption become a little easier to jump over.

Let’s go back to Sara Lee. (I love their cheesecakes…) The image listed below is taken from their website. The caption above this image (on their site www.saralee.com) reads “Design, source, produce, package and distribute our products in a manner that strives to minimize their impact on the eco-system throughout their life-cycle.”

Sara Lee - Design, source, produce, package and distribute our products in a manner that strives to minimize their impact on the eco-system throughout their life-cycle

Q. How would you correlate your project’s metrics that would tie into these goals?
Typically, project status and metrics reports focus only on what is “in scope” for that particular project.

A. By understanding the Company’s EMS (Environmental Management System) you can more easily integrate sustainability reporting.

Example:

As a Project Manager of the leading retailer, you have been asked to prepare a feasibility study for a project of opening a new location. Listed below on the left is a standard outline for a feasibility study.

This report discusses the feasibility of opening a new location. The column on the right incorporates the sustainability metrics based on Sara lee’s graphic.

Standard

Using GPM’s Method

Criteria :

  • The existence of large enough market.
  • A good possibility of attracting customers away from the competition.
  • The likelihood that profits on the sales at the branch will exceed the expenses of operating it.
  • The reasonableness of the financial outlay required to open the office.

Method of obtaining facts :

  • Meetings with other experts in your organizations.
  • Surveys
  • Laboratory research

Evaluation :

  • Location
  • Marketability
  • Funding
  • Maintenance

 

 

Criteria :

  • The existence of large enough market.
  • A good possibility of attracting customers away from the competition.
  • The likelihood that profits on the sales at the branch will exceed the expenses of operating it.
  • The reasonableness of the financial outlay required to open the office.
  • Tax incentives based on environmental stewardship.
  • Proximity to existing fleet routes to enable us to either reduce gas consumption or improve logistics by eliminating
  • Local tax incentives based on the strength of our EMS
  • Availability of recycling in the area to reduce landfill deposits.
  • The availability of a shovel ready site or existing structure that could be built with consideration to employing alternative energy methods to reduce costs and possibly earn credit for supplying the grid with excess power.
  • Proximity to alternative transportation for customers

Method of obtaining facts :

  • Meetings with other experts in your organizations. (including environmental analysts/ sustainability coordinators)
  • Meeting with local government officials and SIGs
  • Surveys
  • Laboratory research

Evaluation :

  • Location
  • Marketability
  • Sustainability
  • Funding
  • Maintenance

Adding a few changes to the feasibility study will allow you to collect information throughout the project that will demonstrate how the effort is lining up with corporate sustainability goals without negatively impacting immediate business objectives.

Sustainability Starts with Project Management!
The original article was posted in Treading Lightly

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Joel Carboni

Joel Carboni

An accomplished project manager of over 15 years, Joel is the President and founder of the GPM®, a project management professional development organization dedicated to the advancement of the practical application of sustainable project management practices to decouple social and environmental degradation with economic growth. GPM® certifies project management practitioners and is largely considered the global solutions leader with their project delivery method PRiSM™, P5™ Concept, and educational programs. Linkedin profile.