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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Sustainability Starts With Project Management! Expert Interview With Joel Carboni

Joel Carboni

JOEL CARBONI advocate for Sustainability in Project Management

Why you should listen to him:

Joel Carboni GPM® IPMA-B® MPM® is the President of GPM Global, a project management professional development organization dedicated to the advancement of project management practices that decouple socio-environmental degradation and economic growth.

He is the author of the PRiSM project method and has over 15 years’ in project and program management, working in both the private and public sectors for organizations in Banking/Finance, Energy, Legal, Technology, as well as local government. Joel currently serves as the director of standards for the asapm (IPMA-USA).

Interview:

Mirla Ferreira: I think project management is more important now than before, one of the reasons is the responsibility that project manager has about sustainability. What is your perception about sustainability in projects? Why sustainability in projects is so important?

Joel Carboni: In the past two years, the number of Fortune 500 companies that are producing sustainabilty reports, joining the UN Global Compact and or the Global Reporting Initiative has increased dramatically. A study by KPMG in 2012 reported that 62 percent of companies polled have a strategy for corporate sustainability and between 2001 and 2010, an equity portfolio of sustainability leaders outperformed a portfolio of sustainability laggards by more than 30 percent. A similar study by Accenture stated that Sustainability is increasingly being seen as a source—even a primary source—of revenue and business growth for companies intent on becoming high-performance businesses.

I point this out because as indicated in PMI’s Pulse of the Profession, between 2010 and 2020, an estimated 15.7 Million new project management jobs will be added globally, reaching an economic impact of over $18 trillion accross seven project-intensive industries. In the same report it indicates that one of the top three steps to minimize risk is to ensure the alignment of organizational strategy with projects. If corporations are including sustainability as a part of their strategy project management needs to account for it also.

From a more altruistic perspective, our natural resources are diminishing and our population is increasing. Unless as a profession we start to take responsibility in addressing these issues through improved project practices, future generations will not be able to meet their own needs.

Mirla Ferreira: Where to start? How can we integrate sustainability and project management?

Joel Carboni: I think the key is to understand that sustainability [as a practice] is important to projects. When a product or service is conceived and translated into requirements there are social, fiscal, and environment impacts that should be measured and accounted for in terms of development, life-span, servicing, maturity of process, efficiency etc. We call this P5 or People, Planet, Profit, Process and Product.

When a PM looks at how the project and resulting product/service will impact society, the ecological environment, and the fiscal impact [both internal and external], they can more effectively plan risk and develop sustainability objectives. It is also important to understand the organization’s corporate social responsibility policies and ensure that the project aligns with them.

Mirla Ferreira: What is your vision about the future?

Joel Carboni: Sustainability in projects has, up until now, been categorized primarily under personal ethics. In the latest release of the PMI PMBOK(r) Guide, sustainability makes an entrance and the IPMA ICB 3.0 has a competency that includes sustainability elements, however I forsee that in order for sustainability to become common practice, PMs will have to look beyond the constraints of project scope and look at the bigger picture. We see signs that this is occurring more and more. As an organization, we have grown by leaps and bounds and requests for PRiSM (our methodology) have increased among some of the larger companies. From a vision standpoint, I as much as anyone who is an advocate for project management want to see a world with increased project success but with the inclusion of sustainable methods being a key factor.

To Joel Carboni “Sustainability starts with Project Management!”. I agree with him. Projects and products/services have an impact on society and environment.
What do you think? Do you integrate sustainability and project management in your organization? Share your experience.

The Project Management Sustainability Calculator

“Can I see some data to back that up?” and “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

If I had a nickel for every time I heard these two sayings, I could at least buy a grande triple latte at Starbucks. (Possibly even a scone.) There are many tools, formulas, and calculators out there to measure sustainability?. Many of which are very good. When it comes to project management however, none quite fit. One challenge is that you can’t dictate a standard for measuring sustainability as it pertains to projects because there are no two that are the same. How then do you quantify the value of integrating sustainable methods to project delivery unless you can set baselines and develop metrics to set targets for improvement?

Our P5 Model looks at the triple bottom line from an integration standpoint. The graphic below illustrates how we correlate a project’s product and process impacts to each triple bottom line category, sub-category, and element. If this table looks familiar, it is because it is an adaptation from the sustainability checklist that was developed at the 2010 IPMA Expert Seminar ‘Survival and Sustainability as Challenges for Projects”. (Silvius 2010)

P5 Integration Graphic

A calculator for projects must have the ability to establish baselines and provide clear metrics that project stakeholders could easily digest and needed to be flexible enough to adapt to what is important to a variety of organizations and project types. Based on feedback from GPMs who are actively using our PRiSM methodology, our training providers, and course participants, we put our collective heads together and have released GPM® Calculator 1.0

Our tool, which we expect to refine and improve on a regular basis, measures the impact products (based on deliverables and objectives), processes and recourses against the eleven categories and three base bottom lines to deliver a six point rating system that can be translated into base scores. The executive dashboard (shown below) shows a simple pie chart that shows direct impact of a single project, while the two line graphs a the botttom show the measure of process and product.

P5 Dashboard

The P5 dashboard displays in real time, nine charts that measure economic, social, and environmental impact that the user defined objectives, deliverables, processess have.

P5 Dashboard

The easy to use interface, uses a six point color coded scale and custom inputs to allow for ease of use and configurability to all project sizes and types.

P5 Impact Sheet

This tool has been made available to our training partners and to our subscribed members. This measurement tool along with our partner Objective World’s xD Sustainability Manager, which uses our PRiSM methodology are just a couple of the ways that we are raising the bar.

Sustainability starts with project management!

The original article was posted in Treading Lightly and tagged with Green Project Management, Sustainabilty in Project Management, Triple Bottome Line, Project Processes, PRiSM

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