We are all trying to do our parts to increase sustainable practices in our personal and professional lives. We thought this was a good list of items to keep in mind when trying to pursue and improved sustainability in project practices from Project Management.com. Project management offices are well positioned to lead in this area because they set policies and have a broad perspective gained from monitoring a large number of projects:

  • Project selection: Most organizations use financial analysis techniques (e.g., payback period or net present value) to select projects. PMOs can add environmental criteria, such as reduced energy consumption, to ensure that sustainability is seriously considered in project selection decision making.
  • Project reporting: PMOs are accustomed to using reporting frameworks such as earned value management or IBM’s Seven Keys approach in reporting. One way to signal the importance of sustainability is to ask your project managers to report on the environmental practices of their projects. The PMO may also have to provide training on how to report this activity.
  • Sustainability awards: Awards and public recognition are excellent ways to encourage sustainable actions and decisions. For example, the PMO can start its own “green project of the year” to recognize the high performance in this area. Depending on your organization, this award could be a public event and enhance your firm’s reputation.
  • Revise procurement practices: Buying practices are a key point of leverage in optimizing the environmental impact of projects. One approach is to adjust standard RFP templates and scoring methodologies to include questions on adherence to standards such as the ISO 14000 standard or the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standard for buildings.

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