Global Sustainability Impacts on Project Management

As I review sustainability awareness around the world, I continue to find more and more literature supporting this new venture for organizations. The immense growth of our corporations and its negative impact on sustainability continues to drive my research and consulting therein. Developing new initiatives and projects on sustainability is a great way for your organization to begin improving its impact on the community, and the environment. For many organizations, this idea of creative innovation often translates into a decrease in production costs, and an increase on consumer costs. Creative innovation should really focus more on how to develop, produce, and sell products that fulfill a need while also being friendly to the community and the environment, ensuring the sustainability of those resources used throughout the process.

As project managers begin to adopt these new principles and methods they will soon learn that the focus is on three economies including: consumer, emerging, and survival. These specifics can help project managers define their projects overall participation and impact in these areas. I came across a book Global Sustainability and the Creative Destruction of Industries that takes a critical look at the economic growth that is supposed to sustain our economy, and how it has arguably had the complete opposite effect. This book also outlines creative strategies for sustainability:
• Technologies
• Markets
• Partners
• Customers
• Stakeholders

As you can see this looks very similar to how projects are being administered. This book makes an excellent point regarding how products and processes are failing to meet the definition of sustainability development. The idea is having our current generation meet the needs without jeopardizing the ability of generations to meet theirs. This reflects on organizational growth and most importantly how to develop projects that will enable organizations to continue to be successful without compromising their ability to grow in the future. Project managers need to be aware of this impact and utilize the methods set forth by sustainability to maintain their presence as a sustainable organization.

Larry T Barnard, PMP, PMI-RMP, Change Management Practitioner
CEO & Principal Architect
IISPM, International Institute of Sustainability Project Management
BOOK: Hart, S., & Milstein, M. (1999). Global Sustainability and the Creative Destruction of Industries.

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