Sustainable project management involves integrating multifaceted elements that contribute to the long-term success and positive impact of projects. It aligns with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015 by the United Nations which provide a framework for addressing global challenges. By integrating sustainability into project management, you create economically viable, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible solutions.
One of the key elements of sustainable project management is project governance. This involves establishing clear roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes within a project. By implementing effective governance, you can ensure that sustainability considerations are embedded throughout the project lifecycle and weighed against other project parameters such as product quality, business case and time to market. A governance board, such as a steering committee, should guide the project according to strategic sustainable business goals. Frequently reporting on project parameters is vital to achieving sustainability goals. The sustainability compass can summarize it very clearly, as applied in a project for one of our customers.
The sustainability compass is integrated into the product development process and provides an understanding of sustainability-related design criteria. The goal is to improve the sustainable attributes of a product portfolio. The compass includes eight dimensions:
- Raw materials
- Virgin material
- End-of-life reusability
- In-life energy consumption
- Carbon footprint
- Financial cost