Businesses today are increasingly integrating sustainability into their strategy- not just only to minimize potential loses but to access the opportunities that are arising from the sustainable agenda. Sustainability can provide many benefits to institutions and corporation, from cost savings and increase efficiency to positive reputation and revenue growth.
According to a recent McKinsey survey over 70% of CEOs view sustainability as a priority on their agendas and 57% percent say their companies have integrated sustainability into strategic planning as important consideration for managing corporate reputation and brands. If organizations want to incorporate sustainability into their strategy and culture, sustainability principles need to be integrated in projects and project management.
The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the importance of considering sustainability in projects and evaluate appropriate methods and techniques for embedding sustainability principles in project management.
This essay is organized in four main parts. The importance of considering sustainability in project is critically analyzed in the next part. Methods and Techniques for the integration of sustainability in project management are evaluated on the third part of the essay. This will involve practical examples from the workplace and case studies focused on new media projects, in particular, the development of games and applications. Concluding remarks are presented in the last part of the essay.
2.The importance of sustainability in project management
The debate about the importance of considering sustainability in project management cannot be appropriately discussed without understanding the need for corporate sustainability and its drivers. Project management is intrinsically embedded in the business environment and we cannot to evaluate the significance of sustainable projects management without analyzing the importance on embedding sustainability into business. Both go hand in hand. Sustainability in business aims to achieve long term financial success while contributing to economic and social growth, and reducing its impact in the environment. Corporate sustainability includes three dimensions of needs, known as the “triple bottom line”; economic prosperity; social equity and quality of life; ecological resource preservation. Corporate sustainability can be defined as “ a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments” ( Dow Jones Sustainability indexes, 2011).
While the issue of sustainable business, often referred under the “green” umbrella, has been the object of abundant literature, there has been little emphasis on understanding how the principles of sustainability apply to project and project management until recently. Taking into account the pivotal role of projects in the shaping of products and services within organization, it is surprising that these to concepts- sustainability and project management- have not had more relevance in the discussion of corporate sustainability. As Maltzman and Shirley rightly question in their introduction to Green Project Management (2011, p.xxi): “Projects are where business ideas become reality, after all. Projects, by definition, use resources. Shouldn’t projects, therefore, be a key are of any focus on green business?”
The business case of sustainability has the same multifaceted approach as its definition. The main drivers of green business and projects fall in the 3 main areas considered in the “triple bottom line approach- social, environmental and financial- plus an added area of legislative drivers. In the following four sub-segments we will analyzed these drivers of from a business and a project management point of view.
The environmental sphere of business is related to the...