Sustainability in Project Management
Sustainable development is about making sure that people throughout the world can satisfy their basic needs now, while making sure that future generations can also look forward to the same quality of life. Sustainable development recognises that the three paradigms – the economy, society and the environment – are interconnected.
Shown in appendix 1, there are five principles of sustainable development. These five principles describe what is needed from a development to make its sustainably sound, it mentions how resources should be obtained in a way that will not affect the TBL (triple bottom line)
Brent & Labuschagne (n.d.) says that business is part of “three pillars of society”, with the other two pillars being government and civil society. These pillars all each have a responsibility to society to incorporate the principles of sustainability, this means that there is an added pressure on the organisation to implement changes within processes to align with the three paradigms of sustainable developments.
Appendix two shows a model used in sustainable development, this model includes four different drivers for the incorporation of sustainability principles into business practises and operational activities.
With this in mind, the areas that organisations should consider when adopting sustainability principles include but are not limited to
The ODA(2012) has been successful in making the Olympic Park an example of sustainable construction in action through a combination of:
“Commitment from its Board and management
Clear policies and targets
An effective sustainability management system
Robust monitoring and assurance
Riley, Weriup(2008) journal expresses different types of sustainable initiatives put it place within an organisation, appendix 3 shows the different sustainable initiatives taken within an industry.
“In the UK the environment is generally defined to mean air, water and land. The regulatory bodies charged with responsibility for protection of the environment are principally: the Environment Agency (which covers England and Wales) the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland local authorities.” Ukela(2013)
The triple bottom line (3BL) is an framework which was developed in the mid 1990’s (Hall & Slaper, 2011), this framework works with an extra two dimensions meaning it goes much further than normal methods of profit and return on investments. These extra two dimensions are social and environmental. This is different from normal frameworks because of these two dimensions, ‘social’ and ‘environmental’, but with these two added dimensions it can be difficult to align practices with wanted measurements Triple bottom line reporting can be an important tool in helping organisations reach sustainability objectives. Burke (2011) describes the triple bottom line as the three P’s, profit, people and planet these refer to:
Profit (or economic) refers to return on investment People (or social) refers to stakeholders, general public etc
Planet (or environmental) refers to the impact a project, product, change has on the environment
Burke (2011. p. 133) also says “The concept of 3BL suggests that the executives should not only focus on the shareholders, but also include the stakeholders. In this case, a stakeholder refers to anyone who is influenced, either directly or indirectly, by the actions of the company (project, product, facility, service). The approach recommends that the company considers the stakeholders interests, instead of only maximising shareholders (investors and/or owners) profit.”
The financial bottom line…