Saturday, December 15, 2018
Email BuildingPhysics : Tel: +27 11 4544 857 : Cell: +27 83 726 9593

Site Search

What is Green Project Management?

How small project management adjustments can reap huge benefits for the environment.

Ever since the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was signed during the 1992 Earth Summit, a lot of attention has been given to the importance of sustainable development. Four years after the Rio declaration, the International Organization for Standardization established ISO 1400 to address the operational standards that relate to the environment. The standard was updated in 2004 to meet the environmental challenges companies face in the 21st century. Compliance to the new standard is voluntary, but more companies have since applied for certification and invited their partners and vendors to do the same.

ISO14001:2004 provides a set of requirements that guide the development of businesses' Environmental Management System (EMS) standards. EMS guides an organization on how to conduct business in an environmentally sustainable manner. As the technology field grew many-fold in the past decade, it is inevitable for its players to be aware of the impact of their operations on the environment, as well as to establish management standards that promote environmental awareness. Some tech companies changed energy consumption patterns, while others even redesigned their buildings and facilities to take advantage of natural lighting or to use solar power.

In the 21st century, being green, as the saying goes, is in. This also gave birth to "Green Project Management" or Green PM, which fuses environment-friendly standards with project management methodologies and processes. Note that GreenPM should be guided by an organization's EMS and considers various operational elements, such as responsibilities, authorities, procedures, and resources.

Practitioners of ISO14001:2004 have only seen the tip of the iceberg since the standard is fairly recent. At the operational level, simple activities, from saving PDF copies of documents instead of printing on paper, using energy-efficient computers and office fixtures, such as lighting, are factored in for getting a compliance certificate. But however simple the project management solutions maybe, these small project steps can reduce carbon footprint when taken by various companies that employ anywhere from a dozen to thousands of employees.

Tom Mochal, President of TenStep, Inc., a methodology consultancy company, recommends smart energy consumption as a consideration in project management processes. Identifying proper equipment, project scheduling activities, and allocating project resources are simple things that add up over time. This has bigger impact for firms that have multinational presence.

Vendors management also affect the way project teams approach their impact on the environment as the latter can include green thinking in their list of expectations from vendors. This works in various ways. ISO 14001-compliant organizations are encouraged to publish their certifications, and then invite their customers and partners to do the same. This promotes a better image for the company, as well as awareness among stakeholders.

Because green project management is still in its infancy, it offers many opportunities for companies to explore the possibilities of aligning project methodology with the need to take care of the environment. What is important at this point is to promote the idea that project delivery can be done in ways that have minimum impact on the environment.



Download - Must Reads

Review of SANS204 :: by Mike Barker

Review of Sans204

An initiative that came out of the Department of Minerals & Energy’s 2005 Energy Efficiency Strategy that targeted a 15% Final Energy Demand reduction...
It's the Architecture, Stupid! :: by Edward Mazria

It's the Architecture, Stupid!

Who really holds the key to the global thermostat? The answer might surprise you...
Green Building Impact Review :: by Rob Watson

Green Building Impact Review

Green Building Report: Although this is about the US market, it gives some idea of where Green Buildings are going in the future.

Recommended Reading


Quick Contact

We are a professional practice focused on improving the profitability, comfort and safety of the built environment. __________________________________ Contact us today, and see how we can help you!


MBA newsletter
Sign up to receive our newsletter

We bring you an informative summary relating to high performance green buildings. Not everyone has the time to keep up with best practice in the field so we offer to drop the most important and relevant development into your inbox once a quarter. - Tel: +27 11 4544 857 - Cell: + 27 83 726 9593

Copyright © 2009 BuildingPhysics CC - Disclaimer

Login Form