Every day more comes to light about our impact on the planet, and the importance of sustainability and clean growth. It’s driving innovation across the board – from aerospace to retail – to help us address those impacts.
Here are some projects to show how important project management is for delivering a more sustainable economy and beneficial change – from plastic reduction to reforestation.
Waitrose’s plastic elimination programme
Pretty much every major supermarket is looking at ways to reduce its waste footprint. Waitrose, for example, is running a project to eliminate unnecessary plastic from its stores by 2023. This has involved the implementation of lots of different ideas, such as compostable ready meal trays, paper-based bags for vegetables, and trials for refill stations of everyday essentials.
Walmart’s Project Gigaton
US giant Walmart has also committed to eliminating waste and has embarked on a project to have all of its energy come from sustainable sources. Like Waitrose, this is a long-term project, but it’s already diverted 78 per cent of its global waste from landfill. It has also launched Project Gigaton to engage and encourage its suppliers to reduce their own carbon footprints, to reduce carbon by a gigaton throughout the global value chain by 2030.
Unilever’s sustainability and wellbeing drive
As a giant conglomerate, Unilever admits it could have done more to be more ethical in the past. It is now making up for this with its lofty sustainability programme. Its three big sustainable goals are to help a billion people improve their health and wellbeing by 2020, halve the environmental footprints of its products by 2030, and to promote fairness in the workplace, create more opportunities for women and increase inclusive business.
It’s a wide-ranging and ambitious project – key recent milestones include the first recycling plant in the world to use new recycling technologies that the company co-developed. This tech allows sachets to be recycled into a polymer that can be reused over and over again. It’s also harnessing satellite data to review deforestation and other risks, to ensure that its suppliers are not adversely impacting on carbon emissions.
Europe’s mega-monitoring project
Copernicus is a project to deliver one of the most advanced satellite systems in the world. This will then help Europe to monitor a range of factors, from the climate to security. It will monitor the make-up of the atmosphere, the marine environment, and the impacts of climate change.
The data collected by Copernicus will largely be used by authorities across the continent. It will be used, according to the project itself, to facilitate better decision making around areas such as urban development, nature protection, planning, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, health, infrastructure and transport.
Eden Reforestation Projects’ 500m-tree target
The Eden Reforestation Projects’ mission is two-fold: to provide employment to the most impoverished people around the world, and restore and protect the world’s forests. Its projects hire poor people to plant, grow and protect forests on a massive scale.
By 2025, it aims to plant a minimum of 500m trees each year, employing tens of thousands of people across the world. This year, it has planted 265m trees so far, across 82 projects in five countries.
- Challenge paper two – climate change, clean growth and sustainability
- Case study – campaigning for a circular economy
Brought to you by Project journal.