The role of the project manager is becoming increasingly important in ensuring projects are delivered with sustainability at their core. This means balancing environmental concerns with social and economic ones. Dr Natalya Sergeeva, Associate Professor at The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL, is one of the panellists for the discussion ‘Delivering Sustainably’ at APM’s Power of Projects conference on Thursday, June 9. We caught up with her ahead of the event.
The title of your panel discussion at Power of Projects is ‘Delivering Sustainability’. How would you define sustainability?
Sustainability is a broad term that involves various aspects – social, economic and environmental – that are best understood holistically in a process of continuous interaction.
In your opinion, how well is sustainability currently delivered within projects? What, if anything, needs to change?
Some projects and firms which deliver them have successfully demonstrated sustainability practices and their journey towards becoming more sustainable by addressing sustainability development goals and global issues associated with them.
Do you find that organisations (and project teams in particular) are more aware of sustainability now than in previous years?
Yes, the awareness has risen because of repeated and reinforced narratives and strategies of sustainability at industrial, national and international levels. There has been a number of new reports, events and conferences which reinforce narratives in order to turn them into commitments and actions.
Other types of narratives could be used more to reinforce the message such as symbolic and visual. For example, videos and photos.
What do you hope people will gain from attending your panel discussion?
We expect to have an interesting conversation sharing our experiences and perspectives. Some of our key highlights will be:
- Everyone’s responsibility and commitment in addressing sustainability development goals
- Interaction between narratives of sustainability at different levels
- The role of storytelling and narrating, and turning this into strategies and commitments
- People’s engagement, enthusiasm and informal roles.
Dr Sergeeva will be joined for the panel discussion by Páraic McLoughney, Deputy Project Manager, Morgan & Mona Offshore Wind, bp and Hala Lloyd, Lead Architect, Curzon Station, HS2. The discussion will be moderated by Rob Leslie-Carter, Director, Arup.