In our changing world, sustainability in projects is more important than ever. Project sustainability involves both individual and organisational responsibility to ensure that outputs, outcomes and benefits are sustainable over life cycles and during their creation, disposal and decommissioning. Building sustainability into the vision at the very start of the project – if sustainability is planned in as a key requirement from the outset, it can’t be traded or forgotten.
Sustainability is relevant across all areas of project-based working. For example, the procurement team seeking opportunities to buy from sustainable sources and to make the supply chain more efficient. Project professionals have a responsibility to ensure that their work minimises, or ideally positively affects, ongoing sustainability.
Sustainability is a challenging concept for many project based organisations but it is something project professionals are thinking about more than before. In projects, programmes and portfolios, sustainability remains significant and important; in fact it is a fundamental competence vital for improving and facilitating effective project, programme and portfolio management. As we know sustainability involves taking individual as well as organisational responsibility so it’s something all project professionals need to understand. Change initiatives must proactively alter behaviours so they can be delivered through sustainable working practices and methods. To learn about what you need to know and deliver for a project to meet sustainability standards, visit the APM Competence Framework, 3rd edition.
Sustainability involves balancing different concerns: environment, such as climate change; society, such as community; economy, such as affordability; and administration, such as health and safety. When these four elements are considered, we can build sustainability into projects.