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Earth Wise Approaches to Project Management

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Efficient resource management is instinctual to any good project management professional. The extraction of maximum benefit is the Holy Grail and waste is abhorrent. Most project plans involve the deployment of many types of resources intended for use on a sustainable basis, and limited-life items are often reused and repurposed to the extent possible in the never-ending quest for efficiency and cost-savings.

Green Project Management

The guiding paradigms of project management and the native outlook associated with the field means project managers are optimally positioned to understand the concept of earth wise or green project management (GPM). Such an understanding begins with the acceptance of the planet Earth as a warehouse that stores a large but limited number of resources in fairly plentiful but finite quantities. Indeed, recent decades have seen a significant proportion of the human population forced to take heed of the finite nature of our resource inventory, as the fact is made known via negative consequences for humans and many other members of the planet’s bio-community. Project managers can easily adapt conservation-oriented sustainable approaches to project delivery by extending sound project planning principles beyond the demands of the individual deliverable and into the realm of environmental stewardship.

As an outgrowth of the now-familiar green thinking paradigm, green project management is the integration of environmental thinking into project management decision making. Beyond individual project planning, environmental impact is considered in relation to every aspect of a company’s operation. Adopting GPM does not mean completely changing the way every project is run. It is a simple matter of increasing awareness of the long range positive impacts that the company can have on the environment.

Take the Next Step

Planners looking for in-depth information and a formal strategy for implementing GPM practices should explore the eponymous Green Project Management organization. This is a global movement originated by an international consortium established to advance sustainability in project management. GPM has offices and strategic partners around the world, and an independent Green Project Management Global Accreditation Board that oversees professional development and certification initiatives that adhere to International Organization for Standardization ISO/IEC 17024:2003 standards.

The GPM group has developed a sustainability-based approach to project delivery that incorporates strategies for managing the balance between conserving finite resources, being socially responsible, and delivering sustainable project outcomes. The overall aim is to achieve business objectives while decreasing negative socio-environmental impacts. Trainers and planners with GPMG accreditation and certification commit to adhering to sustainable planning practices and the GPM Global Code of Ethics.

Making the best use of your resources by solid project planning and resource management will also help you to reduce energy consumption, save time and be more productive. Find out more about how to use project planning software here.

Go Green for Long-Term Success

Green initiatives will be gaining prominence in the years to come, and getting on board with the GPM movement does not imply major investment of time and money. Planners can start by being open to the GPM concept, then setting an example for colleagues by being willing to embrace green practices to any degree possible. Companies should examine their current approaches to locate points where minor tweaks would allow the emplacement of sustainable methods. There is really nothing to lose because going green is good for business now and will certainly prove to be a good investment a few years into the future.

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