The signs of climate change are becoming apparent at a speed they have never before. As a project manager, you might find yourself looking into solutions to do the projects you are working on foolproof in front of these climate changes. However, you might also find yourself wondering if what you do as a living is also someone responsible for the worsening climate change effects.
While the answer to that question may vary depending on your work industry, you can always incorporate some eco-conscious values to make your work more environment-friendly. By opting for eco-friendly and sustainable practices, you can make your projects long-lasting and lay the foundation of thoughtful eco-conscious project management practices in your industry, and pave the way for others to walk on these too. By incorporating your eco-conscious values with your job, you might create a new dimension of career for yourself as well.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at how you can establish some green project management practices in your work:
Pay Attention to Environmental Criteria
Most project managers that contribute towards the negative climate change effects due to their work do so not out of intention but out of ignorance. The effects of climate change have been more drastic in the past two decades than in the past hundred years before that. Hence, many experienced project managers can be especially aloof about the changing environmental criteria.
However, you can include environmental criteria as a first step towards promoting green project management. If you are worried that the capitalistic mindset may make stakeholders or clients reject your plans for including environmental criteria, present it in a way that makes it beneficial for them.
For example, as a construction project manager, you can talk about how the changing landscape due to climate change may make the project dangerous and uninhabitable in the long run. Present environmentally sustainable solutions to lower the project cost in the long run or enhance its value. Present eco-conscious solutions to the climate change effects at the location to reduce the project’s impact on the environment and make it more profitable and long-lasting.
Consider Environmental Threats
Similar to the above tip, considering environmental threats and informing the clients and stakeholders will make you seem more responsible and trustworthy. For example, if you find that particular project is not environmentally sustainable, inform the clients about it in a way that makes it seem like their loss more than mother nature.
You can also inform the project’s clients and stakeholders about the legal issues they might have for ignoring the eco threats and not practicing eco-conscious project management. It will help you save the environment while saving your client from facing legal issues. While capitalism is a difficult disease, no client wants to stain their name with legal controversies.
Add Green Objectives to the Project
When sketching the project plans, brainstorm where green objectives can organically fit in the project. Thanks to the efforts of many prestigious organizations and environmental activists, many individuals have become eco-conscious in their lives. From banning plastic use in their life to eating sustainable food, people are taking up various methods to do their part in saving the planet.
Present the growing climate change awareness and people’s changed life philosophies resulting from it as a growing trend to your clients and stakeholders. You can then approach adding green objectives in the project to attract a niche market of users that can turn into potential consumers through adopting green objectives in the project.
For example, if you are a project manager for mobile applications and are supposed to design a game, you can suggest that the game consumes lesser battery power than other similar games. It can attract consumers to save themselves from recharging their smartphones more often and, hence, contribute to power consumption. This way, the game application can be uniquely green in its practice, helping make your clients happy and getting your job done as an eco-conscious project manager.
Utilize Sustainable Resources
Utilizing sustainable resources is another method to practice eco-conscious project management in any field. Actively keeping up with technology and research can help you stay updated with or even introduce breakthrough sustainable technology and practices in your industry. You will incorporate environmental KPIs into the project and specialize in eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable projects. For example, as a construction project manager, you can make room for repurposed materials to make the builds unique yet environmentally friendly.
Even if the entire project cannot be executed through green project management practices, incorporating them with broader project objectives can significantly help. Becoming a risk-taking and well-informed project manager will allow you to reach new career heights, and you will be able to preach the adoption of eco-conscious project management methods to your industry fellows.
Adopt and Encourage Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
As an eco-conscious project manager, your project management practices should expand beyond your projects. You can adopt and encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle to make your green project management practices seem genuine and authentic.
You can begin by refusing to use paper unless necessary. Avoid plastic stationery or décor items around your office and even your home. Invest in and promote sustainable small businesses in your office. Your coworkers wouldn’t mind receiving sustainably produced stationery or office items. Avoid using single-use cutlery or too much plastic. In short, living an eco-conscious lifestyle in personal life can easily translate to green project management practices at work.
Last but not least, remember that you don’t have to quit your job as a project manager for your eco-friendly values. Find coworkers and clients that are as passionate as you about saving the planet. Eco-conscious project management practices have already been introduced in many industries. Even if you cannot find examples of it in your particular industry, you can preach for these and become the first eco-conscious project manager in your industry. You will find much support and your efforts will pay off.