Guest Post by Jan Russell, President of the GreenSpring Institute, USA.
We live in a world with a growing population of over 7 billion people. As long as records have been kept, we know there haven’t been this many people using Earth’s resources at one time. As a result, we now use 1.6 Earth’s resources every year. And every year, that “Overshoot” day gets earlier and earlier. We only have 1 Earth, and we have to change the way we do things, and that change needs to happen from the inside out.
Change often involves projects and other initiatives which are quite often a blindspot when it comes to assessing sustainability. Most sustainability managers have hit a brick wall in their sustainability efforts as they have largely focused on ‘operations’, whereby the sustainability effort is expended improving business processes, assessing suppliers and minimizing the waste produced by products being produced and sold.
If you are familiar with US Green Building Council’s (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED® programs, The Green Building Initiative Green Globes®, and International Living Future Institute™ The Living Building Challenge Standard, then it makes perfect sense to obtain this Green Project Management® certification.
The goals of LEED®, The Green Building Initiative®, and The Living Building Challenge®, is to curb or reverse climate change, create a regenerative world, the need to restore and protect water resources, restore or enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems that sustain life. All of these initiatives promote using regenerative material, building a more sustainable economy, change our behavior, and create a just and equal world that we can all live in.
These initiatives and certifications are fantastic, however, quite often it is the project manager that makes critical decisions that can subvert the efforts of the sustainability team. As Many CEO’s are demanding improvements in sustainability however project managers are struggling with how to fit it all together.
Green Project Management® is a social enterprise that offers a sustainability certification in project management that can enhance your career. The Green Project Manager® certification carries with it a global recognition of your knowledge of the ISO Standards and Guides, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, The UN Global Compact, The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), The International Project Manager Association, and the Association of Project Management. These are a few of the standards the certification exam prep training and the exam itself is based on.
GPM has produced a standard for incorporating sustainability into projects. The GPM P5 Standard combines the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, ISO21500 Standard for Project Management, ISO26000 Standard for Social Responsibility, the ISO14000 Standard suite of Environmental Management Systems, ISO9000 Standard suite of Quality Management, ISO50001 Standard for Energy Management. Whilst not all SDG’s or ISO standards will apply to every project or situation, by understanding each fo these standards you can decide what is most relevenat to your situation and what is needed to achieve the best sustainability outcome..
The P5 Standard can be used to undertaken a assessment of a project providing a complete overview of how your project stands up against the sustainable goals set forth for your project. It will show you the areas that will need further action to achieve the outcomes of your project. With this tool, your surprises on the project will be reduced. We all know you can’t control everything, but by using P5, you will have more control.
Recent research has shown that projects are the new target for sustainability and many project managers lack the knowledge and skills in sustainability. When combined with LEED® or Green Globe® certifications, undertaking a GPM training and certification you will become one of the most successful and sought after project managers in the market. With a sustainability skillset in your toolkit, you can guide the direction your project takes all the while maintaining the set standards and objectives. to build on the original Triple Bottom Line and taking it much further.
Changing the normal way we build in this world by including sustainability in the Project Management realm, we can reduce our impact on the environment and leave behind a sustainable world for future generations. Change is scary, change is resisted, but if we do it on an incremental basis, then it becomes the norm. Changes are already happening, but we need more. It’s up to all of us.
USGBC LEED v4 User Guide http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-user-guide
Green Building Initiative, Green Globes® https://www.thegbi.org/
International Living Future Institute™ The Living Building Challenge https://living-future.org/lbc/
GPM Certifications http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/certification