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Green Project Management: Environmental PM Services

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 5/22/2013

What are environmental project management services and how do you determine if your project needs this type of PM service? Often entire projects that are "shaded green" may utilize these tools, but they can affect project elements on a smaller scale.

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    Going Green

    Sidock US Green Building Council by Eridony Perhaps your company has been asked to implement green servers or create a green IT network. Maybe a health care facility has asked you to reform its hazardous waste disposal program. In projects such as these, using environmental PM services and companies can help you include all the steps you need, especially if you’re unfamiliar with needed green elements and regulations.

    Projects that involve any type of environmentally friendly design or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification require certain specifications that may not be part of your project management skills. Environmental project management firms consist of a group of managers or teams that you can outsource to guide you through the green elements of your project.

    For example, your team that is developing a new hazardous waste process for a health care facility may have to deal with issues that are not green, such as who will be responsible for the process and the writing of a process document. Those two items are easy to implement and oversee; however, what about the hazardous waste disposal process itself?

    As a project manager, if your client is looking for a hazardous waste disposal process that is clean for the environment, this is where a PM green management team can help.

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    Outsourcing

    If your company is geared toward processes and production but not necessarily utilizing green standards, you may find when one lands in your lap that youl need to outsource your green project. Keep these tips in mind when considering outsourcing your environmental project management needs:

    • Company Certifications – Ask the company if they are LEED certified as well as other certifications such as biohazards they are qualified to manage.
    • Projects – What projects has the company completed? Tell them about your project and ask about similar projects they have worked on that will meet your needs and the specifications of the client.
    • References – Obtain a list of references and call to inquire how the environmental project management team performed. Were change orders excessive?
    • Tools, Equipment, and Supplies – If any of these are needed to complete your project, does the company have access to green vendors to meet the project goals?
    • Green Rules – Does the company understand all green regulatory rules on the federal, state, and local levels? These will be key in completing your project.
    • Estimating and Budgeting Skills - What type of process does the company use to estimate, budget and keep the project on track? These considerations are vital whether you're going green or not.
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    Keeping Your Green Project In House

    If you find your company is landing many projects for which environmental science or expertise is necessary, consider hiring a green manager or green team. Your green team can be placed on your payroll so you can skip the outsourcing expense. Good candidates to look for will have education and experience in:

    • Green processes and implementation
    • Environmental science and business management
    • Past project management experience
    • LEED
    • Work background in green areas
    • Green regulations on the federal, state, and local levels
    • Low emission construction, breakdown, build
    • Hazardous waste recognition, clean-up, regulations
    • Team leader or facilitator experience in project management
    • Effective budgeting skills

    Environmental project management services are often necessary if you need to please a client’s request. Whether you outsource or create a green in-house team, you’ll land more jobs that require environmental science knowledge if you implement PM environmental project management tools or services.