Pin Me

Green Project Management: 30 Tips for Environmental and Sustainable Management

written by: Haley Montgomery • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 5/10/2009

These 30 tips for green project management make it easier than you think to "go green" with projects and the workplace in general. This article offers green project management techniques for making project culture, project workflow and project solutions environmentally friendly and sustainable.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Create a Green Project Team Culture

    Green project management starts with establishing a culture of responsibility and sustainability in your requirements from project team members. Try these green project management tips and lead by example as you incorporate your own green management techniques.

    1. Consider working toward ISO14000 Environmental Management compliance. Volunteer to lead your company's establishment of environmental policy manuals and procedures.

    2. Schedule projects appropriately and build your team adequately so that you minimize overtime and its added energy consumption.

    3. Consider enlisting freelancers and sub-contractors who work from home for project tasks, reducing the need for energy consumption during transit and at the office.

    4. Add a section for environmental impact to your project management boilerplate project prospectuses or charters, risk management evaluations, plans of action, and vendor RFPs.

    5. Include recycling quotas in your team incentive program.

    6. Incorporate minimizing the project's environmental impact as a criterion for project solutions.

    7. Hire a part-time student or intern specifically for errands both in and out of the office. One person running out and about is more efficient and environmentally friendly than several team members.

    8. Require project management status reports and paperwork to be submitted digitally, reducing paper consumption.

    9. Ask the environmental and sustainability questions at every stage of the project management process. Work toward applying green thinking to all aspects of the project itself as well as to the project management techniques.

    Once you incorporate green project management and workflow tips into general project management techniques, consider ways to make specific project management resources, supplies, and processes more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Follow these project management tips for practical ways to apply green thinking to the project management details.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Reduce.

    10. Consolidate multi-functional devices to reduce energy consumption.

    11. Go digital for project planning calendars.

    12. Lobby for a water cooler rather than bottled water provisions to reduce plastic purchases.

    13. Choose networked digital storage devices rather than CDs for archiving files. Network storage drives hold much more information with less manufactured material and can be configured for automatic backing up of information. Plus, they reduce the time required to search for needed files.

    14. Print on front and back of paper.

    15. Make digital presentations in Powerpoint and distribute pdf files for review or reference rather than bound reports.

    16. Switch to laptop computers rather than desktops as they require less energy.

    17. Run your laptop and other rechargeable devices on battery power as much as possible to reduce your consumption of electricity and extend the life of your batteries.

    18. Turn off office equipment, computers, and lights when not in use. Unplug if possible.

    19. Consolidate shipment of purchases and use local vendors and suppliers whenever possible.

    20. Email rather than fax or mail proposals, invoices, and other project paperwork whenever possible.

    21. Bring your lunch rather than going out.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Reuse.

    22. Repurpose unused printouts for note sheets.

    23. Purchase paper with at least partical recycled content.

    24. If shredding of documents is required, work with your shipping department to use shredded material for packing.

    25. Ask project team members to bring their own ceramic or insulated coffee mugs and drinking cups. Wash them rather than using paper or plastic disposable options.

  • slide 4 of 4

    Recycle.

    26. Schedule regular visits to your recycling center for paper and plastics.

    27. Contact copy machine and ink or toner cartridge manufacturers to inquire about cartridge recycling. Many offer reward programs for recycling cartridges.

    28. Recycle all cell phone, digital camera, and other digital device rechargeable batteries.

    29. Donate unused computers that are in good condition to schools, charities and public service agencies.

    30. Donate outdated computers to computer recycling offices for refurbishing.