Include Environmental Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management

Include Environmental Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management
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Ignoring the environment is perilous to the sustainment of any project or organization!  You need to keep the effect on the environment front and center! Issues such as commuting, parking, building, noise, light, energy usage, and waste management all are part of the environment effects to be considered.  If any one of these is not managed within acceptable limits, the environmental sustainability of the project and even of the organization will be at risk. 

This is the fourth part of a series of four articles on sustainability.  This fourth part, “Include Environmental Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management”, looks at the risks inherent in a number of environmental areas and how awareness is the first step to achieving environmental sustainability.  Part 1, “Support Operational Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management”, encourages PMs to look at the operational impacts and potential risks of a project on an organization.   Part 2, “Ensure Financial Sustainability As Part of Your Project Risk Management”, identifies financial viability and performance as an essential precursor to any other type of sustainability for the project or organization.   Part 3, “Consider Social Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management”, looks at various external social considerations that may pose risk to the project and organization, and how those social risks can be managed.  

The environment is one of the first things most people think about when they consider sustainability.  But often people do not think about the details of what it really means to be environmentally stable.

The following are some key factors contributing to environmental sustainability:

  • Commuting – How will your project effect traffic patterns?  How will people commute – personal car, public transportation, van pool?  Will some people work from home all or part of the time?
  • Parking – How much parking is needed?  How much is the company making available?  How much is available form other sources? Are there plans for more parking?  Do these answers encourage or discourage environmentally friendly actions?
  • Building – Does the project involve building new facilities?  What environmentally friendly design and construction practices are being implemented?  The same holds true for remodeling older/existing space.
  • Noise – Does your project create or reduce noise pollution?  This could be from manufacturing, transportation, or other sources.  What noise control practices might help?
  • Light – Will you employ new lighting that might have an effect on the surrounding environment?  What can you do to balance safety and environmental considerations?
  • Energy usage – What additional energy will be consumed by the project, and what additional needs are there once it’s complete?  Is the energy available? From what sources? Are there alternatives? Are there environmental impacts?
  • Waste management – What additional waste management considerations are there with the addition of any operations?  What changing waste management services might impact current operations?

There are lots of environmental factors to consider.  It’s important to recognize the high impact ones that relate to your project or operation in order to evaluate environmental sustainability.

What environmental factors have you considered on your current project or program?  Are there any additional areas that warrant your consideration?

This Post is Part of the Series: Sustainability

This series of four articles teaches how project risks can affect operational sustainability in a business.

Support Operational Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management

Ensure Financial Sustainability As Part of Your Project Risk Management

Consider Social Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management

Include Environmental Sustainability in Your Project Risk Management