Management of Sustainability Activities in Projects: The Perspective of Project Managers


Managing project sustainability is becoming important in the last two decades. An increasing number of projects have built in sustainability considerations into project design and implementation. For instance, the "Equator Principles" as adopted by the Equator Principles Financial Institutions since 2003 have urged projects seeking project financing to meet the requirements of determining, assessing and managing social and environmental risks on top of economic analysis. Recent research findings show that lack of sustainability knowledge for project managers is a key barrier to drive projects contributing towards a sustainable society. This paper reports the results of a judgmental survey on project managers with 101 completed questionnaires. Four key messages are identified: 1) 61.4% of project managers are of the opinion that integration of economic, environmental and social criteria into project development would have either significant or critical impacts on project success; 2) they rank the relative importance of sustainability impacts in the order of economic; environmental and social; 3) 59.5% of project managers do not agree that care of project sustainability activities are the responsibility of sustainability managers (professional specialized in sustainability activities). In other words, project managers should be accountable for the sustainability activities in projects; and 4) project managers amounting to 74.2% of the sample agree that sustainability as essential knowledge area shall be included in the published guidebook of project management body of knowledge. This paper contributes to understanding project manager accountability in managing project sustainability activities and the significance of such sustainability impacts on project success.

Author Information
Gilman Tam, London South Bank University, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2015
Stream: Economic Sustainability: Sustainable Businesses and CSR

This paper is part of the ACSEE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon