Sustainability in Project Management: Vision, Mission, Ambition

Authors Gilbert Silvius
Published in Proceedings of the PMSummit
Publication date 2012
Type Lecture


Sustainability is one of the most important challenges of our time. How can we develop prosperity, without compromising the life of future generations? Companies are integrating ideas of sustainability in their marketing, corporate communication, annual reports and in their actions. The concept of sustainability has more recently also been linked to project management. Studies show that considering sustainability should not be regarded a responsibility of just the project sponsor or executive, also the project manager has a strong influence on the sustainability aspects of a project. This paper explores the concept of sustainability and its impact on the competences of the project manager. The paper also reports an analysis of 56 case studies on the integration of the concepts of sustainability in the way organizations initiate, develop and manage projects. This study showed that the average level of sustainability consideration in the actual situation of 25.9%. For the desired situation, this score is almost 10 percent higher, showing an ambition to take sustainability more into consideration. The study also showed that the way sustainability currently is considered in projects, should be categorized as the traditional ‘less bad’ approach to sustainability integration and not a more modern social responsibility approach

Language English
Published in Proceedings of the PMSummit