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Sustainability in Project Delivery

Sustainability is moving up the collective agenda. Modern companies must have strategic environmental ambitions to avoid significant consequences.


Lasse Borris Sørensen, Sustainable Agile Coach at Plan A, and Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President for Sustainability Solutions at Wood, visited 7N to explain why sustainability in projects is something we need to address. We had a talk with Lasse to understand why it is such a relevant topic.

What can you expect to learn from this article?

  • 1

    The element of impact as a guiding principle of project management.

  • 2

    How value is increasingly measured from a sustainability agenda.

  • 3

    The value it can provide a developer to work with a sustainability agenda from a stakeholder's point of view.

Waste separation, public transport, and recycling are sustainable initiatives that many of us have incorporated into our everyday lives. According to Lasse Borris Sørensen, this is a positive trend, but we need to do more - also in our professional lives.

Sustainability is moving up the collective agenda, and companies must rethink their approach

The EU and other stakeholders have expectations and demands for modern companies to have strategic environmental ambitions, and there can be significant consequences if these are not taken seriously.

Management understood this long ago, and it does not take long to change a company's written ambitions and PowerPoint slides. What does take a long time is getting the engine room to follow suit - and that is where the project manager, especially, enters the picture, Lasse says.

The project manager has to help the company achieve what the C-Suite has either been legislated for, signed up to, or wants to achieve for its own sake. Anne and I helped 7N consultants understand how to facilitate this as a project manager, so the client achieves their goal of a more sustainable profile.

Impact needs to be considered when working on projects

Traditionally, time and budget have been the guiding principles in project management, but soon this will not be enough. We also need to think about impact - how can we, after the project is finished, create what really is valuable for the sustainability agenda?

Not only by the company but also by the planet, in terms of equality, peace, prosperity, and cooperation. There is considerable complexity involved, and according to Lasse, it is really about broadening our perspective to take advantage of all our opportunities. Among other things, we need to take advantage of the projects we are working on.

IT is becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses, regardless of department - that also applies in sustainability, where data is essential. Without data, we can’t see our current climate footprint, whether we have improved or worsened it, or set targets for where we want to go.

So it is fundamental to have an IT framework in which you can report and measure your company's sustainability - whether it is within gender equality, carbon emissions, wastewater, or something entirely else.

Providing data on sustainability is a commodity that has not been around for long, but whose relevance only increases as time moves on.


Equip yourself with desired knowledge

"But why should I, as a consultant, get involved in sustainability? You may ask. According to Lasse, there are several good reasons why. Awareness of sustainability can make your consultancy profile more relevant to potential clients.

Legislation, attracting labor, business opportunities, and relevance in a brand-new sustainability market are examples of incentives that make companies put sustainability high on their agenda.

Therefore, it is attractive for companies to hire a consultant who knows both the opportunities and challenges in these areas. To deliver concrete results at a project level, you need to look at what impact best matches the client's strategy and choose focus areas that will trickle down throughout the project.

If you want to learn more about incorporating sustainability in your agile project deliveries, visit Plan A's website!

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