COP26 was the most significant attempt by global leaders to address the issues around the health of our planet.
At Execview, we kept a close eye on the conversations going on related to the project management industry. We are committed to a sustainable future, which includes us implementing practices to improve our eco-output. In the piece below, we have shared some lessons and future questions for project managers to consider.
There is massive investment in addressing Climate Change, and this is where project management will play a key role.
Financing the green solution is expected to cost £100 billion in the UK alone by 2030, according to Barclays Bank. While it may appear that a global pandemic would slow climate action, governments have instead taken advantage of the time to introduce ‘green’ stimulus packages to help countries transition to a low-carbon economy. The EU announced a €750 billion economic stimulus package in May 2020, as well as a new proposal for the EU budget through 2027. This was done to both lessen the impact of COVID-19 and prepare the path for a more sustainable future. The funding will be used in part to help the EU achieve its climate neutrality and digital transformation goals.
In addition, in 2020, the UK planned £3 billion in energy-saving initiatives as part of a larger coronavirus stimulus aimed at strengthening the economy. The plan includes £2 billion for a ‘Green Homes Grant’ programme and another £1 billion for energy efficiency improvements in public buildings. The reforms are also intended to assist the UK in meeting its 2050 carbon-free objective.
However, this investment will only influence climate change if it results in the implementation of the proper policies, as evidenced by successful initiatives that execute the essential technological advances across all sectors.
The first step is to set lofty goals and the processes, institutions, and resources needed to achieve them. To promote sustainability and offer ways to combat and adapt to climate change, innovation is extremely vital. The abilities come from multidisciplinary researchers and entrepreneurs from many socioeconomic backgrounds, but we can only face the challenge with the help of project managers and the structure within which projects may be handled.
A survey of project managers thoughts on climate change.
In a recent study, project managers were questioned about their thoughts on the climate crisis and what steps the profession is taking to address it.
- The greatest stumbling block to acting on a decarbonisation/net-zero approach is competing for priorities (identified by 36% of respondents). Finance or investment constraints (33%), as well as a lack of information and awareness, are further roadblocks.
- There is a clear link between people who work in net-zero organisations and those who feel well prepared for the challenges ahead. Confidence was high in organisations with net-zero strategies, at 51%, compared to just 23% in organisations without such a plan.
- The major way organisations are now acting on climate change is to reduce inefficient use of resources in projects, according to 76% of survey respondents. Other activities include adopting methods to decrease resource consumption (75%), as well as cooperating with stakeholders to reduce waste throughout project execution (71%).
Takeaway questions from COP26 for project managers to consider:
What methods can we use to get long-term results?
One of the difficulties that leaders confront is that they cannot just pick initiatives with entirely sustainable consequences. The types of initiatives in which the business invests must be varied, as specified by their strategic aims. Some of the funds should go toward long-term efforts, such as reducing the use of non-recyclable plastic. Organizations will continue to invest in product development, reorganisation, acquisitions, expansion, regulation, technology, and projects at the same time. All of these consume time and resources, therefore if we want to have a good influence on sustainability, we must adapt and give new rules for sponsors and project managers to provide long-term outcomes and benefits.
How do we plan and implement sustainable projects?
When discussing project sustainability, this concern of costs and investments frequently arises. However, it is more of a fear than a fact. Many sustainability programmes, for example, those that enhance efficiency, conserve energy, or decrease waste, save money in the near term.
Of course, certain initiatives, such as eco-design, sustainable sourcing, or enhancing the lives and incomes of supply chain employees, could be more expensive. These activities, whether they provide an immediate return or a longer-term benefit, are investments, not expenses. They’re no different from the strategic investment decisions made in marketing, R&D, and other parts of the firm. Executives are now fielding queries from investors, who are growing more knowledgeable about sustainability. For example, investors want to know how firms are managing their climate risks. There is no question that sustainability projects provide value to a company’s bottom line.
At Execview, we believe we are already part of the solution. You can read about the sustainability potential of our software here. Also, we have set out our sustainability commitments here. If you would like to find out more about us, contact one of our experts here.