While helping my teenager niece to do her English homework, we found a question about how she sees the bright green future, which was described in a leaflet printed in the book.
Just to be clear, a bright green future is a world with less pollution, less waste, with more renewable energy, more recycling, and a healthy place to live in.
Her answer was that she sees it positive. With my huge surprise, she added with a full conviction: “Positive, but unrealistic”.
“Because we cannot do it now. We have too many problems. Future generations will create a green future”.
My conclusion is that a general and common pessimism, that is generated spreading bad news, disable the ability of people to see a different world and to trust their own skills. Most people surrender. And, if also the new generations surrender, this is extremely serious.
Recently, I found many articles published by colleagues on official magazines about sustainability and project management. Just a few years ago, it was unbelievable to find so many publications on this subject. We really need them to go in the right direction and to thrive.
One article is about modern stakeholder management and sustainable development principles included in project management standards. Refer also to my article about modern stakeholder management. Yes, my article is in Italian. As a general consideration, this shows a big limit for all these publications: they refer only to articles written in English language. They exclude all articles, journals, books, conference papers and research about sustainability and project management developed in different languages. This huge gap demonstrates that, if we don’t know a language, it doesn’t mean that there are no significant research results in other languages on the same subject. I don’t think that this practice is “sustainable” and that the English literature must be dominant. Anyway, let us proceed with the review.
Another article is about the finding that sustainability is one of the two major themes in today project management research and practice (the other is governance). Experienced project management practitioners work and write about this subject.
Another article identifies key variables of sustainability in project management and describes new parameters to measure the project success including economic, environmental and social benefits.
Another article is about the pursuit of sustainability in the construction industry based on the results of interviewing expert project managers. They found, briefly and for instance, that sustainable constructions aims to cost savings, employee satisfaction, green procurement, innovations, and survival of a company in the long term. Among barriers and challenges to the integration of sustainability, they found, for example, lack of awareness, lack of responsibility, lack of training, lack of organizational support, and ambiguity in government policies.
A further article describes how and how much sustainability is taken into account in project management decision making. In a traditional assessment, quality, time and costs are considered. Risks can be added. But, what happens to the environmental, social and economic variables of sustainability?
Thanks to these colleagues. Our daily actions and thoughts create our world and our future.
If people can see it, then they can really create a bright green future.
Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering
References will be provided on request.