Green Management Will Make Complex Projects Easy

  • 22 July, 2014

"Green fingers are the extension of a Verdant heart." Russell Page
"The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will" - Chuck Palahniuk, Author of Diary

1. Green Projects

As a responsible citizen of the world, it becomes important that our projects are not working adversely on the environment. Gone are the days, when an individual's choice of action is limited within their community. The world at large needs to realize, that the country-centric attitude of living with very little care for natural resources, may soon lead to shortage in resources. Then it becomes all the more important that Project Managers go green on their projects.

There are some really great places to go green on your project. Plan the amount of carbon footprints that your team's current projects are leaving behind. Aspiring to create an eco-friendly team would be a great asset to a socially responsible organization. All forms of change happen from one individual first and then spread to others.

2. Planning a Green Project

Project Managers should first believe in their going green concept before it can be encouraged within their teams. The best way to do that is to plan a little ahead to convey the various green trends then incorporate them into the current Project Plan. While planning make sure to have sufficient research work done on the topic. For instance, if the company is involved in creating a product for the local market then the Project Managers should have the relevant information about various processes that could be made green. If there are processes which cannot be made green then find a solution that creates a low carbon footprint.

3. Budgeting a Green Project

Project Managers should make sure that the financial resources allotted for the project give priority to cost-effective green trend implementation. Sometimes, the Project Managers need to make a decision about a particular high priced resource for a project against a cheaper high environmentally risk resource. At such time, it would be wise to go back to your vision of your company to make the final decision. Some moves and expenditure may be expensive at the present moment but in the long run are commendable Project Management moves.

4. Building Green Teams

It is not enough that the Project Managers alone think of making the project green. It is important to evangelize your team in accepting greener concepts for the project. It would be a great support for the project, if the team also joins in the effort to be eco-friendly resource users.

If the work environment requires modification to follow the eco-friendly options then the Project Managers should make the required changes in attitude and work-area-based changes. Attitude may take a while to adjust, until the work culture is completely absorbed by the team members. So, the best way to be an eco-friendly Manager is to follow a few of these green practices.

(i) Conserve Energy
The work area could use energy saving methods. The team members could be encouraged to develop a habit of switching off their computers if it is not in use. The energy used for computers in the workplace is high. It is important that the team members are aware of practicing small energy conserving habits.

(ii) Carpooling
Project Managers could encourage their team members to carpool and provide some incentives for following that practice. Carpooling builds a sense of camaraderie's among the pooling members. The sense of team spirit is increased and works as a positive bonus for the project. The Project profits from such a move in the long run, while the team feels that it has cut down on its carbon footprints.

(iii) Work from Home
Project Managers should encourage their teams to work from home whenever possible, especially, if the team members have a long commute to the office. There are a lot of advanced technologies that can aid working from home. Project Managers can schedule the team members to work four days onsite, at the office, and work offsite, from home, on Friday. This would encourage and reduce Friday long commute traffic crawling for the team.

(iv) Eco-Friendly Lunch boxes
In the logistics of running an office it becomes important to know how to reduce waste that are not bio-degradable. Whenever takeout is ordered make sure to encourage the team to make a bulk order and reduce the plastic and paper waste. It would be a best practice to encourage bringing homemade lunches in eco-friendly lunch boxes and using real cutleries.

(v) Eco-Friendly Wardrobe
Project Managers could encourage their teams to wear eco-friendly clothes to work and create a workplace based fashion statement. This might impact a change in the attitude of the team members. Team members may be more likely to switch to a eco-friendly wardrobe if they are given incentives. Low cost but super organic clothes could become the fashion statement of company. Get free coupons from local organic cloth stores and give it to the team members as a reward for completing a difficult task.

5. Sustainable Resources Usage

Project Managers wishing to make their project green and eco-friendly need to watch how the internal office resources are used within the team. The communication to make the required changes should be passed to all the team members so that conserving good ecological practices are followed by all of them.

Here are few important places where low resources could be used effectively.

(i) Digitize
Wherever possible it would be wise to make use of the advanced technology in reducing consumption of resources that are harmful for the Earth. For instance, there are a lot of documents that require printing and make sure that the paper used is eco-friendly. If possible, prevent printing of documents that could be easily shared as a PDF or in an electronic fashion. Print only the most vital documents.

(ii) Reduce Paper Usage
Project Managers could encourage team members to recycle and print copies in economy mode. Printing on both sides of the paper ensures that there is reduction in the amount of paper used. Using recycling methods in the office environment helps in reducing the use of papers made using an environmentally harmful chemical process.

(iii) Use Bio-Degradable Materials
Project Managers should be aware of the usage of harmful materials. It would be wise to encourage the use of bio-degradable materials for various office related products like soaps, room refreshers, stationeries and others. By using eco-friendly office products the company paves the way for a greener workplace environment.

In conclusion, when good eco-friendly methods are used in the running of projects and logistics, there is a sense of satisfaction in having done the right thing by the global community. Reducing the environmentally harmful toxins helps keep the environment clean and pristine for the coming generation.

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