presenting a strategic business case,
with tangible bottom line benefits.
“As noble as it is, it’s not about sav-
ing birds and trees and animals,” Mr.
Smolen says. “It’s about money.”
It also pays to look at existing
projects from a green perspective.
“I strongly urge project managers
to market themselves by highlighting
how they can manage projects to be
more efficient,” says Mohamed Khalifa Hassan, CAPM, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMP, PgMP, business consultant
at Lifelong, an enterprise project
management consultancy in Kuwait
To be seen as a green expert, it’s
important to invest in some formal
education and training.
“Project managers interested in
pursuing a green career path should
gain more technical and management
knowledge in their industry and learn
how to integrate sustainability into
their projects, programs and portfolio,” Mr. Khalifa Hassan says.
In terms of green projects, “most
favored are project managers with
backgrounds in engineering,” says
Chicago, Illinois, USA-based Brenda
L. Hernández, PMP. She is currently
doing consulting work for Techne
Labs on a project to set up a sustain-
able multimedia computer lab at the
Jakmel Ekspresyon Arts Center in
Haiti. “If the project manager has the
opportunity to take an environmental
management systems course, become
LEED certified or pursue a green
MBA, that would be nice to have.”
Project managers also need to up
their reporting skills and understand
what metrics are important for sus-
tainability projects. “Reporting is
reporting, no matter the field, and
good project managers have that skill
already,” Ms. Hernández says.
On a green project to redesign the
packaging of a product, for example, the project manager has to take
Project management practitioners
who want to pursue a green career
path should focus on these three
areas of development, according to
Mohamed Khalifa Hassan, CAPM,
PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMP, PgMP,
Lifelong, Kuwait City, Kuwait:
• Justify sustainability with value
proposition, value engineering
and alternative analysis.
• Apply it with technology.
• Sell it with research, networking
and presentation skills.
into account if new environmentally
friendly materials have an additional
cost, as well as the availability of
the new packaging.
Other important metrics affect
stakeholders. Smaller packaging results
in less space needed for delivering the
product, which translates into less
frequent trips and lower carbon emissions. Keeping track of a carbon footprint might not fall under a particular
project manager’s responsibilities, but
those numbers should be reported to