How to Succeed at Going Green

Carleton is an Associate Director Portfolio Management in Queensland, Australia.

A few years ago I delivered a talk on how carbon emission reduction projects were not so much a brave new world, but rather just another project management challenge. Since then, I have been lucky enough to review over a hundred such projects. While I still stand by my original view, I’ve come to realize that green projects face unique challenges. Here are a few pointers toward delivering a successful project.

“Green” means many things within a project context. In this discussion, I call a project green if it delivers a benefit to the environment. For example, a large green project would be to deliver a utility scale wind farm that will generate green energy, while a small green project might be one that will restore an area to encourage the return of an endangered species. Even a project as simple as upgrading the office light bulbs to be more energy efficient would qualify as green.

These examples are representatives from the burgeoning field of sustainable outcomes; a field that is expanding as cleaner sources of energy are developed, waste is reduced and the environment is improved. There have been a string of high-profile failures in this market, many of which are indirectly attributable to failures of good project management practice. Here is how applying a few project management practices to your green project can help.

Risk
Many green …

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"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

- Bertrand Russell

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