I don’t think it is a project management thing – despite the emphasis that this puts on activities with defined end-dates – I suspect it is more about human nature; the fact that most of us are uncomfortable with things that are incomplete, unfinished, continually ongoing. But we’re learning.
The big themes that have preoccupied major project practitioners (and others) over recent years – climate change and sustainability, diversity and inclusivity, new ways of working, amongst others have encouraged us to accept the new status quo; that of permanent change.
That’s not a bad thing. Far from it. If something is in a continual state of development that should make progress easier because we no longer have to strive for (unrealistic) perfection, we can focus on delivering improvements and changes incrementally. And we should celebrate these rather than taking them for granted.
Let’s look at just one aspect of this: sustainability and the circular economy.
Following our annual conference in September 2019, the Association and our members made a series of commitments:
We agreed to:
- clarify terms, provide access to decision-making tools and publish good practice guidance. And, if you haven’t already discovered our sustainability resources including the sustainability toolkit and the glossary of key terms, then I encourage you to take a look.
- encourage personal and corporate commitments. To which end, check out the Sustainability Pledges we have identified as appropriate and relevant for organizations in our industry.
And since this is an ongoing challenge rather than a series of ‘finite tasks’, we have also:
- built a network of 38 sustainability ambassadors whose task is to champion and share what their organization is doing to drive the sustainability agenda.
- Hosted or facilitated a series of (currently eight) member-delivered webinars with the help of the ambassadors network exploring everything from greenhouse gases to electric vehicles to the reinvention of urban design.
- Organised a joint members’ networking event with the International Environmental Management Association (IEMA)
- Laid the ground work for a series of CoP26 related activities involving the membership.
Where will all this activity take us? Who can say. But the one thing you can say with certainty is that, working with other organizations and associations and with the support from members, we can continue to develop and diversify our responses to and our activities to anticipate the requirements for a sustainable future.
Help us sustain the momentum
- If your organization doesn’t have a Major Projects Association sustainability ambassador
- If you’d like to be involved in shared CoP26 activities involving other members
- If you’d like to organize and deliver a Sustainability Ambassadors webinar for the series
- Or if you have other ideas in this space
Then, talk to us.