Making the Shift to Green Project Management

By Shar Olivier, MEM, LEED-AP   |   Global Business Development Manager/Director of Sustainability and CSR, IIL

One of the most beautiful places on Earth is the South of France.  The time I got to travel there for business, Cannes was teeming with life and a shining posh village on the Mediterranean.  The countryside is something out of a different era, a time when people lived closer to the land, and life was much simpler and full of beauty.  I have always wanted to return, and next month I will get the chance, well, at least virtually…

I will get the privilege of delivering a virtual address to the participants at a ground-breaking PMI chapter conference in Sophia-Antipolis, South France, held on June 30th 2016.  IIL France is sponsoring the event and we want to extend congratulations to chapter organizers like Olivier LeFebvre, for hosting the conference at a net-zero energy facility (it produces more energy than it consumes), with Sustainability at the core.

More and more PMPs are being called upon to consider the metrics of Sustainability in their projects.

How does my project affect the local community?  What are the environmental impacts of my project?  Will this project move the company and the sponsors into the future with a competitive edge/managed risk based on responsible best practice in PM?

Workshop topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing a Sustainability Management Plan on your current project
  • French quality practitioners learning solutions around ISO26000 (CSR)
  • IIL Global Sustainability strategies and offerings
  • Local business strategies for Sustainability

PMI South France is focusing on making the connection between our project outcomes and alignment with our core values as stewards of the planet.  Project managers worldwide are focusing on the impact their projects have on the local community, as well as the global environment.  Responsible projects hold the stakeholders and managers accountable, while increasing efficiencies and creating innovative outcomes.

Corporate Social Responsibility is the sum total of our projects.  How we choose to focus our work lives and our company’s impacts on people and the planet, this is what creates our CSR platforms.  When we make a choice about inputs like materials, energy, transport and people, we are either making choices that foster positive growth or undermines the fabric of our ecosystem services, and the future of our society.  It’s really that simple.

Each of us has the capacity to lead in this space.  We don’t all need advanced degrees in Sustainability or urban planning, to make choices, at work and at home, that positively inform our future.  Get involved in events like this one and make the shift to Green PM.

To learn more about the event please follow this link: http://pmi-france.org/event-detail-articles/846-sophia-antipolis-gestion-vertueuse-de-projet

For more information about IIL France, please visit: http://www.iil.com/france/

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sharShar Olivier is a recognized thought leader in Sustainability and the Director of IIL’s Corporate Social Responsibility Practice Area. With more than 18 years of experience in the field, Shar has presented to more than 100,000 professionals across dozens of business sectors. She presented most recently at the PMI Southern Caribbean Chapter in Trinidad on Organizational Survival, and graduated at the top of her class in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability at Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment.


The Earth Day CSR Connection

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By Shar Olivier, MEM, LEED-AP
Global Business Development Manager/Director of Sustainability and CSR, IIL

Since April is Earth Month and today is Earth Day, we want to take a moment to celebrate the growing role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies in protecting the environment all year long.

When Earth Day was established back in 1970, it was the advent of the environmental movement. However, the concept of CSR did not yet exist. While corporations may have recognized the importance of protecting our ecosystems and the many challenges in business operations, the paradigm was that being a more responsible company meant forfeiting profits.  Seemingly, the two could not go hand in hand.

Today, sustainability and CSR are part of every successful business strategy. Huge multi-nationals such as Unilever, P&G, MARS, Coke, BMW, and BASF have taken the lead and are realizing the huge advantages of implementing CSR programs.  By managing resources through sustainable supply chain management, reducing waste streams, land conservation, and investment in communities, these companies are seeing decreased costs and increased profits. As environmentally and socially conscious factors, these companies are not only paying it forward for future generations, but also attracting today’s consumers who increasingly recognize sustainability as a critical component of products or services they use.

Given the current discussion around The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and impacts facing our global communities today, like climate change, food security, energy demand, wildlife conservation, ocean equity and water scarcity, consumers are increasingly concerned with the environmental and social impact of the brands they buy.  Pioneering organizations like The Sustainability Consortium, Forum for the Future, and Global Reporting Initiative work tirelessly to create reporting criteria and ground breaking tools and systems to manage these programs and create metrics for impact innovation and sustainable change.

And so, on this Earth Day, we are proud to celebrate the companies, agencies, and organizations that embrace the importance of corporate social responsibility as a key factor in ensuring the sustainability of our planet, economy, and communities. Sustainability is just good, responsible business, and we are honored to be part of this critical shift to the circular economy model, where every company is socially responsible.


Key Points about Climate Change from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar Speech

By Shar Olivier, MEM, LEED-AP
Global Business Development Manager/Director of Sustainability and CSR, IIL

Sunday night saw the victory of famed Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the 88th annual Academy Awards.  He said his first Oscar was not “taken for granted,” and Mr. DiCaprio had more to say about the realities of Climate Change.

He is one celebrity that has put his money where his mouth is, from the coral reefs of Belize to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr. DiCaprio is a champion of the Environment.  In his speech Sunday he made some important points.

  • He cares deeply about “man’s relationship with the natural world,” a key theme in his latest film The Revenant
  • He stressed that “Climate Change is real, is happening right now, and is our most urgent threat.”
  • He urged us to ‘work collectively to support Leaders, and not just of huge corporations”
  • And said we must reject the “politics of greed.”

These are salient and courageous public statements that are supported by [all of] us from the Sustainability community.  It is projected that by 2035 the global climate temperature will be 1.5C higher than 100 years ago.  This is not just an environmental problem, it directly effects all human systems, how we run our businesses, and the economic stability of the world markets.

Mr. DiCaprio has expressed with urgency, what IIL is working toward with our clients every day.  We strategize and create programs that help our clients mitigate Climate Change and greenhouse gas emissions, while raising standards around air and water quality, by educating the global work force about these realities, and how their work impacts our world.

We build solutions that account for Human Rights and Fair Labor practices across the globe.  We help our clients realize their relationship to the communities in which they operate and assist them in executing ground breaking programs that work today, in real time.  These programs realize these and other Corporate Social Responsibility goals, as well as Environmental Sustainability goals now.

As Mr. DiCaprio so eloquently stated, “we can no longer take our Natural World for granted,” and the clock is ticking.


7 Sustainability & CSR Trends for 2016


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By Shar Olivier, MEM, LEED-AP
Global Business Development Manager/Director of Sustainability and CSR, IIL

Happy New Year from all of us at IIL. Here are some of our Sustainability/CSR predictions for this year.

  1. Water will be a front page issue.

    Water has been on the top 10 lists of concern for a number of years and this year is no different. Water security or lack thereof has improved with the number of people living with water insecurity dipping below 1B.  A growing number of companies recognize water scarcity risks as material and are including them as a financial concern in annual reports. Most soft drink companies state that water supply challenges could put $2.5 billion of its future sales at risk.

  2. Extreme weather events increase.

    Just over this holiday break, at our distribution center in Monett, MO there was another “100 year flood.” Trouble is there was one only 7 years ago!  These floods and other extreme weather events will continue to increase this year, and not just in coastal and island settings.  Tornadoes in Mississippi, earthquakes in Greenland, extreme storms like Typhoon Patricia of 2015 will continue to make news and bring Climate Change impacts to the forefront.

  1. Ethical Supply Chain will be at the forefront. 

    In 2015 there was an overwhelming focus on Supply Chain management and impacts. 2016 is sure to bring even more scrutiny and transparency around how our goods and services are made and delivered. Pollution, emissions, air and water quality, and labor rights are all issues every company must address.

  1. The world will unite like never before over Climate Change.

    2015 saw the COP21 summit in Paris and all the impact it portends globally for 2016 and the years to come. We have reached the tipping point for a global call to action and with it 2016 brings a renewed commitment from global leaders, corporate executives, and people around the world.  

  1. Sustainability & Talent Development are table stakes.

    Gone are the days of optional training around these sustainability issues. Consumers, investors, and stakeholders are requiring companies to have trained human capital.  Competency and innovation in Sustainability are now table stakes.

  2. Cross-generational Consumer Engagement.

    Millennials have now surpassed the baby boomers in sheer numbers and they are more Sustainability savvy than their GenX parents and baby boomer grandparents. 2016 will see a rise in Millennial engagement and companies from Coca-Cola to Monsanto are hiring managers to direct communication to this enormous consumer group.

  3. Impact investing will reach a tipping point.

    Interest in socially responsible investing is at an all-time high with proponents like Bill Gates and the Pope. This year will see increased divesting with leads from Mike Bloomberg and other big names in finance.  According to Goldman Sachs, Millennials are more socially minded and will push for change, and capital and technology will drive innovation in emerging markets and the developing world.

[trx_infobox style=”regular” closeable=”no” icon=”icon-desktop”] IIL is ready to train and engage your workforce, managers and C-suite. We also provide consulting and training for every level of your company’s Supply Chain. Learn more here or email learning@iil.com to request a free consultation.[/trx_infobox]

sharShar Olivier is a recognized thought leader in Sustainability and the Director of IIL’s Corporate Social Responsibility Practice Area. With more than 18 years of experience in the field, Shar has presented to more than 100,000 professionals across dozens of business sectors. She presented most recently at the PMI Southern Caribbean Chapter in Trinidad on Organizational Survival, and graduated at the top of her class in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability at Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment.