Can our project management style affect the environment? Most of us would say yes, as long as we're working on a type of project that is physical in nature. For example, if we're building a bridge or a building, it's obvious that the project has an environmental impact. It's also obvious that the building style and practices chosen will have an impact.

But we don't think about the environmental impact of office work. Beyond telecommuting to reduce our carbon footprint, here are three areas where we can affect climate change in our project management practices.

  • The paper-free office is not a dream. As project managers, we have an impact on how we produce our status reports and other documentation to support the project. We have a choice on the media we use to distribute this information. Let's keep this in mind when we have a choice between printing and emailing a PDF file!
  • Kick-off and team building activities with the planet in mind. Even if it's only choosing reusable glasses and mugs, our project team's carbon footprint reduction, however small, counts.
  • Repair VS replace. Whenever possible, let's try to repair equipment instead of just buying a replacement. It's often less expensive and we are slowing the accumulation at the landfill sites.

What can each of us do to reduce humanity's adverse impact on the planet?

I wrote this post today to support Blog Action Day. The theme this year was climate change.