Becoming a Sustainable Organization: A Project and Portfolio Management Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Becoming a Sustainable Organization

A Project and Portfolio Management Approach, 1st Edition

By Kristina Kohl

Auerbach Publications

340 pages | 71 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781498700818
pub: 2016-05-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429170133
pub: 2016-04-21
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Organizations find that a performance gap exists between sustainability vision and benefits realization. Effecting transformational change requires incorporating sustainability into organization’s culture including policies, processes, and people. Although they are often overlooked, project management professionals and HR professionals are valuable organizational resources for driving sustainable transformation. This book lays out a framework to improve sustainability integrations including case studies, lessons learned, best practices, and tools and templates to facilitate transforming into a sustainable organization.

Becoming a Sustainable Organization: A Project and Portfolio Management Approach lays out a framework to create organizational value while preserving natural and social capital. The book provides a roadmap for organizations during their sustainability journey by sharing case studies, best practices, and lessons learned, as well as tools and techniques to drive change.

This book is an ideal resource for project and portfolio managers, as well as executive managers, in organizations that are embarking on a sustainability journey. It explains how to engage both internal and external stakeholders in order to reframe strategy to drive this transformation. It examines the role human capital management professionals and policies can play in ensuring that employees become fully engaged in sustainability. It also recommends baseline measurements and metrics to help managers ensure sustainability initiatives remain on track.

The case studies and interviews in this book include sustainability stories and projects from a variety of organizations in both function and size, including family-owned businesses, higher-education institutions, NGOs, municipal and federal government agencies, and large global organizations. These cases are based on interviews with experienced sustainability and project management professionals who have not just "talked the talk" but also "walked the walk."

The voices of these professionals provide invaluable inspiration and guidance to sustainability champions and to program and project managers seeking to move their sustainability portfolio components forward within their organizations.

Table of Contents

What Is Sustainability? Why Does It Matter?

Defining Sustainability

History of Sustainability

Sustainability in Business

Social Capital

Natural Capital


Natural Resource Scarcity

Climate Change

Population Growth, Urbanization, and Demographic Change

Global Connectivity and Information Transparency

Stakeholder Interest in Sustainability

Portfolio, Program, and Project Management Impact



Building the Business Case for Sustainability

Sustainable Strategy Drives Value

CEO Perspective

Financial Performance/Competitive Advantage

Managing Risk

Climate Change Risk

Creating New Opportunities and Products

Access to Capital

Engaging Stakeholders

Competitive Ratings and Rankings

Operational Improvements and Energy Savings

Project and Portfolio Management Impact



Gaining Stakeholder and C-Suite Support and Sponsorship

Creating Value through Sustainable Strategy

Planning for Sustainability Success

The Sustainability Journey

Building the Case for Sustainability

Engaging the C-Suite

Finding a Champion in the C-Suite


Barriers to Adoption

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management Impact

A Conversation about Engaging the C-Suite



Alignment of Business and Sustainability Strategy Creates Sustainable Strategy

Alignment of Business and Sustainable Strategy

Creating and Implementing Sustainable Strategy

Organizational Alignment

Portfolio Management Selection to Promote Alignment

Alignment of Programs and Projects with Sustainability Vision

Materiality Supports Alignment

Developing a Framework to Promote Sustainability

Value Creation Drivers

Aligning Programs and Projects with Sustainable Strategy



Project Management Techniques Inform Sustainable Strategy Development

Project Manager Barriers to Effectively Managing Sustainability

Project Management Maturity and the Sustainability Journey

Sustainability Project Charter

Sustainability Drivers

Sustainability Assessment

Sustainability Continuum

Harness the Power of Project Management

Scope, Time, and Cost

Building Sustainability into All Projects

Program Management



Creating a Culture of Sustainability

Organizational Culture

Culture of Sustainability

Defining Sustainability as a Core Value

Benefit Corporations

Creating a Culture of Sustainability

Misalignment of Values and Actions

Establishing Goals

Create a Team

Internal Stakeholder Adoption

Metrics to Drive Change

Best Practices

Portfolio, Program, and Project Manager Perspective



Portfolio Management Supports Strategic Sustainability Alignment

The Portfolio Analysis Process

Identifying the Portfolio Management Process

Sustainability Portfolio Assessment

Communication of Goals and Drivers to Stakeholders

Portfolio Management Alignment

Creating a Supportive Organizational Structure

Portfolio Component Selection

Types of Components

Incorporating Lessons Learned



Identifying and Engaging External Stakeholders

Impact of Engagement

Creating an Engagement Plan

Identifying Stakeholders and Collecting Requirements

Engaging Stakeholders to Identify Needs and Define Requirements

The Stakeholder Engagement Process

Identifying Key Stakeholders

Portfolio, Program, and Project Management Impact



Leveraging Organizational Relationships and Assets

Impact of an Organization’s Sustainability Maturity on Stakeholder Engagement

Managing Internal Stakeholders

Engaging Function Business Leaders

Internal Stakeholder Drivers for Sustainability

Best Practices for Engagement

Measuring Engagement

Project, Program, and Portfolio Management Impact



Leveraging Human Capital Professionals

Human Capital Relevance in Reporting Frameworks

Human Resource Alignment

Impacting Global Challenges

Employee Engagement

Creating Business Value

Integrating Sustainability into Human Capital Management

Relevance to Project Management Professionals



Adopting a Culture of Change to Unlock the Benefits of Sustainable Strategy

Organizational Structure for Change

Change Management Plan

Barriers to Project Success

Communication Plan

Engaging Stakeholders in the Change Process

Human Capital Advantage



Sustainable Strategy as a Lever to Attract, Engage, and Retain the Workforce

The Value of Engagement

Building a Sustainable Workforce

Creating a Sustainable Workplace

Employee and Team Engagement

Best Practices to Embed Sustainability and Maximize Engagement

Project and Portfolio Perspective

Case Study: How the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Engaged Employees on Commuting Habits and Effected Change



Tools and Techniques to Embed Sustainability


Benchmarking Organizational Sustainability

Opportunities for Employee Engagement

Continuous Improvement Plan

Impact of Maturing on the Sustainability Continuum

Promoting Plug-in Vehicle Adoption by Employees by Developing Workplace Charging Stations

Creating a Sustainable Culture

Diversity as a Cornerstone of Sustainability

Programs to Support D&I



Selecting Goals and Metrics that Matter

Alignment of Strategy, Goals, and Metrics

Reporting Standards and Frameworks

Selecting Meaningful Metrics

Meaningful Metrics Drive Engagement

Data Quality and Accuracy

Role for Technology

Portfolio, Program, and Project Management Impact

UVM Case Study: STARS Project21



Celebrating Success

Impact of Incentives


Employee Resource and Affinity Groups

Culture of Sustainability

Promoting Project Team Success

Sonoma County Winegrowers Celebrate Sustainability

The Sustainability Continuum Impact




About the Author

Kristina Kohl is the managing principal of HRComputes, a management consulting firm that provides strategic guidance, program, and project management to corporate clients in order to maximize their human capital investment through technology and change management. Kristina leads the Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Strategy practice for the firm and provides strategic guidance to senior management on the value proposition of adopting a sustainable strategy. HRComputes is a registered New Jersey Sustainable Business, WBE, and SBE. They are recipients of the Gotham Green Award for sustainable strategy and earned a certificate of recognition from the New Jersey EPA for sustainability innovation.

Kristina speaks at industry events including the PMI Global Conference and the Society for Human Resource Management Global Conference. In addition, she has been a guest lecturer for the University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University, and the Project Management Institute. She has authored white papers and articles for online publications of Project, Sustainable Brands, and the Wharton Magazine.

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General