A major gap in both PMBOK® and the PMP® code of ethics and professional conduct is the need to promote environmental sustainability. PMBOK® 5th ed. uses the word 'sustainability' three times. The first two instances refer to the need for the project manager to be aware of sustainability requirements in the organization. Similarly, the third mention of sustainability is as an environmental factor that might exist and affect the project management plan. The PMP® code of ethics describes values such as ethics, fairness, honesty, conflict of interest and respect. It does not contain any reference to environmental sustainability.
The concept of environmental sustainability for projects and project teams needs to be added to PMBOK® and can be thought of as a basic need similar to the need for project quality. It is everyone's responsibility and the benefits far outweigh the costs. As project managers we need to integrate sustainability into our project processes. Here are a few examples:
Design environmentally sustainable methods and practices into the project
Make the business case an end to end consideration that includes sustainable processes and results
Include environmental sustainability as a vendor selection criteria
There is an excellent paper on this topic on the PMI website. It was published in 2009 by Debbie Deland, Sustainability Through Project Management and Net Impact.
Environmental sustainability is a responsibility that can be integrated into all process groups and all knowledge areas of project management. Let's all attempt to alter project work to include more environmentally sustainable practices by being project leaders who believe in this important responsibility.