Project profession body launches climate change report

Tackling Climate Change

The Association for Project Management (APM) has launched a new report ‘Future Trends: Tackling Climate Change’, which reveals the views of the project profession on climate change and its role in addressing the key challenges

Insights highlighted in the report are drawn from APM’s annual Salary Survey and Market Trends Survey 2021, in partnership with YouGov, in which 2,626 project professionals took part.

The report centres around key themes including awareness and engagement with climate change, the challenges facing the projection profession, and the measures that can deliver the biggest lasting impacts.

APM commissioned the report following a poll of project professionals in 2020 (with research company Censuswide) which showed early signs that the ‘new normal’ of the post-pandemic world has led to project managers and their organisations placing greater focus on net-zero projects.

The report discovers that the most significant challenge for project professionals in moving towards a decarbonisation/net-zero strategy in their organisation is competing priorities, identified by 36 per cent of project professionals.

The top five challenges highlighted in the report include:

  • Competing priorities – 36%
  • Financial or investment restrictions – 33%
  • Lack of knowledge or awareness – 27%
  • Lack of demand from clients/customers/supply chain – 22%
  • Business strategy conflicts – 22%

Despite the importance of climate change and achieving net-zero, competing priorities means it ranks joint-third in the list of most significant challenges facing the project profession in the next five years.

Challenges are:

  • The coronavirus pandemic – 22% of respondents
  • Developing the skills and talent pipeline – 15%
  • Climate change and net-zero – 14%
  • Demonstrating more clearly the value of the project profession – 14%
  • The impact of Brexit – 13%

The top five measures being taken:

  • Reducing resource waste – 76% of respondents
  • Adopting measures to reduce resource use – 75%
  • Collaboration to reduce waste during project delivery – 71%
  • The need to raise awareness about climate change in projects – 61
  • Sharing knowledge, research and experience on climate change and biodiversity loss – 57%

Delivering global solutions

Sue Kershaw, APM president, says: “As the only chartered body for the project profession in the world, we fully acknowledge the importance of project skills in delivering global solutions to the climate crisis.

“Organisations developing net-zero carbon strategies must demonstrate commitment and the capability to deliver them well.

“To support this, we are doing more than ever to emphasise the importance of making sustainability and environmental focus a core part of projects and their deliverables, including our latest report on tackling climate change.”


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