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The P5 Standard for Sustainable Project Management

The P5 Standard for Sustainable Project Management

In today’s world, sustainability has become a priority for businesses, organisations and governments alike. It is not just a catch phrase for discussion about the weather anymore, it is a necessity for all to accept
(un.org)
. The shift towards sustainability in legislation, policy and behaviour has significantly impacted the field of project management, leading to the emergence of Green Project Management standards such as PRiSM®. Among these standards, the Green Project Management P5 Standard is set apart as a comprehensive framework that helps project managers integrate sustainability into their projects.

Brian Cleere Project Management Tutor at Cenit College

What is the P5 Standard?

The P5 Standard for Sustainability in Project Management is a framework for evaluating and measuring the impact of projects on society, the environment, and prosperity. It was developed by the Green Project Management® (GPM®) Global, a leading organisation in sustainable project management.

P5 Standard Textbook

The P5 Standard is based on five lenses:

  • Product: The impact of the project’s product or service on society, the environment, and prosperity.
  • Process: The impact of the project’s activities and outcomes on society, the environment, and prosperity.
  • People: The impact of the project on the people involved, including project team members, stakeholders, and the broader community.
  • Planet: The impact of the project on the environment, including resource use, emissions, and pollution.
  • Prosperity: The impact of the project on the economic well-being of the organisation and society.

The P5 Standard can be used to assess the sustainability of projects at any stage of the project lifecycle. It can also be used to identify and mitigate potential negative impacts, and to maximise positive impacts.
The standard is essentially a risk register for sustainability in projects and supports the project manager and project sponsors make better decisions on project outcomes. The ontology gets into detail from perspectives down to categories, sub-categories and elements.

P5 Book Extract

P5 Extract – Gets down to detail

Here are some examples of how the P5 Standard can be used in practice:

  • A company developing a new product can use the P5 Standard to assess the potential environmental and social impacts of the product, and to make design changes to reduce those impacts.
  • A government agency building a new highway can use the P5 Standard to assess the potential impacts of the highway on air quality, noise levels, and wildlife habitats.
  • A construction company can use the P5 Standard to implement sustainable practices on its projects, such as using recycled materials and reducing energy consumption.

The P5 Standard is a valuable tool for project managers who are committed to delivering sustainable projects. It provides a comprehensive framework for assessing and managing the impacts of projects on society, the environment, and prosperity.

Here are some of the benefits of using the P5 Standard:

  • Helps project managers to identify and mitigate potential negative impacts, and to maximise positive impacts.
  • Aligns projects with organisational goals for sustainability.
  • Improves the reputation of the organisation as a leader in sustainability.
  • Attracts and retains top talent who are committed to working on sustainable projects.
  • Contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


The P5 Standard is free to download at greenprojectmanagement.org
and is supported by the PRiSM® Project Management Practitioner certification. Use it today to enhance the sustainability of all your projects.