Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.

People, Profit, Planet TriangleOrganisations often focus their CSR on giving their employees a number of hours or days per year to support a local cause, or give their time to an initiative like Wellingtone’s Project Management Day of Service; helping small charities with their project management, planning, communications, and strategy.

There is a need now to extend organisational corporate responsibility to help deal with two of the most serious issues of our time, climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

We can see this shift in our own backyard through the use of the sustainability triangle; which is slowly being integrated into the extended T,C,Q triple constraint. People, profit, and planet are being utilised as both constraints and success criteria for many environmentally aware companies.

We can also see the growth in interest in this area in the finance industry; with new products and services allowing investors to embed their values into their investments through a focus on positive screening and investment in companies that have socially useful products, who lead their industries on environmental, social, and governance issues rather than more traditional risk avoidance.

These new products are focusing the minds of investors on drivers such as net benefit to society, environmental, social responsibility, and governance. They have a unique perspective on the idea of a circular economy.

At PMI Synergy in London in November 2019, we explored some of the companies who are proactively working towards ‘reverse logistics’ to ensure the re-distribution of traditional waste.

IKEA and MUD Jeans are both examples of organisations who have realised the value of old, broken, and unwanted products through their reverse logistics to enable a zero-impact culture.

“We would basically be taking old bookshelves, old furniture, or an old door that’s finished its first life and sending it into new products. You’ll have a kitchen that used to be a bookshelf, without seeing any visible difference in them.”
Chief Sustainability Officer; Steve Howard, Ikea

Projects and programmes have a significant impact on our environment, and to meet the needs of society without breaching our ecological boundaries we will require a collective change in behaviour to deliver sustainable project outcomes.

If you are transforming or designing a PMO, when it comes to how your organisation delivers change, maybe you can think differently.

Think about how can you design new working practices to deliver a more positive impact on the world around us?