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Research_

Sustainability in projects

Delivering projects that contribute to sustainability
We’re pioneering methods to improve on humanitarian, sustainability, and conservation project outcomes.

The projects we initiate and deliver can have a profound impact upon our society and environment. Approximately 30% of the world economy relies on project-based work, drawing upon diverse and complex supply chains.

If these projects are poorly conceived or inappropriately managed, the negative lasting impact on our society and environment can be profound. We have an obligation to ensure that our projects minimise harm. 

Additionally, projects in the humanitarian, sustainability, and conservation sectors are typically complex, constrained, and highly political, making it particularly difficult to achieve outstanding outcomes.

We're seeking to improve outcomes in these sectors by exploring the impact of specific projects that have been intended to have sustainability related outcomes, or ways that project management can be used to improve sustainability and outcomes in these environments.

Our research

Our expert: Dr Petr Matous

Global production and collaboration networks between organisations are essential for economic growth and innovation but these networks can potentially spread and amplify shock during disaster and crises.

Diversity in networks and in particular "long-ties" to dissimilar partners in diverse regions foster productivity and innovation. While these links are known to conduct shocks over long distances during crises, they can also work as a safety net by diffusing the impacts of region-specific disasters.

This has implication for structuring and diversification of supply chains and collaboration networks in way that optimises resilience and effectiveness.

Our expert: Associate Professor Julien Pollack

There are significant, ongoing threats of species extinction, particularly in Australia. Threatened species recovery programs are an important way of reducing this threat, but many recovery programs are unsuccessful.

We're exploring the issues facing species recovery programs, and the potential benefits to be found in managing threatened species recovery from a project management perspective.

Our research has uncovered eight core challenges that impact on species recovery programs, identifying that there is a general lack of integration of project management into the recovery process.

This was found to be particularly evident in terms of the recovery project lifecycle, risk management, and stakeholder management. Strategies for addressing these issues are discussed.

Conservation scientists typically focus on technical recovery competencies but we suggest that more is needed than just a technical focus.

Managing recovery from a project management perspective will increase recovery success rates through an increased focus on the contextual and behavioural competencies that are essential to the management and delivery of recovery projects and programs.

Our expert: Dr Fatima Afzal

Corporate sustainability demands the integration of environmental performance, social justice and economic efficiency and, into company’s operational practices.

Construction companies are increasingly under pressure to commit to and report on the overall sustainability performances of operational initiatives.

We adopted a survey design in which data was collected by reviewing publicly available organisational documents. Afterward, content analysis was conducted. The results indicate that financial performance is still the main target of most organisations.

This study provides a useful starting point for both policy makers and industry specialists to further improve sustainability performance of the construction industry.