Measuring the Convergence of Sustainability and Project Management – Where the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ falls short


 P5 in Action – The Enhancement of the Model

Mark Reeson FAPM RPP PMP

Senior Principal Consultant

QA Ltd., UK


Sustainability has rapidly become intertwined in all aspects of business and change.

Measuring the degree to which an organisation is being or can be sustainable or is pursuing sustainable growth can be difficult. Within a project centric environment, this does not have to be the case.

During the mid-1990s, John Elkington strove to measure sustainability by encompassing a new structured framework to measure corporate performance.  This accounting framework was called the triple bottom line. It looked beyond the traditional measures of profits, return on investment and shareholder value to encompass the environmental and social dimensions of work by placing an emphasis on these performances, along the interrelated dimensions of the people, the planet and an organisation’s profit.

While this framework can be adapted to project management practices, in order for long term organisational sustainability goals to have a real impact, two more elements were identified and then built into a concept but further into a sustainability model by its founder and author, Mark Reeson.  These two additional areas for consideration were the products that were being produced and the process in which they were being made; with these two additional elements, the P5concept was born and has now gone on to be recognised globally and commercially as the method to bring sustainability inclusively into project management by large and small corporate organisations and by local and national governments worldwide.

With the inclusion of the five elements of the method, organisations and businesses alike can now view their changes and their new creations from a different standpoint and no longer view sustainability as simple ‘green project management’ but instead as an approach that not only saves them money in the long term but can be measured just as any other benefits are within a project or business.  P5 does not need a specific methodology; it does not involve re-writing or radically over hauling your current delivery framework.  No, the real strength that P5 project management has given those that are now rapidly adopting it is its simplicity in introduction and the consistency that it offers throughout and beyond the standard project lifecycle with its unique extended lifecycle which is considered and then planned from the first steps of the project to the final step of the product; this is the ultimate cradle to grave project management approach.

So what is the story behind this approach, where was it born and with its continued growth within all industries globally, will it really make a difference to how will deliver projects in the future?


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s footnote: P5 in the USA is a registered trademark of GPM global.

About the Author 

flag-ukmark-reesonMark Reeson, FAPM

QA Ltd 

Mark Reeson is a project management specialist over twenty seven years, a Fellow of the Association of Project Management (FAPM), and has been involved in many project and programme consultative roles.  He has recently been appointed a Registered Project Professional with the Association of Project Management and holds the position of Sustainability Management Global Advisor with QA Limited.  Having started his career in the Royal Air Force Mark has continued to develop by working and delivering projects in the nuclear, training and international sporting field.

Mark has developed his role through further experience with the nuclear industry and is now employed with QA Ltd as a Project Senior Principal Consultant.  The role is very much client facing and Mark is regularly travelling throughout the United Kingdom meeting clients and working on their requirement identification.  Mark’s main role is the development and the consultation with many organisations on ensuring they choose the right approach or methodology to deliver their projects and then follows this up with the correct bespoke training programme for how their company wants to share this learning with their staff members.  Mark has been very successful in the public sector particularly with the County and City Councils, already having developed a number of methodologies and recently has just launched two training programmes with an insurance company and another nuclear organisation.

Mark recently was asked to take a temporary role within a financial company to assess how they would best introduce a project methodology to improve their turnover and delivery efficiency.  Mark has also had success with his new unique approach to training and mentoring project managers and has recently authored and has become the advocate of ‘Living Learning in the Project Management Community’.  Mark is hoping in the future to develop this further to spread the knowledge and competency available through this approach to many more organisations worldwide.

Mark’s latest success for himself and QA has been in the field of sustainability, where he attained an award for his with nuclear cleanup projects and has recently been developing a suite of courses to educate people on the sustainability message.  Mark can be contacted at [email protected].