Aligning Projects to the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative: Monitoring the Impact of Project Processes and Products on People, the Planet, and Profitability


By Joel Carboni, GPM® IPMA-B®



Monica Gonzalez, GPM®, PMP®, MBA


Organizations are increasingly making project management a part of their day-to-day strategy, and projects contribute to organizational success, project management therefore should be linked to organizational strategy.

It was stated in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI’s) Pulse of the Profession Report that only 54% of organizations understand the value of project management. James Brown of DuPont Pioneer’s Project Management Office was quoted in the publication stating that “There are companies out there spending millions of dollars on projects and programs that leadership doesn’t know about. Project management brings consistent transparency and enables leadership to ask, ‘If this isn’t strategic, why are we doing it?’”

While there is an upswing in the alignment with projects and organizational strategy, with 76% of individuals who contributed to the study reporting that the gap is narrowing, corporate social responsibility is still far beyond reach.

Our research indicates that organizations who report to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the non-profit organization that provides all companies and organizations with a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework, are light on product centered reporting.

A quick search on LinkedIn for “project manager” and “program manager” at Illinois based Abbot labs for example yielded a total of 105 individuals.   If you look at Abbot’s GRI report on their website you will see it is very comprehensive.

In the reporting category for products, they have listed: 

  • Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services and extent of impact mitigation (core)
  • Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by category
  • Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations (additional)

If project managers are not educated on how to mitigate environmental impacts or even have tools to do so, how are organizations measuring product sustainability?  The answer is packaging.  Even before I clicked on the link to see how they are addressing sustainability from a product perspective, I was certain that supply chains and distribution were at the core.  Here is how Abbot reports product sustainability.


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About the Authors

flag-usaJoel CarboniJoel Carboni

Joel Carboni is the President and founder of GPM Global (Green Project Management®), a project management professional development organization focused on decoupling socio-environmental degradation and economic vitality. He has over 15 years’ experience in project and program management having worked in both the private and public sectors for organizations such as Accenture, Chase, Harris Bank, and Local Government.

He is the architect of the PRiSM project delivery methodology and co-author of the GPM Reference Guide to Sustainability in Project Management and authored training programs for Green Project Management that are currently offered in over 60 countries through professional training organizations and Universities.

Joel has been recognized for his work with to promote peace, culture, and education around the world and is the recipient of both the Liberty and Humanitarian awards from the SGI and is a contributor to the UN Global Compact’s 2013 Leaders’ Summit. He serves as the Director of Standards for the asapm (IPMA-USA), is on the Executive Board for a regional science center and serves on the Executive Board for government led technology coalition focused on empowering youth to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Joel can be reached at [email protected] 

flag-argentinamonica-gonzalezMonica Gonzalez

Mónica González is an Industrial Engineer, Master in Business Administration and has two International Certifications, Project Management Professional (PMP®) of the Project Management Institute and Green Project Manager (GPM®) of GPM Global. She has over 25 years of experience in Electrical Companies, in both public and private sectors, specifically in Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

In the past 13 years, she has worked as a Project Manager, involved with developing, establishing,  implementation and maintenance of Organizational (and Integrated) Management Systems according to the International Management Standards, like ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems – Requirements)ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems — Requirements)ISO 26000 (Guidance on Social Responsibility), OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Standard) and the Argentinean  Resolution ENRE 057/2003 Public Safety for Electric Power Transmission in High and Medium Voltage.

From 2002 to 2004, she was part of Communication Committee and Environmental and Sustainable Development Committee of Electricité de France (EDF) Branch America along with colleagues from France, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.  As PMI member Monica is a founder of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo Argentina Chapter, as a volunteer she serves as Marketing and Communications leader, issuing a monthly newsletter among others.

In addition to integrate the PMI Global Sustainability Community of Practice Council (May´2010-Dec´2012) and support  PMI Educational Foundation as a Liaison in Nuevo Cuyo Chapter, she serves as a committee member for the PC/ISO 236 Project Committee: Project Management; and for the ISO/TC 258 – Technical Committee: Project, Program, Portfolio Management.  From October 2012, Mónica is a member of the GPM Global Executive Consortium. Currently, she is a Senior Project Manager and works as an independent contractor.  Monica can be contacted at [email protected]