Projects play an important role in the development towards a more sustainable society. Companies are integrating sustainability in their strategies, processes and actions. In the implementation of strategies, projects play an essential role. The relationship between sustainability and project management is therefore being addressed in a growing number of studies and publications and sustainability can be considered one of the recent trends in project management. However, there is still a gap between the literature on sustainability in project management and what is carried out in practice. A logical enabler for the consideration of sustainability in projects may be the demand of the client in the project, although the supplier’s strategy may also be an enabler of sustainability. This article therefore reports a study into the enablers of the integration of sustainability in projects as perceived by project suppliers. The study used Q-methodology to explore different subjective patterns of perceived enablers. Based on the factor analysis of 19 Q-sorts, we discovered three distinct patterns of enablers of the integration of sustainability, that we labelled as “Benefits driven”, “Demand and intrinsic motivation driven” and “Demand and Strategy driven”. As expected, the study found that for project suppliers, integrating sustainability in projects is strongly dependent on the demand and willingness of the customer to pay for sustainability. However, adoption of sustainability could also be a differentiator for suppliers. It should therefore be questioned whether a contractor should wait for the customer to ask for sustainability, or whether he should proactively take action himself.
Peenstra, Rutger T. and Silvius, A.J.Gilbert
"Considering sustainability in projects: exploring the perspective of suppliers,"
International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management: Vol. 6:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/ijispm/vol6/iss2/2