GPM Certified Project Managers are Making a Difference!

In 2013, we started the GPM-b certification. One of our first to be certified was Katharine Foley from Ireland.


Katharine was a self-study who took our GPM-b exam March 19th, 2013. She has been an advocate for GPM for four years and recently renewed her certification. As more and more GPM-b’s will be renewing, we would like to showcase their work which re-emphasizes how important it is for project managers to have the understanding of sustainability principles and the ability to manage projects sustainably.

Recently, as part of a design project in Las Vegas to retrofit an establishment into a lively hotspot called BARCODE her objective was to create a fully functional space within three months with a tight budget, which left little margin for error.

For, Katharine, her project was the full service interior design retrofit. Katharine used the P5 standard to assess and mitigate impacts and increase benefits from a social and environmental aspect and used a lifecycle assessment when managing procurement to ensure that whenever possible, recycled and or locally sourced materials were chosen.

Sustainable Aspects

Barcode, Las Vegas Nevada

Eco-paint – The demolished red brick walls were salvaged, and re-used throughout the space of the establishment, reducing material costs and adding to the continuity of the concept. Walls that did not have a red brick facing or, not treated with the re-used salvaged red brick where given a light ‘eco-paint’ color to capture more natural daylight. The ‘eco-paint ‘was chosen because it contains no harmful petrochemicals.

Lighting – A lighting control system was incorporated into the design which not only reduces electricity usage by 40% but also enhances the overall customer experience, providing a ‘wow factor’ every bar/restaurant would love to achieve. This is an eco-conscious product that costs more up front, but it is a sustainable investment that almost always pays off. Low energy LED bulbs were installed throughout the space, requiring 12W of power to produce the same illumination as the 35W halogen equivalent the clients had been using. The result is energy savings of 66% and a 463kg/year reduction in CO2 emissions. With an average lifetime of 50,000 hours, the lighting requires little or no maintenance.

Utilitarian objects – We sourced from salvage yards throughout the regional area, and procurement was conducted for sustainable wall lighting elements and table accessories – these consisted of old street lantern style lamps created out of salvaged timber, and plumbing pipes used for electrical fixtures with LED bulbs fitted ; tin cans, large and small cut into to be used as candle holders.

Scrap metal yards – Sourcing local scrap metal yards turned up some great metal grid findings which were perfect for use for the metal grid ceiling design sporadically featured in the 3D Model. These were located and fixed, two above the bar islands, one rectangular grid located in front of the bar and two more grid features located to the right side of the bar. The metal grids fit well into the industrial theme concept to create uniqueness while also serving a second purpose which is to offer a secure placement and height for extra lighting in the form of clamped spotlights if required/needed.
Salvaged timber – Reclaimed Hemlock wood boards were sourced and procured to produce all the tables throughout the entire space including, high bar shelves, interior and exterior tables.

Sustainable Materials – Bamboo and cork materials were used for the base bench seating throughout the space interior and exterior. Bamboo used for framing blackboards and framing doors. Concrete and stone combined were utilized for the floor which is extremely durable for high traffic and low in maintenance or, repair.

Management Aspects – Constructional Documentation, Technical Documentation, Plans, Schematic, 3D Model, Sections, Elevations, and Details (as mentioned above) were all produced remotely/virtually. There was no paper waste whatsoever for the entire duration of this project.

While this project might not have been a 150 million mega structure, the key to sustainability from a project perspective is that every initiative, not matter how large or how small should be looked at through a sustainable lens and determine what can be done to mitigate environmental, social and economic risks and increase benefits.  If there were a million GPM-bs out there managing projects in this manner, we could make tremendous inroads to the project.

SDG 12-responsible-consumptionTying to the Sustainable Development Goals, Katharine was successful in support of goal #12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Key business themes addressed by this SDG that Katharine adhered to were:

  •  Sustainable sourcing
  • Resource efficiency of products and services
  • Materials recycling
  • Procurement practices
  • Product and service information and labeling

Katharine’s Example is one to be followed and we look forward to seeing more amazing project examples as GPM-b’s renew their certification by walking the talk. to learn more about how we work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, go to

[Editor Comment] The project owner , Richard Stierwalt, could not be reached to provide his input, most probably due to the fact that he has yet to pay the invoice to the project manager. We hope that once this matter is resolved we can do a full assessment.  

Dr. Joel Carboni

Dr. Joel Carboni is a highly respected expert in sustainable project management. He is a graduate of Ball State University and holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development and Environment. He has over 25 years of experience in project management, including government, finance, consulting, manufacturing, and education. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events related to project management and sustainability and has worked in more than 50 countries. In addition to serving as President Emeritus of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) in the United States and being a member of the Global advisory board, Dr. Carboni is also the founder of GPM (Green Project Management) and a visiting professor at Skema Business School. He is also the GPM representative to the United Nations Global Compact, where he was a founding signatory of the Business for Peace Initiative and the Anti-Corruption call to action and a contributor to the development of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Dr. Carboni is the creator of the PRiSM™ project delivery methodology and the P5 Standard for Sustainability in Project Management and has written training programs on Green and Sustainable Project Management that are offered in more than 145 countries through professional training providers, business associations, and universities. He is the lead author of the book "Sustainable Project Management."

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