Unlocking ASEAN’s Sustainable Performance with the GPM P5 Standard

The ASEAN region has consistently been one of the most supportive areas in terms of adopting and integrating our tools and methods. In fact, my personal journey with GPM began five years ago when I took a training course and was inspired to take action. As someone who is passionate about sustainability, I believe that this region plays a critical role in shaping the future of sustainable development.

A little background on ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization that includes ten countries in Southeast Asia. The region is home to over 650 million people (I am from Malaysia…) and has experienced rapid economic growth over the past few decades. However, this growth has also led to significant environmental and social challenges, making sustainability critical for the ASEAN region.


One of the primary reasons why sustainability is critical for the ASEAN region is its vulnerability to climate change.

The region is particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as typhoons and flooding, and changes in rainfall patterns. These impacts significantly affect food security, public health, and economic development.

The agriculture sector is a crucial contributor to many ASEAN economies, but it is also particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Changes in rainfall patterns can lead to droughts or floods that affect crop yields, while rising temperatures can increase pest infestations leading to crop losses. These impacts not only affect local food supplies but also have global implications, given the role of ASEAN in supplying commodities such as palm oil, rubber, and coffee.

In addition to climate change impacts on agriculture, the ASEAN region also faces environmental degradation due to deforestation activities and marine pollution from plastic waste. Deforestation rates are among the highest in the world due to logging activities and the conversion of forests into agricultural land or plantations. This has led to habitat destruction for endangered species such as orangutans and tigers as well as soil erosion and loss of natural carbon sinks.

Marine pollution from plastic waste has become a growing concern in the region, with several ASEAN countries listed among the top contributors globally. Plastic waste not only affects marine life but also poses a threat to human health through the contamination of seafood consumed by local communities.

Social equity issues are prevalent in many ASEAN countries, with poverty rates varying widely across member states, including high levels of urban poverty in some areas. Environmental degradation often exacerbates these inequalities by disproportionately affecting marginalized communities that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.

Sustainability is critical for addressing these challenges faced by the ASEAN region.

It requires balancing economic growth with environmental protection concerns while ensuring social equity considerations are considered.

To achieve this balance, there needs to be an integrated approach toward sustainable development that involves government agencies at national and regional levels working together with businesses sectors, including SMEs (small-medium enterprises), civil society organizations including, indigenous groups , and international partners.

An integrated approach would require policy frameworks that incentivize sustainable practices such as renewable energy adoption or sustainable forest management practices while imposing penalties on unsustainable practices such as illegal logging or plastic waste dumping into oceans.

Education programs can play an essential role in promoting sustainability awareness among citizens especially young people through school curriculums or public awareness campaigns focused on reducing plastic use or promoting water conservation measures.

Businesses sectors have a vital role to play too by adopting sustainable business models that prioritize resource efficiency measures like recycling programs or implementing cleaner production processes aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions along supply chains while being profitable at the same time.

Civil society organizations including indigenous groups should be involved in decision-making processes related to natural resource management policies given their traditional knowledge about ecosystems they live within. This will ensure their voices are heard when decisions affecting their livelihoods are made.

International partnerships between governments agencies, businesses sectors, civil society organizations including indigenous groups can help facilitate technology transfers aimed at promoting sustainable practices while providing financial support where needed

In conclusion, sustainability is critical for addressing environmental degradation social equity issues faced by ASEAN countries which pose significant threats not only locally but also globally given their contributions towards climate change impacts. Addressing these challenges requires an integrated approach involving all stakeholders working together towards achieving common goals while balancing economic growth with environmental protection concerns.

What are the specific challenges and what does that mean to project managers?

If you’re a project manager in Southeast Asia, you know that striving for sustainable performance in projects is essential. Fortunately, there’s a tool to help make sure you stay on track: the Global Project Management Professional (GPM) P5 standard. Let’s take a look at some challenges and what this standard can do for your projects and how it can help ensure their success.

Southeast Asia faces a range of sustainability challenges, but here are five of the most pressing ones:

  1. Climate Change: The region is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and increased temperatures. These changes can affect agriculture, water resources, and infrastructure.
  2. Deforestation: Southeast Asia has some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world due to logging, agricultural expansion, and urbanization. This not only contributes to climate change but also threatens biodiversity and indigenous communities.
  3. Water Scarcity: Many parts of Southeast Asia experience water scarcity due to over-extraction from rivers and aquifers, pollution, and poor management practices. This can have significant impacts on public health, food security, and economic development.
  4. Energy Access: Despite being home to abundant renewable energy resources such as solar and hydropower, many people in Southeast Asia still lack access to reliable electricity. This hinders economic development and limits opportunities for social mobility.
  5. Waste Management: Rapid urbanization in the region has led to a surge in waste generation which often ends up in landfills or pollutes local environments. Poor waste management practices can harm public health and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.


The P5 Standard for Sustainability In Project Management

Projects that address these sustainability challenges will require coordinated efforts from governments, businesses, civil society organizations, and individuals across the region and they need tools and methods.

The GPM P5 standard is an indispensable tool for project managers looking to achieve sustainable performance in Southeast Asia. Its detailed guidance provides structure and direction on how best to manage projects from start to finish; its templates enable efficient budgeting; its best practices allow managers access to industry knowledge; and its risk assessment features provide early warning signs of potential issues down the line – all of which contribute greatly towards achieving successful outcomes quickly while avoiding costly delays or setbacks along the way. By following these guidelines closely, project managers will have no trouble unlocking greater efficiency – leading ultimately towards greater success over time!

The GPM P5 Standard can be used in several ways to address sustainability challenges in Southeast Asia. Here are four key examples:

  1. Climate Change: The Planet category of the GPM P5 Standard is comprised of elments that can help project managers integrate climate change related considerations into their projects. This could include using renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and designing infrastructure that is resilient to extreme weather events.
  2. Deforestation: The People category of the GPM P5 Standard is comprised of elements that emphasize social responsibility and stakeholder expectation management. By involving local communities and indigenous groups affected by deforestation in decision-making processes and providing alternative livelihoods, projects can mitigate the negative impacts of deforestation.
  3. Water Scarcity: The Processes lens of the GPM P5 Standard provides guidelines for project processes. In projects, sustainable water management practices such as rainwater harvesting, water conservation, and wastewater treatment are key considerations that should be taken into account in this region. By reviewing impacts and alternatives, projects can reduce their water footprint and contribute to improved water security in the region.
  4. Waste Management: The product lifespan lens examines P5 elements to evaluate the product lifespan’s sustainability impacts. Through this lens, the project is encouraged to make use of sustainable materials and products that minimize waste generation throughout a project’s lifecycle. Additionally, the Prosperity category promotes economic viability by considering the full costs and benefits of a project over its lifetime, including waste management costs.

Overall, by making use of the standard, all aspects of a project from design to implementation to end-of-life disposal using these correct terms, projects can contribute to more sustainable development outcomes in Southeast Asia.  Version 3 of the P5 Standard comes out in just a couple weeks!  Download the current version to be notified by email when it is ready, it is free!


Hasyimah Afandi

As the Executive Director for Asia Pacific at GPM, Hasyimah brings over 14 years of experience in energy and human development to her role. She holds an MBA from University Tun Razak and a bachelor's degree from University Technology Petronas in Malaysia. Hasyimah is also a Certified Green Project Manager (GPM-b) and has been recognized with a Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management & Leadership by the Chartered Management Institute UK. In addition to her impressive credentials, Hasyimah is an active member of the Chartered Management Institute UK (CMI) and a graduate of IPMA-USA Young Crew.

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