Successful sustainable projects require a new way of thinking about how projects come to life. Project teams are most successful if they communicate and collaborate early on, involve a wide variety of people in creating ideas for the project, and understand the long-term, holistic view of the project and its life cycle. This section encourages and rewards these actions under the view that together with traditional sustainability actions, such as reducing energy and water use, effective and collaborative leadership produces a truly sustainable project that contributes positively to the world around it. This section is divided into the three sub-sections of Collaboration, Management, and Planning.
Sustainable projects must include input from a wide variety of stakeholders to fully understand synergies, savings, and opportunities for innovation. This type of collaboration requires a new kind of leadership and commitment from the project team, and new ways of managing the process. Rather than each part of the team working alone on their own piece of the project, teams should meet and communicate, and allow nontraditional stakeholders to contribute ideas and perspectives.
A broader, comprehensive understanding of the project can allow the team to see and pursue synergies between systems, either within the project or among larger infrastructure systems. This requires a new way of managing and understanding the project as a whole, but can save money, increase sustainability, expand the useful life of the project, and protect against future problems.
Taking a long-term view of the project can also greatly increase the sustainability of the project. Understanding planning issues such as the regulatory environment in which the project is being pursued and the future growth trends in the area can lead to a project that avoids pitfalls and plans effectively for its own future. This can save money and streamline the whole project process.