18.05.2022

Driving Sustainability with Microsoft Cloud Technologies

Campana & Schott brings modern project management and sustainability together in an app based on Microsoft cloud technologies.

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, we are heading for a global warming of 2.4-2.7 degrees with our current actions, while the maximum of a still intact earth is 1.5 degrees global warming. 

Irreversible effects threaten the earth and its inhabitants. As a result, the demand for more sustainable economic practices, climate justice and adaptation to climate change from society and politics is growing steadily.  196 countries have signed and 180 of them have ratified the international treaty on climate change named the ‘Paris Agreement’, where the key goals is to reach the 1.5 degree to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and climate risks. Several business sectors are also committing to more sustainable actions against climate change, including the technology sector.

The impact of technology on the environment is vast considering the issue of electronic waste, carbon internet footprint and general GHG emission in hardware production, powering and cooling. Therefore companies such as Google and Microsoft are choosing to use renewable energy for their cloud computing technologies to help reduce existing carbon emissions. 

At Campana & Schott, we believe that nowadays every project should consider climate change and sustainability aspects from the very beginning. As experts in project portfolio management and a Microsoft cloud technology consultancy, we have added a "Sustainability" edition to our CS PPM Power Suite, which helps you to plan, manage and prioritize a project portfolio considering sustainability aspects already at the level of collecting project ideas and demands.

 

Understanding the sustainability impact of a project helps to optimize a project portfolio also considering budget and resource limitations.

The purpose of our solution provides a holistic management of a company’s project portfolio with the possibility to consider sustainability aspects right from the beginning. The CS PPM Power Suite Sustainability Edition incorporates project portfolio management and sustainability into one easy-to-use and customizable application which is based on Microsoft Cloud Technologies. Technically the solution is based on the Microsoft Power Platform, with the possibility of integrating Planner and Project for the Web (PftW).

We have extended traditional project portfolio management by adding a sustainability perspective. This is done by considering sustainability aspects (ESG factors) and the contribution to the SDGs in the selection of projects. The selected sustainability aspects are in alliance with the EU taxonomy, the BaFin climate risks and other international frameworks.

The SDGs include 17 specific goals that provide a common foundation for economic and political action related to global equity and equality, and environmental and social justice. Considering both SDGs and the ESG framework in project management provides a multi-faceted approach to successful project implementation.

The following insights describe how to use CS PPM Power Suite Sustainability Edition.
 

CS PPM Power Suite Sustainability Edition

The solution covers in detail basic information and internal factors by adding acknowledged sustainability aspects and KPIs. The overall solution is also accompanied by a scoring system that takes sustainability into account right from the start of the project. In the following, we dive deeper into the previously mentioned aspects to illustrate how project management and sustainability can be thought together. The solution can be tailored to your existing sustainability strategy. By default, the specific sustainability aspects, KPIs and SDGs would be available for selection, which are aligned with your sustainability goals. Selecting projects transparently according to sustainability impact is a measure for achieving corporate and strategic sustainability goals.

Basic information

The initiation and execution process of projects might differ from company to company, but the common denominator often entails basic project information on the objective, duration, cost and involved stakeholders. We decided to provide customizable basic data about the project itself, but also to include its impact on previously defined internal factors. The data on basic information and internal factors, can be given by enabled members, a department or by everyone in the company. The proposed fields of the basic information include name, short description, requester, desired start date, estimation cost, current situation, portfolio, business unit, reason for demand, requesting plant/location, estimated effort in person days and target situation.

Internal factors

We determined internal factors, divided into three sections: factor category, value and detailed description. The factor categories can be defined towards reduction of cost, effort and improvement in quality and employee satisfaction as well as other benefits. The second section targets the value of each category allowing to apply different measures, e.g. for cost reduction the specified value can be in a currency. The third section provides the possibility to describe each category in detail. Finally, each of the internal factors just display our recommendation since any kind of customization is welcomed.

Sustainability aspects

Our unique approach towards a successful project encompasses not only providing basic information and internal factors, but mainly focuses on the inclusion of sustainable aspects in project management. 

Our solution allows each project to choose from the sustainability aspects and the key sustainable performance indicators (KPIs). This helps to reflect the diversity and the environmental and social impact of the projects. The sustainability aspects are based on the ESG framework. You have the possibility to select the specific sustainability aspects that your project is likely to have a positive (+) or negative (-) impact on. Overall, it is not mandatory to use all sustainability aspects, but to select appropriate aspects that are affected by the project.

Sustainability KPIs

The Sustainability KPI screen enables to define concrete indicators for the selected ESG framework. In addition, the company can also select the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the project will positively impact.

For example, if the aspect of ‘pollution prevention and control’ is selected, its sustainability KPIs is selected and further described with a title, unit, and an estimated value. The unit and its estimated value refer to possible effects on the selected ESG factor. Besides, the quantitative aspect, the qualitative impact can be additionally covered for a more holistic way.

Scoring system

Now, you might ask yourself who defines the KPI values and more importantly: Is there a classification system on how sustainable a project can be? Yes, we already thought about it and came to a solution based on a sustainable scoring system. The scoring parameters contains the project and sustainability views equally. The project view focuses on the ‘need for resources and external expertise’, the ‘duration of implementation’, its ‘required budget’ and the ‘scalability of the project’. Whereas the sustainability view targets the ‘alignment with the SDGs’ and ‘measurable impact on SDGs’. But it is crucial how each parameter is valued, weighted, and finally scored. The ranking of the value is oriented according to the sustainability KPIs and their respective units. Furthermore, the weight of each parameter is decided for each project individually. 

Conclusion

Successful project realization in combination with a multi-faceted approach by including sustainability frameworks can be thought and executed together before a project even starts. This proactive approach allows you to respond to potential risks and challenges by enhancing the achievement of your sustainability goals. Our first CS PPM Power Suite Sustainability Edition at Campana & Schott is just the start in driving sustainability inspired technologies forward. 

Authors

Carla Pelzeter

Carla Pelzeter

Sustainability Consultant