Let’s Help Make the World Work Better, For Everyone: PMI’s Sustainability & Social Impact Measurement Journey David Urias
Let’s Help Make the World Work Better, For Everyone:
PMI’s Sustainability & Social Impact Measurement Journey
David Urias, PhD
Conference Theme: Business-Philanthropy-CSR
7:10 - 7:50pm EST
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
~ Lao Tzu
Author of the Tao Te Ching
“The Tao is the Way.”
PMI’s Social Impact Measurement Journey
ESG Hub & ERGs
PMIEF Strategy Refresh /
Hours for Impact
• Use of FuturePlus to better
identify and refine
metrics and goals that
measure, and report on ESG
/ SDG performance and
• Move away from self-
assessment to having impact
assured at regular intervals
by an independent third party
• Continue to uphold
transparency, ethics and
integrity in our data
2023 and beyond…
• Total number
and $ amount
• Total number &
$ amount of
• Total number
• Total number
• Total number
• Total number
• Total number
• Total number
• Total number
• Number of partnerships
• Number of trainings
• Number of youth enabled
• Number of hours volunteers
• Total number of
• Total number of
• Total number of
• Hours for Impact:
calculate $ value of
• Total number of
• Total number of trainings
• Total number of youth
• Hours for Impact:
(Value Contribution &
PMI named one of
poised to change the
world by ASEA
Measurement based on:
• simple addition
• report Δ if any
• issues of data integrity / governance
Our Social Impact Strategy
• Examine how the organization contributes to employees’ financial, physical,
professional, and social well-being
• Examine policies and practices pertaining to our mission, ethics, accountability
and transparency that need enhancements
• DE&I activities (ex: ERGs)
• UN Global Compact Patron
• Alliance with The Sustainability Group and use of their FuturePlus platform and
carbon footprint calculator (rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact)
The Hours for Impact Program illustrates what we, as a professional society, do to
contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which our
chapters, members, volunteers and partners operate
• Use of Value Contribution Measurement Framework
PMI as an Actor & Enabler
Enablement Metrics – PMIEF’s youth serving non-profits and other partnerships
• Goal 4 - Quality Education
• Goal 5 - Gender Equality
• Goal 8 - Decent Work
• Goal 9 - Industry and Innovation
• Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities
• Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
• Goal 17 - Partnership for the Goals
Specific and Immediate Carbon Reduction Actions
• Purchase & receive VERRA certified carbon credits
• Gift trees to our colleagues to celebrate
anniversaries or to simply express our gratitude
• Earth Day - plant a tree for every staff member,
every chapter and perhaps every volunteer (Tree
planting is a potential local PM volunteer activity)
• Combine trees to sales
• Plant a tree for every certification earned and send
an e-certificate to also say that a tree is planted on
• Number of trees planted
• Co2 Tons absorbed
• Working hours created
• Location of trees
Measuring the Strategy: Success Based on Purpose
• Coalition for Purpose
• Hours for Impact
• Make Reality Challenge
• Community Engagement
• Sponsored Research
Broaden our Reach
Expand our Impact
We enable the impact
generated by our
partners, and our
community at-large by
supporting their actions
We aim to have direct
impact with our actions,
products, and initiatives.
Our Social Impact is triggered through 2 channels:
Measuring PMI’s Social Impact Value Contribution to the UN SDGs
• Hours for Impact
Calculate hourly costs
Calculate the value of
voluntee r servic e s provided
Calculate total social
investm e nt
Align to SDGs
(Mean hourly cost * 12% overhead)
($33,774 / 2,080 hrs)
(Step 1 * 20 [actual # of hrs])
$637.50 Value Contribution
$625 (25 * $25) + $12.50 (25 * $25*2%) = $637.50
[25 = # of beneficiaries]
[$25 = activity cost]
Three volunteers from a Latin American chapter donated
a combined 20 hours of service by providing a PM skills
workshop for 25 youth.
SDG 4: Quality Education
• Vetting process of pledged hours: Any pledge 0-500 Hours is viable when there is a name, email, description and SDG provided. For 300-500 hour pledges, pledgee is
emailed for clarification if pledge is from a single individual. Any pledge of 500+ hours – question unless the number of people executing the event can account for the hours.
If the number is astronomical, the pledgee is emailed and asked for clarification.
• Framework is based on the United Nations IMPACT2030 Measurement Framework four-step process
• It is assumed that of X number of pledges from the Hours for Impact program, there will be a loss of 12% who do not follow through on their pledge promise based on Curtis,
Keith. (March 13, 2012). Planning for pledge attrition.
• CX / Market Research is currently looking into this 12% as it relates to PMI specifically.
• Use the QR code to
Give what you can,
however you can.
To quote the famous 5th century BCE Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu…he wrote: The Tao or the way, that can be spoken of is not the enduring and unchanging way…It is everywhere and nowhere. He also is credited with saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Let me rephrase... the way that can be known is not the enduring and unchanging way.
My colleague, Tahirou Assane, and I recently represented PMI in a six month UN Global Compact SDG Ambition Accelerator program designed to challenge and support participants in setting ambitious corporate targets and accelerating the integration of the 17 UN SDGs into core business management.
During the first two months of the program, many other participants representing a wide spectrum of industries consistently expressed uncertainty and even a little trepidation about where and how to start. In fact, several asked the question: “What’s the right way to start measuring impact?”
This got me thinking about PMI’s social impact measurement journey and that there’s no “right” way to begin, you just have to take that first step and trust the process will get you to an ever evolving destination.
With the start of any sustainable journey, if you want to go somewhere, you must know where you’ve been and where you currently stand.
PMI’s social impact began in 1989 with the establishment of PMIEF as the managing steward of scholarship donations.
In 2005, its new strategic vision of “Project Management for Social Good” honed its mission to support three key program areas: nonprofits and NGOs (particularly in the areas of workforce development and disaster relief), continuance in managing scholarships, and the third pillar was youth (reaching youth through teacher professional development, integrating PM language into curricular standards, etc).
After deciding the EF was trying to be all things to all people, in 2019, the mission and vision were further refined to focus solely on providing grants and trainings to help youth-serving non profits become more efficient and effective in realizing their missions to support youth between the ages of 5-19.
In 2020, PMI was recognized as 1 of 100 organizations well positioned to change the world. The Social Impact Department was formally established and brought PMIEF under its wing.
Looking historically at measurement up to this point, there have been slight additions to what was measured, but consistently measurement was based on simple addition and identification of any changes year over year. With respect to issues of data integrity / governance…up to this point, we would often scramble for missing data, check who has not submitted, and worse, we could never guarantee whether the data was accurate, because it was manually gathered. So basically: garbage in, garbage out. This led us to create more efficient, accurate, and consistent processes.
2021 The big change here is the beginning use of the UN Council’s contribution claim framework to determine the social investment of our volunteers
2022 …story telling based on Most Significant Change framework
Looking this year and beyond, we want to…
Further identify and refine meaningful, reportable metrics and goals important to all stakeholders to appropriately monitor, measure, and report on our ESG and Social Impact performance and progress (this includes creating enterprise sustainability targets and regional targets as part of our participation in the UN Global Compact.
Foster and empower an inclusive culture that upholds our core values and provides equal opportunities for all
And, continue to uphold transparency, ethics and integrity in our data governance practices
Next, we’ll take a 30,000 foot view of the Social Impact Strategy itself and how we measure it.
This is where we measure our ESG, with heavy emphasis on the Governance piece - our corporate structure, control, policies, practices, and distribution of value to staff and stakeholders. We also are beginning to measure mental health and productivity now that we moved to a fully virtual setting.
This is also where we showcase our DE&I activities.
We recently signed an alliance agreement with The Sustainability Group and now have access to use their FuturePlus platform and carbon footprint calculator.
Rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, FuturePlus is the most comprehensive ESG measurement tool on the market. Its unique framework and scoring system leverages a variety of best practice sources and industry standards, including recognized certification schemes, ESG indexes, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In short, FuturePlus is an innovative platform that provides a benchmark sustainability score for where we are now and provides the roadmap and a quantifiable measure of where we want to be in the next three years. It’s a simple way to measure, manage and report our sustainable growth to staff and stakeholders in real-time.
Benefit to PMI
Participation in utilizing FuturePlus will enable PMI to better:
understand our sustainability footprint and our ambitions;
adapt our social impact strategy so sustainability considerations underpin everything we do, i.e., becomes a part of PMI’s DNA;
Incorporate clear and measurable performance indicators, allowing us to become stronger, better performing, and more adaptable in the sustainability milieu; i.e., identify which SDGs currently we are positively having an impact upon, illustrate the ambitions we set, and allow us to project manage them to reach our goals in order to measure impact and become an organization that continuously learns and improves; and
We’ll also be able to access the ‘Carbon Responsible’ tool used for carbon measurement – a quick and user-friendly assessment that can be sent to Global Summit/LIM/Regional event attendees to measure their carbon footprint for attendance and provide a plan or resource for offsetting that event’s carbon footprint;
So, what’s exciting to me about our utilizing the FuturePlus tool is that it allows us to benchmark the enterprise to UN SDGs and shows our progress towards achieving them. It provides a current (real time) PMI branded ESG responsibility report that is customizable to the areas we want to share/highlight based on the audience. It also offers an embedded ‘widget’ that further shares PMI sustainability progress and can be benchmarked to PMI partners (CoA, Council, PMIEF, GAC Universities, etc. as designated) for full transparency of sustainability workflow, momentum and development.
PMI as an Actor & Enabler: in this sphere, we attempted in the past to calculate a return on investment regarding PMI’s Educational Foundation’s grants to youth serving non profit partners. But an ROI calculation is a revenue based metric that doesn’t factor in the notion of “community”. This year, PMIEF is looking to use an ROO or return on outcomes to aid in building better programs by making better objectives.
Hours for Impact Moving Forward
Reframe and recast H4I to specifically address actionable Targets within the Goals
Publicly announce operational goals and targets for SDG-related volunteering. Document and publicize the scope, nature and outcomes of the resulting work
Our Value Contribution Measurement Framework is based on IMPACT2030, the UN Measurement Council’s Measurement Framework
No matter the cause or severity of climate change, both individuals and organizations have the ability to work towards making an impact in carbon emission reduction.
By measuring current carbon outputs and working to reduce our carbon footprint, PMI can send a message to our stakeholders and the world at large that we understand our role in curbing greenhouse gases. There are several initiatives we can enact to reduce our carbon footprint. In addition to those listed on this slide, we can:
Reduce Energy Use
Recently, PMI moved its headquarters from a 70,000 square foot building to a 5,000 square foot building
Offer Flexible Work Schedule
According to a recent survey, roughly 76% of Americans drive alone to work every day. As commuters drive to work, cars create a large amount of pollution that indirectly adds to a company’s footprint. By offering a flexible schedule where work-from-home days are now the norm, the amount of pollution employees create as a byproduct of their job duties lessons.
Track Vendor Efficiency
Oftentimes, money, time, and resources are wasted through inefficient operations. Directly ask vendors if they have quantifiable measures on their generated greenhouse gas emissions and advocate for increased transparency from them
With the proper training, employees can be the greatest asset in reducing carbon footprint. To achieve real results, it requires a steadfast commitment from every member of the organization, from top to bottom. Make a public pledge to reduce carbon emissions, and ensure employees understand the reason behind the pledge and what they can do to help. Workshops, webinars, and signage are all effective ways to educate employees. When everyone is involved, a real difference can be made.
We trigger our Social Impact through 2 channels:
PMI as an Actor of Social Impact: We aim to have direct impact with our actions, products, and initiatives as seen in our Hours for Impact program and sponsored research, etc.
And through our actions as a Social Impact Enabler, we support organizations, individuals and stakeholders in their impact on any of the 17 SDGs as seen in PMIEF’s partnerships, etc.
Framework is based on the United Nations IMPACT2030 Measurement Framework four-step process
Chapters are under no legal obligation to share with PMI Global their social impact efforts
Hours for Impact: It is not a good CX to require or ask pledges to return to the pledge form to submit their actual hours
Hours for Impact: a pledge by definition is a promise. Research indicates a conservative average of 12% of individuals do not follow through on their promise
The value of a volunteer hour in the US is measured based on hourly earnings released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Independent Sector with the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, this value currently is estimated to be $29.95
The value of a volunteer hour internationally is based upon the most recent PMI salary survey map
Multiply number of beneficiaries by $25 (Assumed cost to run a volunteer service activity) = impact
Multiply number of beneficiaries by $25 * 2% (of beneficiaries actually advance their circumstance or skill set via participation) = alternative impact
Add impact with alternative impact for total social investment
Curtis, Keith. (March 13, 2012). Planning for pledge attrition. Blog posting at: https://curtisgroupconsultants.com/planning-for-pledge-attrition
IMPACT2030 and True Impact, LLC. (2018). Measurement framework: Measuring the social impact of employee volunteer programs on the sustainable development goals. Available at: https://impact2030.com/assets/docs/resources/Measurement_Framework.pdf
For more on the value of volunteer time and the methodology, independentsector.org/value-of-volunteer-time-2022
Why bother measuring ESG or sustainability impact?
To get a better understanding of what resources we are using and what wastes we are producing
To calculate baseline figures, so that we can set reduction targets and lessen our impact on the planet
To comply with future non-financial reporting requirements
To establish where we can make savings and reduce operational costs
To help us work out our greenhouse gas emissions calculations for scopes 1, 2, and 3.
The take away here is that the journey of measuring sustainability enables organizations to move beyond incremental progress and step-up their transformative change – unlocking business value, building business resilience, and enabling long-term growth.
I chose the phrase: “Let’s help make the world work better, for everyone” as the title for this presentation because it is the foundation behind our social impact strategy. While this is the thread that binds us and makes us more alike than different, we use this foundation to inspire and enable people to support our collective sustainable development aspirations because it feels good to make things better. And as a for purpose organization, we have the people, processes, products and connections to do more to unleash positive impact.
At this time, I’m happy to answer any questions.
No matter how large or small, and regardless of industry, all companies can contribute to the SDGs. While the scale and scope of the global goals is unprecedented, the fundamental ways that business can contribute remain unchanged. The UN Global Compact asks companies to first do business responsibly and then pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration.
What is the value for businesses to connect their activities to the SDGs? Business has four critical roles to play…
1. An engine of economic growth and employment
The private sector is well positioned to improve lives in the poorest areas of society worldwide. In developing countries, businesses are responsible for 84% of GDP and 90% of employment opportunities. This gives them the scope to deliver on the promise of sustainable and socially inclusive economic development globally.
2. A driver of technology and innovation
The SDGs will not become a reality without breakthrough innovation across a variety of fields such as energy, construction, food and mobility. Much of this development and innovation will stem from the ongoing creative processes and research and development conducted by companies.
3. A source of financial investment
The United Nations has estimated that between USD $5 trillion and USD $7 trillion of annual investments are needed to realize the SDGs by 2030. Business has a role to play in meeting these investments needs.
4. Addressing negative impacts throughout the value chain
It is important not to understate the impact that business can have on the SDGs by mitigating its most salient negative impacts on people and planet. In particular, efforts to ensure corporate respect for human rights throughout the supply chain have the potential to positively impact the lives of some of the most vulnerable individuals in society.
In other words, global challenges – ranging from climate, water and food crises, to poverty, conflict and inequality – are in need of solutions that the private sector can deliver, representing a large and growing market for business innovation. In the rush to transform business models and systems for the future, integrity and values will have a huge role to play. For organizations wanting to advance the SDG agenda, the job starts by acting responsibly – incorporating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact widely into strategies and operations, and understanding that good practices or innovation in one area cannot make up for doing harm in another.
Integrating the SDGs into business strategy and operations can protect an organization against several risks; namely the three listed here on this slide.
For operational risks, taking steps to address the SDGs is not only what is best for the planet, it is also necessary to safeguard future business performance.
Regulatory risks could be reflected in new policies regarding sustainability, as well as fines for non-compliance.
And reputational risks include those created by cherry picking or green washing as mentioned earlier.
Lastly, there’s the talent advantage that results from sustainability integration.
The goal is to integrate sustainability into an organization’s DNA; meaning, business integration is about approaching sustainability management differently. It’s about moving from simple and static data collection to intelligent systems of record / insight/ and action that can hardwire the SDGs into core business decision-making.
So how does one measure their ESG, sustainability, and social impact?