Interview with Joel Carboni


Sustainability is Critical for Project Success!

Interview with Joel Carboni, PhD

Author, Educator, Sustainability Expert
Founder & President, Green Project Management (USA)
Visiting Professor, Skema Business School (France)
Contributor to UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Interviewed by Yasmina Khelifi
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Paris, France

Introduction to the interviewee

Dr. 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 various areas of 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.”

Honors and accomplishments

  • 2021 CEO Today Magazine – Award Recipient, Sustainability Leader of the Year, USA
  • 2019 CV Media UK — CEO of the Year for Sustainable Development — 2019
  • ACQ5 Media USA —International Game changer of the year recipient — 2018
  • Appointed to the Forbes Nonprofit Council —2018 – Current
  • Knighted by the National Capital Region Commendery, Order of St. George, Canada, in October 2017
  • Recipient of the Medal of Honor from Universidad Autonoma Lisbon, Portugal — 2017
  • Recipient of the ‘Best of the Best’ for HR & Training Award – AI Media — 2017
  • International Project Management Association US Representative —2015 – Current
  • Recipient of the Global Sustainability Leadership Award – CSR World Congress, February 2015
  • Contributing developer of UN Sustainable Development Goals (#12 Responsible Consumption) —2014
  • The first recipient of an International Project Management Association (IPMA®) Achievement Award for “Applying sustainable principles to project delivery.” — 2013
  • Recipient of the Global Training and Development Leadership Award from the World Human Resources and Development Congress — 2014
  • Humanitarian and Liberty Awards from the SGI-USA and the BSGI award from Soka Brasil.
  • Member of the Forbes Non-Profit Council since 2017
  • A life member of the National Eagle Scout Association, and an Eagle Scout, class of 1991

Twitter: @joelcarboni; Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/joelcarboni


Q1:     First of all, thank you for accepting an interview request from PMWJ. Let us explore the different aspects of your career. How did you come to project management and sustainability from Japanese and Asian studies?

Joel Carboni (Carboni):    My journey to project management and sustainability is a bit of an unexpected one. Back in 1993, I was pursuing a Dual Japanese Language and Secondary Education major at my university. However, when it came time for the mandatory practical semester in a high school, there were very few options available for a Japanese program. I ended up graduating with a Japanese Language degree and two minors – Asian Studies and Secondary Education – but without the required experience to become a teacher.

Left with a degree but no clear path ahead. I was fortunate enough to have a friend working in tech who helped me land a job. That’s where my journey in project management began – as an accidental project manager. The rest, as they say, is history.

Despite not becoming a teacher, my career has still allowed me to pursue my passion for education through Green Project Management (GPM), which is an education provider. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and for being able to combine my passion for education with my professional pursuits.

Q2:     Sustainability is a buzz word. You earned a PhD in sustainability. You wrote a book. What is your definition of a sustainable project?

Carboni:        I completely agree that sustainability has become a buzzword that people often oversimplify. In reality, sustainability is multifaceted and requires consideration of environmental, social, and economic impacts throughout the project lifecycle. A truly sustainable project should aim to reduce negative impacts on the planet and its people while promoting positive change. At its core, sustainability means ‘do no harm’, but I also believe in promoting “regenerative” sustainability, in which a project can have a net positive impact on the environment and society. My definition of a sustainable project, therefore, is one that measures and manages all these aspects and seeks to achieve a balance between them for a better future for all.

Q3:   Is sustainability possible in all industries? In some developing countries, sustainability may mean less financial rentability.


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this work: Khelifi, Y. (2023). Sustainability is Critical for Project Success! Interview with Joel Carboni, PhD, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/pmwj132-Aug2023-Khelifi-Interview-with-Joel-Carboni.pdf

About the Interviewer

Yasmina Khelifi

Paris, France


Yasmina Khelifi, PMP, PMI- ACP, PMI-PBA is an experienced project manager in the telecom industry. Along with her 20-year career at Orange S.A. (the large French multinational telecommunications corporation), she sharpened her global leadership skills, delivering projects with major manufacturers and SIM makers. Yasmina strives for building collaborative bridges between people to make international projects successful. She relies on three pillars: project management skills, the languages she speaks, and a passion for sharing knowledge.

She is a PMP certification holder since 2013, a PMI- ACP and PMI-PBA certification holder since 2020. She is an active volunteer member at PMI France and PMI UAE, and a member of PMI Germany Chapter. French-native, she can speak German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and she is learning Arabic. Yasmina loves sharing her knowledge and experiences at work, in her volunteers’ activities at PMI, and in projectmanagement.com as a regular blogger. She is also the host and co-founder of the podcast Global Leaders Talk with Yasmina Khelifi to help people in becoming better international leaders.

Yasmina can be contacted at https://yasminakhelifi.com/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yasminakhelifi-pmp-telecom/

Visit her correspondent profile at https://pmworldlibrary.net/yasmina-khelifi/

To view other works by Yasmina, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/yasmina-khelifi/