Interviews

MillerCoors_GBGR logo_jpg(smaller)

Profile of Kim Marotta: As Director of Sustainability at MillerCoors, Kim is responsible for driving, implementing and managing MillerCoors sustainability strategy and responsibility initiatives. Kim works closely with the company’s parent organizations, SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company, to drive performance in these key areas. In 2012, Molson Coors was recognized as Dow Jones Sustainability Index world beverage sector leader, for which MillerCoors was a strong contributor.

Kim was featured in a recent PMNetwork magazine article. We caught up with her recently to get a little more detail about the connection between sustainability and our discipline of project management – not just the obvious green projects that MillerCoors was undertaking, but more holistically how sustainability is integrated at her company.

Kim Marotta Headshot (smaller)

Kim Marotta, Director of Sustainability for MillerCoors

 

1. EARTHPM: Kim, you’re quoted as saying “It’s important to us and to our growers that we don’t jeopardize our quality or yield for sustainability. We learned that we can grow both at the same time”. This quote aligns exactly with EarthPM’s assertion that ‘doing the right thing helps the project team do things right’. Do you see this as a recurring theme at MillerCoors – where sustainability is not a constraint but sometimes an avenue for continued or improved success?

Ms. Marotta: In the last five to ten years, we’ve witnessed a dramatic change in how companies and their employees view sustainability. While it used to be viewed as a box they had to check, today sustainability is much more engrained within companies’ DNA. Businesses are discovering that sustainability can help improve their day-to-day routines and make their operations more efficient overall.
For companies considering integrating sustainability into their operations, it’s critical to pilot initiatives first and make adjustments along the way before expanding. At MillerCoors, we started small. When we began exploring how we could make our barley growing operations more sustainable, we piloted new irrigation techniques to save water. With nearly 90 percent of the water we use coming from within our agricultural supply chain, we’re constantly looking for ways to grow barley with less water. We thought we could save hundreds of gallons of water per minute by turning off pivot end guns – the sprinkler nozzles at the end of the water arms – in the barley field. We were unsure what the results would be. Would we still be able to produce the high-quality barley our products require? How would it affect barley yields? We tested the idea by turning the end guns off on only two pivots at our Showcase Barley Farm in Idaho. We soon recognized positive results and expanded the idea to more pivots. To date, we’ve saved nearly 430 million gallons of water on that barley farm while still producing the high quality barley that characterizes our beers.

2. EARTHPM: Your story being featured in PMNetwork is a huge step in getting exposure to project managers – in particular – about CSR and sustainability projects. What steps have you taken to engage your project managers overseeing “regular” projects in terms of sustainability?

Ms. Marotta: We are lucky to have an employee base that’s engaged and passionate about brewing beer in a sustainable way. We empower our employees, regardless of role or title, to activate initiatives or programs that could have a positive impact on our business. All of us – from the brewery floor technician to those in the board room – play a key role in sustainability at MillerCoors.
We’ve found that an effective way to engage employees are to get them directly involved the process. Annually we measure employee opinions, including views on our sustainability goals, opportunities to learn and grow, etc.

3. EARTHPM: How well-deployed amongst your day-to-day project managers is your Environmental Stewardship message? Does the Sustainability Improvement Team (SIT) and FEWER (Fuel, Energy, Water, Emissions Reduction) Team mentioned on your company’s web page interface with your PMO (Program Management Office)?

Ms.Marotta: Our SIT and FEWER teams serve as project managers when water and energy reduction initiatives are implemented within our breweries, but we encourage all of our employees, regardless of role, to keep sustainability top of mind during day-to-day responsibilities.
One great example of an employee-led sustainability success is our landfill-free achievement at six of our eight major breweries. When MillerCoors was formed just over six years ago, we set a goal to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills by 50 percent by increasing our reuse and recycling activities. One of our production specialists at the Trenton Brewery thought that we could do better and recycle even more. He took it upon himself to write up a business plan to make our Trenton Brewery the first landfill-free brewery at MillerCoors, which was accomplished in just 23 months.

4. EARTHPM: We note that your tracking of business metrics has helped MillerCoors establish a persuasive business case to increase CSR efforts. How have the project managers been using this business case in chartering projects?
Ms. Marotta: At MillerCoors, we have a series of business goals we’re actively working toward, and each of our employees is empowered to help us achieve those goals by brainstorming new ideas for process changes and technology innovations. Typically, we will implement a project idea if the project ladders up to our business goals and has the potential to benefit the company in the long-term.
For example, in our Milwaukee Brewery we installed a pasteurizer water reclaim system to reduce water use in the brewing process. That project helped us achieve our goal to reduce our water use by 15 percent, saving tens of millions of gallons of water annually. The savings were so great that a similar system has been implemented at five of our other breweries.

5. EARTHPM: We applaud your work with the Nature Conservancy in Idaho. Are there more broadly-based collaborations with environmental groups planned?

Ms. Marotta: We firmly believe that collaboration is the key to long-term success, and we are constantly looking for ways to bring in new partners for their insights and knowledge. In 2010, we conducted watershed risk assessments near each of our eight major breweries. We identified three breweries – Fort Worth Brewery, Golden Brewery and Irwindale Brewery – that face water supply challenges.
Our Fort Worth Brewery depends on water from the Trinity River Basin, which supplies nearly 40 percent of the water throughout the state of Texas. To help ensure the area will have access to high-quality water in the future, we began collaborating with local ranchers and conservation groups in the area. We became a primary sponsor of the Sand County Foundation’s Water As A Crop™ program in 2010, which aims to help farmers implement conservation practices on private lands along the Trinity River. The project has since expanded and the Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) is launching the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). Through the NWQI, we’re working to implement the successful conservation practices we learned through the Water As A Crop program.

6. EARTHPM: Finally, does MillerCoors have an Environmental Purchasing Policy? Is it part of a larger Environmental Management Plan? How are corporate initiatives like these connected to project management practices for your general PM population?

Ms.Marotta: Our success depends on strong relationships with the people that supply our ingredients. We hold our suppliers to the same high standards we set for ourselves. We have a set of responsible sourcing principals that provide guidance to our suppliers, including business conduct, working conditions, diversity and various environmental issues.
Our employees come from different backgrounds, and it’s very important for us to maintain diversity within our supply chain as well. We have a specialized team dedicated to ensuring that diverse suppliers have a seat at the MillerCoors table. When opportunities arise to bring in an outside supplier, we tap our sourcing managers who use our supplier diversity management system (an internal tracking system) to find qualified woman- or minority-owned businesses that can be included in the RFP process. We also utilize the management system for recruiting qualified candidates in every aspect of our business.

EARTHPM: Thanks so much, Kim, for your great work over at MillerCoors and for taking the time to talk with us about your integration of PM and sustainability.

 

EarthPM is glad to bring you this in-depth interview and we look forward to talking again with Kim or with other leaders who are excelling in the integration of sustainability into their organizations, in particular their project management discipline.

 

 

 

Susanne Madsen is a project/program manager, mentor and coach with over 15 years experience in managing and rolling out large change programs, using both agile and waterfall methodologies. She is a PRINCE2 and MSP practitioner and a qualified Corporate and Executive coach. Currently, she is employed as a Program Director for one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Most of her experience comes from the field – working with investment banks as a consultant and as a permanent employee.

During this time, not only has she successfully managed a number of large multi-million dollar projects, she has also set up several coaching and mentoring programs to improve project management performance.

Her 6-step project management coaching framework which benchmarks the individual’s capabilities and helps the project manager improve her performance, skills and well-being. This 6 step framework is currently in the process of being published as a book by Management Concepts. It will be available for sale early 2012 – see below for details.

We sat down (virtually, of course) with Susanne and had a nice chat over virtual tea.

Here it is – the chat, that is – preserved for posteri-tea.

EarthPM: What inspired you to write the book, and what sustained your effort as you went through what we know to be a lengthy process?

Susanne Madsen: I wrote The Project Management Coaching Workbook because I wanted to contribute and help other project managers overcome some of the challenges I had experienced myself. I am passionate about coaching and empowering project managers – and have written the book in that spirit. I loved every bit of the process and never really perceived it as hard work (although it is!). Knowing that the publisher was waiting for my manuscript was of course also a major motivator to keep going!

EarthPM: [In your interview with Cornelius Fichtner’s PM Podcast] you first spend time distinguishing management from leadership – and then within “leading” you distinguish 4 styles of interaction with team members. Please tell us about those distinctions, starting with management/leadership.

Susanne Madsen: The way I would distinguish management from leadership is that management typically focuses on achieving a goal through tasks, events and processes – whereas leadership is concerned with achieving of a goal through the involvement of people. As a manager, you are typically involved in scheduling work, delegating tasks, coordinating effort and resources, monitoring and guiding progress, and appealing to rational thinking. As a leader, however, your role is to inspire people, share the vision, provide focus, be a role model, create a positive team feeling, and unleash potential. When I coach project managers – and get them to make this distinction – they often come to realize that they spend most of their time managing, and very little time (if any) leading. To become a successful project management leader, PM’s need to be as good at leading people as they are at managing tasks.

 

One of the aspects of leadership I spoke about in the interview is adaptive leadership. I use this term to describe a project leader who adapts her leadership style to the people she interacts with on a project. Every team member is different, and the leadership style of the project manager needs to change accordingly. The better the project manager is at adapting his or her leadership style, the more effective she will be at managing and leading the team.

 

To simplify the concept, you could say that there are four basic ways for an adaptive leader to interact with her team members. The most appropriate style depends on how competent and confident the individual team member is.

 

1. Instruct: When you instruct someone, you give precise direction and tell the individual what you want accomplished and produced. Instruction helps people who are relatively inexperienced and therefore need direction. You should not use this style when people are very competent or when people lack commitment. If they lack commitment they will need more support from you than this style offers.

 

2. Nurture: When you nurture someone, you offer the individual a lot of support and praise in addition to precise direction. You should use this style with relatively inexperienced team members who lack motivation and drive. These individuals may have low self-confidence and will need as much of your support as possible. Explain decisions, listen to their concerns, provide perspective, and praise progress. Involve them in decision-making and show them how to do things; this will help you restore their confidence and competence.

 

3. Encourage: When you encourage someone, you offer a lot of support and praise without giving a lot of direction. This type of encouragement helps team members who are competent and skillful, but who are also discouraged or lack confidence in their own abilities. You may find that, despite their skills and experience, these individuals are cautious or reluctant to contribute. They need a lot of support and recognition from you to improve their confidence; otherwise, they need hardly any direction.

 

4. Self-govern: When you use a self-governing style, you give relatively little support and direction to the team member and effectively turn over responsibility for decision-making and problem-solving to the individual. Use this style with people who are both competent and committed and who therefore need minimal support and direction. They are capable and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision and support.

 

So in summary, team members who are more junior or inexperienced will need more direction. Team members who are unmotivated or who lack confidence will need more support and encouragement. The most competent and committed individuals on the team will need very little direction and very little support and encouragement.

EarthPM: What was the single biggest mistake you’ve seen a project manager make (names changed to protect the guilty!) with respect to coaching their project team?

I can’t think of one big mistake I have witnessed, but the mistakes I most often see PMs make is to not coach their team at all. It all comes down to being a project leader and connecting with people – be it team members or stakeholders. You don’t become an effective project manager by sitting behind your desk tracking a plan. You have to get out there; liaise with your team members; build relationships and find out what motivates each individual by asking questions and really listening to what is being said. Only then will the PM be able to build a successful team and deliver the project effectively. My book contains specific exercises and self assessments regarding the people side of project management to address this gap.

EarthPM: Your blog has some excellent free resources – mini-papers that cover topics from risk and issue management to dealing with leadership and team building aspects of project management. Has anyone at least thanked you for your good work in this area, and do you feel that these resources have been benefiting PMs? How does the providing of these artifacts benefit you?

Thank you! It’s always nice to hear that the free resources add benefit; that’s why they are there. I do occasionally get feedback via my website – or from people who mention them on Twitter. Some people have even asked permission to re-use them and save them on their company intranets. I’m pleased they are being used as it makes it all worthwhile! The free resources also help promote my new book and my own project management skills and capabilities. My interview with Cornelius Fichtner on PM Podcasts, for instance, came about after he read one of my free mini-papers.

EarthPM: At the end of your interview with Cornelius Fichtner’s PM Podcast, you said something very interesting in response to his question about your most significant lesson learned. Can you share that with us again here, briefly? (NOTE: this was the anecdote about ‘seeing the forest for the trees’ in your large financial project).

In essence I was once in charge of a large project for a financial institution without really understanding the intricate details of what we were delivering. It was a very stressful and uncomfortable situation because I felt ineffective and had to rely on the subject matter experts to make decisions. As the project progressed I did of course pick up more and more of the detail, but it took a while. The experience taught me that PM’s do need subject matter expertise to be effective and be able to challenge decisions and solutions. And it taught me that it’s better to bite the bullet up front and learn what there is to learn about the business and the client as opposed to busying yourself managing tasks an hoping no one will notice your lack of knowledge. A PM cannot be truly successful without understanding the project’s detailed requirements – and questioning these requirements to make sure the client gets what he truly needs.

EarthPM: What other connection points, if any, do you see, with regards to sustainability in PM and the coaching you give?

I see quite a few connection points, as the purpose of the coaching I give is to provide project managers with clarity of mind so that they can work smarter, improve project effectiveness and deliver sustainable and viable projects. They can do that, for instance, by using effective leadership techniques and project management best practices. The right focus and techniques will help the project manager deliver the best solution with the least amount of resources, time and cost. I also coach project managers to thoroughly understand the customer’s needs and ambitions – and in turn lead the team to achieve that vision. Sustainable projects are delivered when the project manager puts himself in the customer’s shoes and applies the right amount of management and leadership techniques.

EarthPM: What reactions have you had to your book’s proof copies, and what do YOU expect to learn from this entire authoring process?

I have been really surprised and humbled by all the support there has been for the book. I had it endorsed by a number of project managers and published authors who I have a lot of respect for. They have said some really nice things. That’s huge! One said; “I wish I had this book when I first started out as a project manager.” Another said; “Whether you are building your own project management career development plan or managing the professional development of project managers, this book is a must-have.” All the reviews are available on my website and some of them have been printed on the cover of the book.

No doubt I will get a lot of feedback from people who read the book. I certainly would like to, and I expect to learn a lot from that. I imagine I will find out more about what the PM community is really interested in; what the pains are – and in turn understand what I can do to keep refining and improving the PM coaching material I have put together.

 

EarthPM: Thanks so much, Susanne, we’re increasingly impressed with your work and really think PMs should take advantage of the resources they’ll find on your site, and we think they should really consider reading her book as a great new year’s resolution! It will be published by Management Concepts in January and will be available through Foyles and Amazon – also for Kindle! Pre-order your copy on +44 (0) 1752 202301 or by emailing orders@nbninternational.com

 

Cheers!


 

 

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Our interview with Paul Reale, Founder and CEO of GreenAllowance

UPDATE!  Take a sneak peek at Green Allowance’s web page here.


EarthPM:  We’re sitting here, virtually as usual, with Paul Reale, the founder and CEO of Green Allowance.  Rather than me talk about your organization, Paul, why don’t you tell us a little about your organization.
Paul: Green Allowance is a new service that will be available shortly.  The basic concept is to encourage children to “make a deal” with their parents.  The deal is that the children will do things around the house to conserve electricity and when the electric bill shows a savings, the parents will then split the savings with the children, so the child actually gets a Green Allowance.
EarthPM: So how are you facilitating that?
Paul: There are two pieces to that; the website that provides the information as to how to make the deal, what to do to reduce electric usage, and how to track the results.  For example, this month you saved $19.50. If the deal is 50/50, that would be $9.75 for the child.  The other component is the messaging, getting the word out to the children.   We’re developing a one-time introductory session brought into schools telling them about the environmental benefits of using less electricity, introducing them to the idea of Green Allowance and the fact they can make a little money on it, and giving them a short tutorial on how it works.  Beyond that, we can also keep track on how the children are doing as students of those schools and track aggregate school scores.  For instance, at Woodrow Wilson Junior High, there are now 37 students participating in Green Allowance, and their aggregate savings is a certain amount of money and a certain amount of energy and a particular environmental benefit.
EarthPM: So if we hear you right, you are providing a platform for children to both get involved, to track and to collect.  But beyond that you are providing very specific tips and methods to do the savings.
Paul: That’s right, very specific tips and methods, but the trick as I see it is, whether they are a child or an adult that are interested in doing things that save energy and are environmentally beneficial, is not to give them a “laundry list.”  That can be very overwhelming.  If you get a list of a hundred things to do, your eyes just gloss over.  But what we’d rather do is give them one or two things at a time that they could do and see results.
EarthPM: The project managers in the group probably want to see long checklists, because that’s what we are used to.  But you have taken into consideration your audience and realized that after they reached the third check box, they are thinking about getting back to their PlayStation IIâ„¢.
Paul: That’s right.  The list still exists, but we want to show it to them a little at a time, now it’s time to do this, now it’s time to do that.  We will expand the list as they get more and more used to doing things, and giving them more direction.
EarthPM: Ok, so how are you rolling this out?  How does it get sponsored? How does it get publicized?  How far have you gotten with your project; after all, this is your project.
Paul:  A lot of it was concept work up front, and we’ve ironed a lot of that out.  Of course the next step was to sell the service to a utility, because the power companies are highly motivated to conserve energy in many, many markets, and that’s for a couple of reasons.  One of which is in some regulated states, their profits are not linked to their volume of sales.  In another instance, purely for a capitalistic view, they don’t necessarily want to increase the capacity of their grids or build new power plants because that is very expensive.  So this way they can limit or at least keep at a moderate level, their capital expenses while promoting conservation.  But more importantly, the power company looks terrific in the eyes of the public, because here they are promoting conservation, doing the right thing for the environment, bringing the message into schools, and encouraging family interaction.  So this is truly a bonanza in terms of corporate responsibility, and it is genuine.  It is something that really works and something they really want to do.  So overall, it’s a powerful value proposition to the electric utilities.
EarthPM: In preparation launching our business and writing our book, we’ve been doing a lot of research.  Several of the books we’ve read have this theme that it not only makes sense to become green, but it makes cents (and dollars and Euros, and Yen) to become green.  It sounds like this is very directly applied in the case of these power companies.
Paul: That’s right and often I think power companies are portrayed as villains when it comes to the environment.  In order for them to generate the power that we consume, they usually use fossil fuels to do that, and of course there are carbon emissions associated with it.  But that is the reality of the infrastructure we have developed over the past decades.  The transformation to a clean energy economy will take at least 20 years in my opinion (and ours), and in the meantime we can address the environmental issues in ways that we have available to us now.   Green Allowance is one way to do that.
EarthPM: Ok.  Given your background in project management and now in this project in particular, we consider ourselves, at EarthPM, to be at the intersection of green and project management.   First of all, do you see that intersection, in other words, project managers as users of resources?  So this is stepping away from your project and having you look at it from the outside in.   What do you think of that kind of combination and what kind of synergies do you see between project managers in general and the effect on the environment?
Paul: I see it as very direct.  It is actually quite smart of you to put these two pieces together.  The reason is that the project managers are using the resources.  Whenever you are using the resources, it can be in an environmentally responsible way or an environmentally irresponsible way.  I think that is very key.
People often come to me seeking career advice about a green career, environmental work, etc.  Unfortunately, I disappoint them, because I tell them that everything you can possibly see or imagine has an environmental impact.  If it’s an object, there is an environmental impact associated with it.  Whether we are talking about food, transportation, construction, products, energy infrastructure, all of it, has an environmental impact and every one of those industries has projects associated with it.  So if you are going to execute a project, run a project, you can either do it green or not green!
EarthPM: It is interesting.  I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve started some discussions on LinkedInâ„¢ and have seen some feedback (rather loud feedback) saying things like ‘why you are bringing “tree hugging” to project management?’, and ‘why are you putting this burden on project managers?’.   It’s like there is this pristine forest (PM) and EarthPm is bringing this pollutant, in the form of environmental responsibility,   to the forest.    To us, it sounds like they are not seeing what you just described.
Paul: Let me speak to that.  It’s the project managers that adopt the environmental practices that will largely succeed more than the others.  The reason I say that is because these PMs are the ones who are going to be more cost effective.  Let’s face it, one key to running a successful project is running at or below budget.  Truly, when people see green, they see it as something that costs more.  That thinking is reinforced when we go to the grocery store and see that organic broccoli might cost 30% more than the regular broccoli.  But we are going to see that change.  We are going to see that the environmentally responsible products and services are going to end up being less expensive in this new economic paradigm, and cross the proverbial chasm into higher single digit percentages of all these things being done in an environmentally responsible manner.
EarthPM:  That has us curious.   What would you think would move the environmentally responsible products closer in price to products that are not necessarily environmentally responsible?
Paul: I think that what is happening is that people are recognizing which products are produce more environmentally responsibly and are will to pay more, so that those who are selling it can charge more.  As we consider green as a differentiator, more and more green products will enter the market and competition will drive prices down.  Eventually more and more people are not going to be willing to pay more for green, which will also drive prices down.
EarthPM: You’re saying it will be economic equation, supply and demand, will be such that environmentally sound products will become less costly than the standard products.
Paul: The competition will be there.   I think that there are more and more companies acting and producing in an environmentally responsible way.  Therefore, as they enter the market, there will be downward pressure on prices.   Ultimately, you will find that the environmentally responsible companies’ costs are less than those of traditional companies; therefore the green companies will not only be able to compete, but beat the prices of the traditional companies.   In the long run, I believe that operating in an environmentally responsible way will have a distinct advantage in the market place.
EarthPM: So without putting words in your mouth, this will also apply to project managers who work in a green way, career wise, over those who don’t.
Paul:  I completely agree.
EarthPM: So let’s get back to your project.  Can you tell us a little more, what you can tell us at this point about what is happening with you?
Paul:  Yes, I just signed my first contract in a major American market and we will be launching this fall (2009) to get the message out to children to encourage them to make deals with their parents.
EarthPM: That’s pretty big news.  Congratulations, so it’s a contract with a power company?
Paul:  Actually it’s with a group of electric utilities in a major American market, and I look forward to making that announcement with details, soon.
EarthPM: Excellent news.  We’re looking forward to hearing about even more successes!  Anyway now back to your company again, so here comes the trick question.  Considering what you are doing is a company, one of the ironies of green project management, especially when the project as in your case, a service, has a green output.  What we see is a “rainbow of green”, probably going to be one of the chapter titles in our book.  The idea being that a project like yours will be an extreme Kelly green because it is about green, like a carbon scrubber, wind farm or like yours.   Those are projects are at the extreme end.  Then there are the people who, at least by perception, Have no green in their projects are green at all, because what they are putting out is Release 17.5 of a new time-card tracking software at  other end of the spectrum.  But when you are on the part that you are on, when you are putting out a green project, people are looking very carefully a whether the project is being run green.  For example, take the Cape Wind Project, a somewhat controversial wind farm in Nantucket Sound.  Cape Wind’s turbines had transformers in them, and there was a lot of bad press started by opponents who brought up the transformer oil which allegedly would (ironically) cause oil slicks to appear in the Sound.  Obviously, the ‘greenality’ as we like to say, of this project, was called into question.  Opponents would point fingers at Cape Wind and say, “see you are not even being green in your own projects.”
So (sigh…) my question for you is; how are you keeping your project green?
Paul:  Let me try to parse this out in two pieces.  I’ll take anything, even if you are manufacturing a car, you have two things: first, how green are you and your operations, and second, what is the environmental impact of what you are producing?  In the case of Green Allowance, you have an operational aspect, which you are more focused on, and the net result.  The net result is obviously environmentally responsible because what I am promoting is conservation of energy in the residential sector. I’d also like to point out that we will expand to include water conservation in the near future.  So as far as our operations are concerned, the key question is: what is the carbon footprint of me working on this project, along with that of Green Allowance employees working on this project?  We are dedicated to being a carbon neutral company.  We want to use those companies for products and services that are environmentally responsible in their own right.  But there is still a carbon footprint associated with this, so we want to go the next step and say, what is the carbon footprint we are leaving behind for our operation and offset that.  I am literally buying offsets.  For instance, if I have to take a flight to meet with my customer, I will buy a carbon offset for that, from terrapass.com.
EarthPM: We are opening our book with a comment about an airline. On their website, Jet Blue allows for purchasing carbon offsets right after you purchase your tickets.  So we are saying that a company that is “Blue” is trying to be green.
So you are doing the carbon offsets by virtue of these trading companies, like Terra Pass.
Paul:  Yes, the responsible carbon trading companies.
EarthPM: So you are being as green as you can, and when there is a residue, you are doing something to mitigate that.
Paul:  Let’s face it; we are living in a world that is carbon intensive.  Until that transformation to a carbon neutral society, we will have to deal with it.  To reach a zero footprint practically, you will ultimately have to offset something.
EarthPM: We’ve been seeing a lot of debates the discussion boards, social media, about the use of carbon offsets.  We believe as you do that the way to use these is to do what you can to conserve, and lastly, to purchase carbon offsets.  But some people out there who don’t like carbon offsets because they promote being ungreen.
Paul:  I believe that is a misconception.  There may be people out there that use the lazy approach. They determine their carbon footprint and then offset it.  They are doing that without actually making the effort first to reduce their carbon footprint.  Yes, that is beneficial to the environment, but it is better to shrink the carbon footprint in the first place.  But to make a statement that by buying carbon offsets is a way to pay for your sins is a paradigm I’d prefer not to adopt.
EarthPM: I have one final question for you.  Can you think of way in which projects, any kind of project, even a software release, to tell those PMs who don’t think their project is necessarily green, how they could be more green in their project.
Paul:  The answer is to look at how resources are being used, the environmental impact of the energy used to accomplish their tasks, and whether they are using products that are very carbon intensive in terms of their manufacturing.  You want them to be using environmentally responsible products, ideally what you would recommend is that they minimize their energy consumption and offset what they can’t.  Earlier we spoke about breaking up your environmental impact of your operations and whatever you project produces.
EarthPM: Just to interrupt, to a project manager, their operation is their project.
Paul:  That’s right.
EarthPM: If the project’s outcome were to be the turn-up of a new automobile manufacturing line, then you have an operation that is handed off from the project.  I think you are talking about the operation of the project itself.
Paul:  Exactly, the operation of the project itself.
EarthPM: So whether you have virtual meetings or have people all drive to Buffalo, for example, will be part of your operations.
Paul:  Right, you can have a virtual meeting instead of flying to a meeting and having a lot of carbon emissions associated with that.  If you can do video meeting, well that not only saves carbon emissions, but also saves money.  Just to go back to the car manufacturing example, you can assure that their entire supply chain is green, and that the product is green.  So what is the environmental impact of their product?  Of course if it is a Hummer, it is going to have a heck of an environmental impact associated with it whereas there are far more fuel efficient vehicles that do not have as much of an impact.  That’s where your decision as an executive in a corporation, you are incorporating the environmental aspects into your overall strategy.  We can see how that has been beneficial to Toyota, who has sold over a million Prius’.
EarthPM: I think I can bring this home.  I think we have hit one of our biggest points at the intersection between green and project management.  As you may know a project is defined as having a definitive beginning and end, and the end is when it is handed off to operations.  Take an upgrade of FIOS for Verizon and you are putting FIOS up in three New England States, project managers, and we know this because we used to think this way, that the end of the project is when Verizon has service and they pay their implementers, etc.  Very rarely did we think about the entire life cycle, what happens to the fiber, what happens to the circuit packs, have they thought about disposal for instance?  It is way beyond the scope of the project, as scope exists today.  But we are trying to instill a new thinking, green thinking, that people, not just project managers need to be thinking about the project life cycle beyond the traditional “closing” piece.  For instance, take an Alcatel-Lucent Lambda Extreme (large Fiber optic system) installed in Boston. What if the project manager actually thought about its disposal, prior to deployment?  It seems a radical thought, but we assert it needs to become routine.
Paul:  If you are talking about tossing away a Lambda Extreme and it is not going to be used again, then we are getting into a bigger area, that of electronic recycling and the companies that manufacture the electronics having a program to get their products back.  Electronics companies are now starting to think about this.  When I bought a new Mac from Apple, I used their program to dispose of the old one where I just went to their website and got a sticker of overnight delivery.  You just put it in a box, slap this sticker on the box and away it goes back to Apple. They will then recycle what they can and responsibly dispose of the rest.
EarthPM: Like printer cartridges.
Paul:  Like printer cartridges, too, exactly.  So those are the kinds of things you want project managers to think about.  There are some things the project manager doesn’t have control over.
EarthPM: What we are saying is that the project manager should ask the questions; like do we have a program for disposing of this product after its useful life that we could offer our customer?  We’d like the project manager being somewhat of an activist.  We’d like them to think about the entire life cycle, not just stop when the product is turned over.  We also understand, though, that one can only push back one of two times.  Then if the company doesn’t want to go on with that then there is not much the PM can do.  We realize that this is an additional task for the project manager, but also believe it is the right thing to do.
We want the project manager to gain power, just like they gain power from the charter; we want them to gain their environmental power from the company’s sustainability policy.  If the company doesn’t have one, then why can’t the project manager be the one to say, “why don’t we have a sustainability policy?”.
Paul:  By the way, you touch on a really important point, with these project managers, as you go down this EarthPM path, you can say, that one of the early on activities for the project manager is to understand the company’s sustainability practices.
EarthPM: One of the main themes of the book and EarthPm is for project managers to link-in to the organizations environmental policy, and oh they don’t have one, then you can be the one to start one.
Paul:  Let me add one thing before we close from the Green Allowance perspective.  Green Allowance is attempting to create green project managers among more than a million children.  That is really what we are trying to do.  The reality is that we are going to give them projects they are going to work on and they are going to get the feedback as to how successful their efforts are.  They are going to look at the actual consumption data.
EarthPM: Earned Value Management.  Not only project managers, but experts in earned value.
Paul:  Not only that, but their compensation is based on how well they do.
EarthPM:  Well, that was excellent! Thank you very much for your frankness in answering our questions, for your insights, and your time.  We hope that you will let us know when your official announcement comes out so we can pass it on.
Paul:  Will do.

 

Our interview with Koen Olthuis, WaterStudio.NL

Earth PM: We’re sitting (virtually) with Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl, a Dutch architectural firm whose amazing ocean project was recently featured in the Opening Shot segment of PMI’s PM Network magazine.

This project is rather large and it has a rather large and specialized – but very interesting product.  It’s a floating cruise ship terminal.   We wanted to talk with Koen about his company’s project from a green perspective.

Koen (turning the tables!): First, please tell me a little bit about your company and the things that you are doing so I can fit what we are doing with what you are doing.

EarthPM: Ok, so we are two very experienced project managers and Rich even worked in Holland at Huizen managing telecommunication projects.  Dave also has a background in telecommunications as well as experience in environmental sciences and healthcare.  We are not “tree huggers”, but are conscious of the environment and have realized that project managers are the ones who bring ideas to reality.  They take a concept like your cruise terminal and execute it.  By definition, they are the ones who use resources.  If you are familiar with PMI, their definition of a project includes the aspect that it “uses resources.”  So we saw a lot of concentration on “green business.”  We also see a lot of what is called “green washing”, companies advertising how green they are.  So we see a lot of green curtains, but don’t necessarily know what is behind the curtain.

We particularly saw a gap in what we call “green project management.”  Specifically, how you run your projects, even if it is not purely green.  You are running projects or your company works on projects that combine environmental science and housing, etc.  But there are companies that just do software releases for example.  For the project manager working on a new release of Skype, we assert that person should think green and that even that project has to be green.  Why?  Any project is going to consume resources, and must be managed efficiently and effectively.  So, there is a whole spectrum of projects from a person setting up a wind farm in Flevoland to a person planning a large wedding or a software release.  We think all of them have to be green and our focus is on that and we are going into the process, for example, of coming up with a certification for project managers in Green PM, training and consulting. In short, we are a new company, about a week old…

Koen: Congratulations.

and haven’t fallen on our nose yet, but probably will.

Koen: We’ve done so many times (laugh).

EarthPM: And, we are learning by doing and have a contract to write a book, so one of the things we are interested in doing is featuring companies and interviews like yours in our book.

Koen: So the reason for your website to give Project Managers a message – and so from this interview, if you wanted to give them an inspiring message, what should that be?

EarthPM:  If I had my fantasy interview with you, you would talk about not only the fact that your projects not only are aimed at the environment, but also that you talk about what you did within your project itself to make it green.  In other words, the resources you use when you design or build the water terminal or other architectural projects.  We are also interested in the process you use, not just the product of the process.  For instance, how do you communicate with your stakeholders?  Do you use electronic media over generating a lot of paper?

Koen: Well then… maybe I will start.  The most important thing about our company is that we are also a young company.  We are now six years old, and are a new player in a new market.  If you go back to around 2000, almost no one was really active in building water projects.  Now you’ve been in Holland and seen all this water and the things that are being built on the water are very simple houseboats and we have a history of houseboats for more than 80 years, mostly for the poor people.  8 years ago, the first project I came in contact with, I was asked to help design an urban plan on the water.  The only concept we had at the time were traditional building methods and we had to come up with new concepts to make the implementation more mature and innovative.

The first designs were of floating houses, floating houses in a row, floating roads, floating apartment buildings, mostly at the concept stage.  Trying to sell this concept to developers who were used to traditional designs was very difficult.  However, the opportunity arose for a better understanding of the concepts and the issues because of global warming predictions and Hurricane Katrina in the US, and all sorts of little disasters in Holland, minor flooding where no flooding had ever occurred before.  The idea that we had to live with the water, rather than fight against it began to take hold.  Because our company already had those concepts in our portfolio we were in a good position to enter that market.  From there the next step was that we started building.   We also expanded to other countries.  Dubai is a very different market because they are much more progressive and open to new ideas.  Holland is a very conservative country in terms of building.  There are lots of things you have to do if you want to do something new, rules and regulations you have to hurtle.  Dubai is different.  They only ask for a solution to a problem and in the meantime it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there.  They are also open for complete new innovative ways to do things.  We were asked to look at the floating islands project, the Jebel Ali Palms Project.  Do you know Dubai a little bit?

EarthPM: We have not been there ourselves, but know it from people who have been there recently.  We are familiar with the World Project, is that what you are referring to?

Koen: No, but we are involved with that, too.  Traditional methods of making land by dredging enormously influence the water condition, the normal flow of water.  It got to a point in Dubai where there is a very bad quality of water.  It is green (literally green), stagnant, and smelly.  Things would be better in some places if they used floating islands.  It is a place where you can build and not disrupt the normal flow of water.  We brought those ideas to some developers in Dubai.  We had some simple ones for 10X10 meter to larger ones 100X100 meters on which you can build roads, houses, and gardens.  Now also Holland believes we can use these concepts and we are even in process of early development where we de-polderizing Holland, in which we are letting water come on to dry land, where it wants to go, and putting floating houses, apartment buildings, so I think you could say that we have come full circle, with water coming back into Holland.

EarthPM:  Could you say then that you were able to get over some of the bureaucratic hurdles in the Netherlands after showing success with some of the things you are doing in Dubai.

Koen: Absolutely, they now see what is possible.  Of course in Holland they had a bad history building on water, housing for the poor people.  This negativity did not exist in Dubai about these houseboats, so they were very open to the concept.  In Holland we have about 3500 polders, and a polder is a big water cell where you pump out the water to make dry land.  Most is below sea level and you have to continually pump out water to keep the country dry.  It’s worked for a couple of hundred years, but now with climate change [rising sea levels and changes in weather patterns] and more pressure on cities by urban development, this very balanced system between pumping out water and keeping the country dry is no longer working.

As a result, in the area of The Hague, they’ve had some very small floods.  I’m not talking about a few meters, but a few centimeters, not in agricultural areas, but areas with a lot of greenhouses. I suppose this is a form of a warning or risk trigger. We had to find solutions.  Part of the solution is to store the water.  That is, pump water in for a short time 2-3 weeks during heavy rains and when the seas are very high, and afterward, when the rivers and seas are lower you can pump the water from the storage areas back into the rivers and sea.  In a country as small as Holland it is very hard to find areas to do this.  So what’s proposed is to demolish the greenhouses and make a big polder to use during this time.  So our idea is to combine water storage and houses.  It is a way to compensate the farmers who have to leave that area.  It will be a public/private partnership with developers and the government for instance, The Dutch Bank, Water Boards that control all the water in Holland, cities, and the architects.

EarthPM: I don’t mean to interrupt, but you touched upon one of the areas of interest from one of the books we highly recommend, The Truth About Green Business by Gil Friend. In the book he talks about, and there’s another, Green to Gold by Esty and Winston that talks about the same thing, the “green wave,” consciousness or awareness of the environment in business.  They said that the companies that will survive are those that are ahead of the green wave, not the ones who react to it.  So when I hear you talk about these projects, you took the risks and went ahead with these kinds of plans preparing yourself to do these kinds of projects, and then along came climate change and awareness of that, that’s the green wave.  That’s what gave you a head start.    We’re trying to use the philosophy that project managers who are smart about the environment will have the advantage when taking on projects, which like yours, give a kind of a validation when climate change actually starts to show itself.

Koen: The problem with this is that you have to be a little bit lucky.  If we tried this a couple of years ago, we would have been too early.

EarthPM: Yes, timing is everything.

Koen: Also, a little bit of luck because we saw the results of Katrina, and we have a demonstration of climate change.  You can’t force people to understand, but when they have tangible examples, it is much more meaningful [content vs. context].  I was a young architect.  I started my company when I was 30.  I had a companion and we started a business.  It was so hard to get a good assignment because of no track record.  All you could do was an eye-catching, colorful design, etc, not really come up with new concepts.

The beauty about water is that you are not a slave to a developer.  You are actually a friend of the developer because you made it possible for the developer to turn a worthless, but necessary element, and prove you can make money with it.  Taking it to another level, the ability to build on water brings another dimension to cities worldwide.  It can really change the face of cities.  Like the elevator from Mr. Otis, it allowed cities to build up, to make the city denser.

The second one is the underground, the metro system.  It allowed cities to expand downward, although it is not really feasible in Holland because of the water, but Toronto – which I just recently visited – has an entire city under a city.  But we have in Holland is a lot of water, which can give our cities another dimension and try solve the infrastructural and development limitations we have by using more space.  By doing this you have to be very aware of the environment.  It is much more difficult than building on land, because it not only affects your location, but has far reaching consequences to those who are connected to the water. Everyone is downstream from someone else.

There are many innovative things you can do with water and I am talking about affecting the climate inside the building.  In Dubai we are using the sea water to cool down the buildings by pumping water through the walls and through the floor.  This can also be done on land, but not as easily as you can on water.  Relocation is another factor.  You can build a building on water, and then more easily move it.  Perhaps when the building, in 20 or 30 years, becomes out of balance with the area, instead of demolishing it and building a new one, you can move the building to an area more suited for it.  That will save a lot of energy.  Buildings can be treated more like premium second hand cars [rather than clunkers].  In the end, it will deliver much more sustainability and is more green.

EarthPM: Yes Koen, you actually bring up another idea we are trying to get to project managers because if you are familiar with the science and the art of project management, we think from project start to project end.  Very rarely does the project manager think about what happens when the project is over, because their part is virtually complete when they hand off the product of the project.  What you just said is a very good example of what we call lifecycle thinking on a project.  Think about their product and its disposal, not just “Ok, clap your hands, have a party, we finished the project.”

Koen: Your responsibility goes on much longer.  Of course the cradle to cradle thoughts are beautiful, and do a lot, but I think we can go one step further.  It seems like New York when you have an older tower of 15 stories, and a developer wants to build a 50 story tower, now the old building must be demolished.  Of course you can reuse some of the materials. [Redesign over recycling.] With floating, you can just relocate the 15 story tower and make room for a 50 story tower. These ideas change the resource use.  If you calculate that in energy and in process there is a huge savings because each product can be used for its full life span for which it has been designed, whether in that location or another.  If you multiply that by the millions of buildings being built yearly, that is an enormous amount of savings.

EarthPM: So when you are designing something like the cruise terminal what kinds of efforts take place in project itself to make sure that project is green.  You said the product of the project, the cruise ship terminal itself, you have to take into consideration the reaction to the environment around it.  I probably should get this question answered first, do you project manage these efforts yourself or hand them off to project managers?

waterstudio2.jpg.w300h169Koen: Let me just tell you a little more about this project.  We were asked by an intermediate developer in Dubai to look at a project.  Dubai has about 35 cruise ships a year visit their shores per year and want to grow to 100 cruise ships a year.  The cities have to be prepared to handle the additional people, and the harbors have to be prepared to handle the increase in ships. So, they could physically change the harbor (their land) or come up with a new solution.  Well, we proposed a triangular floating terminal of 300X300X300 meters.  They came back a said, “too small”, we need something bigger.  Bigger! We went back to the drawing board and came up with a design 700X700X700 meters, and one corner is raised so that it will be 35 meters high.    That makes it possible for ships to pass underneath that raised lip into an inner “harbor”, where taxi boats can park to ferry people to the cities.  On the triangle’s outside perimeter, you have a place for the largest cruise ships berthing at one time.  It’s not such a difficult building because we use existing technology like a rotating tower already used in other applications.  It’s like three large oil tankers connected to each other, and on one corner, like a crane all connected to each other with a façade of aluminum.  It’s very large and very stable.  It’s so large and resting on so many heads of waves, it is almost impossible to get it out of balance.  Inside there is more than just functions for the cruise ships, but expo space, retail, hotel, restaurants, and conference rooms.

NOTE: This is the terminal featured in PMI’s PM Network Magazine – “Opening Shot”. ((DATE)).

We were in the process of planning all the functionality and the financial crisis hit Dubai.  The project is not stopped, but slowed.  Hopefully it will gain full momentum again around January 2010.  It still shows what is possible on water than changing the harbor.

EarthPM: So it does sound like you are involved in the project management.

Koen: Of course in the initial stages.  Our architectural firm can come up with solutions and talk to project managers and showing them the newest concepts.  By bringing these new creative ideas, it has opened up new work for the PMs.  When these projects actually begin construction, we step aside and let the PMs manage it.  We are now working on the floating Citadel, specifically an apartment building 120X80 meters, 4 stories high with floating car park underneath it for about150 cars.  It’s only about 15 minutes from here in Rijsvijk, Holland.  Architecture is exciting, but the effect of combining water storage and architecture makes it extremely exciting.


EarthPM: So you are involved as the project manager, developing Gantt Charts, etc.

Koen: No, no.  We are involved with the project managers, but the project managers do the managing of the projects, we only get them started with concepts, etc.  We are in a partnership with O&W and they hire the master planner, architect and project managers.  We are together in a project team and of course we take the lead in the first part of the project.

EarthPM: Ok, so here comes a key question, at least in our opinion.  One of things we are saying is that projects should have a charter; the Project Management Institute says that projects should have a charter.  So that when you kick off a project it should have a formal charter that basically says here’s where we gain our authority and here’s what our end product should be.  We assert that project charters should have a “green” statement whatever kind of project it is.  So the question is how does your company institute “greenality,” a word we coined, a cross between green and quality, or how you add green quality to your project?  How do you assert greenality, greenness, into your projects?

Koen: We are the integrators of the project and as I said in the beginning, we are now trying to bring greenality into our projects by telling all the people in the project what our ideas are and how those ideas can be of benefit.  There is media attention and we could be frontrunners in this effort as it is a partnership with the government of Holland, also an educational project to show people how we can work with the water, rather than against it.  It’s not that we step in and impose our will; it is more of a very open relationship, when all the people work together and bring ideas and greenality information to the project.  I don’t think that really answered your question.

EarthPM: Oh, no, I think you actually did.  What you said is that it is in the DNA of your team.  It’s not a charter statement per sec, because it is an inspiring kind of a project in the first place.

Koen: You are correct and you are talking how our company is thinking about sustainability and how we can use water cooling, for instance.  It is only in the last year that we have been thinking about larger issues like how we can save using solar and wind energy and using a building for its complete engineered life span.  And you know, things change rapidly so we want to keep thinking ahead.

EarthPM: So when your project manager, for example, looks for materials for this floating cruise terminal, they go to vendors.  So let’s say there are vendors A, B, and C.  Vendor A shows that they are more of sustainable provider, they materials they provide are produced with less carbon, etc, yet B & C are cheaper upfront, but have larger carbon foot prints, for instance.  Here in the US, the EPA provides some guidelines as to how to do what they call “environmentally preferable purchasing.”  My question is; do you have policies, regulations, guidelines, or is it just back to the DNA when making choices.

Koen: Well, I think that we have a good handle on the implementation of these projects because we have a good idea about materials.  We work with the project managers on renewable woods and companies with smaller carbon foot prints.  They get a lot of their ideas from the media and the market place.  One of the ideas for the cruise terminal is the façade of aluminum.  Aluminum costs a lot of energy to produce, but it’s longevity in salt is great.  After 100 years you can take it off of the building and reuse it.  The architect is very influential, so when we recommend something, like the aluminum, they usually follow us and try to find the best company to deliver it.

We have also been involved with the differences in the aluminum producing companies and try to get PMs interested in materials and the complete process, not just the product of the process, but how they produce it.

EarthPM: So a question is, how do you get the project managers interested in choosing materials, choosing suppliers that are green?  The suppliers are stakeholders, too, and a contributor to your project.

Koen: We’ve been lucky so far with these projects in that the architect is very powerful and people listen.  When we recommend aluminum, people choose aluminum.  Also, we’re involved early enough to be able to recommend what products we think should be used, unlike some of the other projects I’ve been involved in.

EarthPM: I’m thinking that the aluminum is a large part of the project, but there also are other things like insulation, lighting, etc; how do those materials get chosen.

Koen: Those choices are not crucial at this time because we are not there yet, however, we are thinking about how to make the project self-supporting, produce its own energy with solar panels, its own water with desalination.  Because this project is disconnected to shore by 500 meters, so we need to take a close look at the logistics of providing shore power, gas, etc.  We are thinking about turning 10% of the outside façade into solar panels.  It should produce enough energy to be self-supporting.  In this first part of the process we are looking at what is available and how far we can go to make it self-supporting.

EarthPM: I think that you answered the question very well.  I believe that you are saying that as the architect you have much more control over how things will be and you already have kind of a built in charter of being efficient and being green.  Because of the mission of the project itself it is filtering down to the people who specify material and choose vendors.

Koen: Yes, and also, the interesting about Dubai and Abu Dhabi, who have lots of resources in the form of oil reserves and money to do what they like, are very open to , and encourage energy savings and the next step of how you can make a carbon neutral city and Abu Dhabi is well on its way.  For me it is the most exciting thing to be part of it.

EarthPM: Yes, and we noticed that because as you know we are a new entity and have a relatively new website, and do have hits from Holland, and the US, but have many hits, showing interest, from the Middle East.

Koen: Yes, yes, and my company has a particular challenge in that we are balancing between reality and new concepts like urban development on water, equal to the development on land.  We think they will blend well with each other.  In Dubai they’ve given us that opportunity to bring the concepts on step further.

EarthPM: What kind of opposition have you seen, from environmental activists for example?

Koen: While we expected it, we found that our ideas are being embraced.  The activists are using them against the land based developers.  The activists realize that what we are after is “scarless development,” unlike our land based developers.  Because normally, in Holland, and Dubai, you make land from water.  We develop without any scar at all.  After the life expectancy has been exceeded, you can just tow them away and have the area be just like it was before the construction.

EarthPM: I have a related question.  You’ve talked a lot about that you are more in the idea business and you are between the boundary between ideas and real projects.  We, in the US, may say some of your projects are “out there”, literally and figuratively, but from the perspective of the environment; if you had two project managers, one had been through a certification program and they understood, green house gases, cradle to cradle, carbon trading, sustainability, and the idea of a life cycle that goes beyond the life of the project.  You have this project manager and one who does not have the training, which would you choose.

Koen: To be honest I’d rather the one without the training, the one who knows nothing about greenality because the people at this moment, who are into the business, are too much trying to put in their own ideas.  I’m concerned with what kinds of ideas may be brought in and how they might affect my architecture.

EarthPM: That is a very good and direct answer and I would expect nothing less from you.  Very interesting, and from our perspective that is something we’d like to offer.  For you company, it may in fact be a disadvantage.  But for a company like HP, we’re hoping it would be advantageous, but won’t conflict with the company.

Koen: You are perfectly correct.  A company like ours in innovative itself and also very strong characters, basically lead by one individual, and know what we want, different than a company like HP or IBM, led by a large team that may need to be made more uniform in their thinking.

EarthPM: I think we’ve taken about an hour and I know you are very busy, so I think we’ve covered the topic.  Is there anything else you wanted to add, Koen?

Koen: I just wanted to say that we, as innovators, will be the ones who bring the ideas to the table to fight against climate change.  If you don’t have any creativity in your concepts, you will be relegated to repeat past mistakes.  I think it is very important to come up with new ideas from new perspectives.

EarthPM: Ok, and that’s what project managers like because by definition, a project is something that has never been done before, so project managers are driven by new ideas.  The environment is a consideration, as of course it should be, but even without it, project managers are thankful for those who come up with new ideas because without them, we’d have no initiation of new projects, therefore no work for project managers.

Koen: And also, we are realistic, and we know that even though we are in a project team, it is about money and feasibility, so we try in the early stages to come up with creative ideas to bring about the projects, but also make money.  I hope this interview covers the things you want.

EarthPM: I know it does, and also it’s about noticing companies that are doing innovative things to help the environment.

Koen: More importantly, you force me to rethink about my ideas.  Every time I talk to someone in the media, I get questions that get me thinking about other ways to do things and ways to do things better.  So thank you for that.

EarthPM:  Thank you very much for your time.  It was terrific talking with you.

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