CHAPTER 2Overview of Major Projects

Before we dive into discussing integrating sustainability into major projects, it is important to explore some of the concepts around major projects so that we establish a shared understanding and language for this book. This starts with a review of what makes a project “major” and how that creates unique challenges and opportunities for project managers and teams, especially related to sustainability concepts. The discussion will also consider different challenges for a broad range of major projects that include resource extraction, energy, industrial, infrastructure, or linear infrastructure, as well as projects that could have elements of more than one type of major project, like an energy facility that includes a transmission line, or a new mine with an access railroad and a new port facility.

The next step is to understand the key players on major projects. We will be discussing the project owner and overall project team, government employees, and local communities. It is important not only to discuss who is involved but how they interact with one another. Most project teams have a good understanding of the people and groups involved in the design and delivery of the project, and many understand financial players and government regulators. But they may not have as much experience considering local communities as key players and contributors to the success of a major project.

It is also important to consider how each of the key players ...

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