Nomeda Dobrovolskienė, Rima Tamošiūnienė


Resource allocation in a project portfolio is a complex decision-making process that is influenced by multiple and very often conflicting objectives. Furthermore, companies are coming under strong social pressure to integrate elements of sustainability into their decision-making process, which makes this process even more complex. Nowadays, the concept of sustainability is widely applied by many companies through their mission statement and strategy. It is also one of the most popular research fields for scholars. Despite the fact that sustainability is considered one of the most important challenges of our time, the integration of sustainability into project or project portfolio management (especially in resource allocation) is not fully recognised. This paper presents a literature-based analysis of the use of the sustainability concept in project management and therefore makes suggestions on how to integrate sustainability into resource allocation in a project portfolio.

Full text: PDF


resource allocation; project portfolio; project management; project portfolio management; sustainability; composite sustainability index.

JEL Codes

G11; M21;L21; O22.


Association for Project Management. 2006. APM Supports Sustainability Outlooks, New York: APM.

American Council of Engineering Companies. 2009. Sustainable project management for facilities and infrastructure systems. Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2015]

Böhringer, C., Jochem, P. 2007. Measuring the immeasurable. A survey of sustainability indices, Ecological Economics, 63, pp.1–8.

Brook, J. W., Pagnanelli, F. 2014. Integrating sustainability into innovation project portfolio management – A strategic perspective, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 46, pp.46–62.

Brundtland, G. H. 1987. Report of the World Commission on environment and development: “our common future”. United Nations.

Cherchye, L. 2007. An Introduction to “benefit of the doubt” composite indicators, Social Indicators Research, 82(1), pp.111–145.

Chow, W., Chen, Y. 2012. Corporate sustainable development: testing a new scale based on the mainland Chinese context, Journal of business ethics, 105(4), pp.519–533.

Cinelli, M., Coles, S. R. and Kirwan, K. 2014. Analysis of the potentials of multi criteria decision analysis methods to conduct sustainability assessment, Ecological Indicators, 46, pp.138–148.

Daneshpour, H. 2015. Integrating Sustainability into Management of Project, International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 6(4), pp.321–325.

Davidson, K., 2011. Reporting systems for sustainability: what are they measuring?, Social indicators research, 100(2), pp.351–365.

Dyllick, T., Hockerts, K., 2002. Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Business Strategy and the Environment, 11, pp.130–141.

Ebbesen, J. B., Hope, A. J., 2013. Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability into Project Constrains. PM World Journal, 2(3), pp.1–13.

Edum-Fotwe, F., Price, A. 2009. A social ontology for appraising sustainability of construction projects and developments, International Journal of Project Management, 27(4), pp.313–322.

Eid, M. 2011. Integrating Sustainable Development into Project Management Processes. Available at: [Accessed 21 March 2015]

Elkington, J, 1997. Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, Oxford: Capstone Publishing.

Filipavičius, V., Kazlauskas, L. 2015. Optimalaus investicijų portfolio teoriniai aspektai, 18th Conference for Junior Researchers “Science-Future of Lithunia”, February 5, Vilnius, pp.291–298.

Gareis, R., Heumann, M. and Martinuzzi, A. 2009. Relating sustainable development and project management, Berlin: IRNOP IX.

Galbreath, J., 2009. Addressing sustainability: a strategy development framework, International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 1(3), pp.303–319.

Hatefi, S. M., Torabi, S. A. 2010. A common weight MCDA-DEA approach to construct composite indicators, Ecological Economics, 70(1), pp.114–120.

Haugen, R. A. 2001. Modern investment theory. 5 thedition. Prentice Hall.

Hope, A. J., Moehler, R. 2014. Balancing projects with society and environment: A project, programme and portfolio approach, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 119, pp.358–367.

Kancerevičius, G. 2009. Finansai ir investicijos. 3 leidimas. Kaunas: Smaltija.

Kemmler, A., Spreng, D. 2006. Energy indicators for tracking sustainability in developing countries, Energy Policy, 35, pp.2466–2480.

Khalili-Damghani, K., Tavana, M. 2014. A comprehensive framework for sustainable project portfolio selection based on structural equation modeling, Project Management Journal, 45(2), pp.83–97.

Kocmanova, A., Dočekalova, M. 2012. Construction of the economic indicators of performance in relation to the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors, Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 4, pp.195–206.

Kocmanova, A., Šimberova, I. 2013. Multidimensional Modelling of Social Performance Indicators in Processing Industry Companies in the Czech Republic, International Journal of Mathematical Models and Methods in Applied Science, 5(7), pp.500–507.

Labuschagne, C., Brent, A. C. 2005. Sustainable project life cycles in the manufacturing sector, International Journal of Project Management, 23(2), pp.159–168.

Lindsey, G., 2001. The Holy Grail of Sustainable Development: Blueways in Viet Nam and Greenways in Indianapolis, Perspectives, Office of the Dean, SPEA, Indiana University, Bloomington IN.

Mangram, E. M. 2013. A Simplified Perspective of the Markowitz Portfolio Theory, Global Journal of Business Research, 7(1), pp.59–70.

Manzini, F., Islas, J. and Macias, P. 2011. Model for evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy projects, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 78, pp.931–944.

Markowitz, H. 1952. Portfolio selection, Journal of Finance, 7(1), pp.77–91, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1952.tb01525.x.

Martens, M. L., de Carvalho, M. M. 2013. An exploratory study of sustainability evaluation in Project management. Product: Management and Development, 11(2), pp.111–117.

Merton, R. C. 1972. An analytic derivation of the efficient portfolio frontier, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 7(4), pp.1851-1872, DOI:

Moldan, B., Janouškova, S. and Hak, T. 2012. How to understand and measure environmental sustainability: Indicators and targets, Ecological Indicators, 17, pp.4–13.

Nardo, M., Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S. Hoffman, A. and Giovannini, E. 2008. Handbook on constructing composite indicators: methodology and user guide, Paris: OECD Publishing.

Ness, B., Urbel-Piirsalu, E., Anderberg, S. and Olsson, L. 2007. Categorising tools for sustainability assessment, Ecological Economics, 60, pp.498–508.

Oehlmann, I. 2011. The Sustainable Footprint Methodology, Cologne: Lambert Academic Publishing.

O’Ryan, R., Pereira, M. 2015. Participatory indicators of sustainability for the salmon industry: The case of Chile, Marine Policy, 51, pp.322–330.

Peylo, B. T. 2012. A Synthesis of Modern Portfolio Theory and Sustainable Investment, The Journal of Investing, 21(4), pp.33–46.

Rutkauskas, A. V., Lapinskaite, I. 2012. Marketing as core instrument to implement sustainability strategy for a business world. The case of fast moving consumer goods. 7thInternational Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2012”, May 10-11, Vilnius 1, pp.162–172.

Sanchez, M. A. 2014. Integrating sustainability issues into project management, Journal of Cleaner Production. pp.1–12.

Sanchez, M. A., Lopez, F. R. 2010. A methodology to identify sustainability indicators in construction project management – Application to infrastructure projects in Spain, Ecological Indicators, 10, pp.1193–1201.

Sharpe, W. 1994. The sharpe ratio, The Journal of Portfolio Management, 21(1), pp.49–58.

Silvius, A. J. G., 2014. Overview of Literature on Sustainability in Projects and Project Management, Available at: [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Silvius, G., Schipper, R. 2010. A maturity model for integrating sustainability in projects and project management, 24th World Congress of the International Project Management Association, IPMA, Istanbul.

Silvius, G., Schipper, R. 2014. Sustainability in Project Management Competencies: Analyzing the Competence Gap of Project Managers, Journal of Human Resources and Sustainability Studies, 2, pp.40–58.

Silvius, A. J. G., Schipper, R. and Nedeski, S., 2012. Sustainability in Project Management: Reality Bites. In Proceedings of the 26th IPMA World Congress, pp.1053-1061.

Silvius, A. J. G., Tharp, J. 2013. Sustainability Integration for Effective Project Management, Hershey: IGI Global Publishing.

Singh, R. K., Murty, H. R., Gupta, S. K. and Dikshit, A. K. 2007. Development of composite sustainability performance index for steel industry, Ecological Indicators, 7, pp.565–588.

Singh, R. K., Murty, H. R., Gupta, S. K. and Dikshit, A. K. 2012. An overview of sustainability assessment methodologies, Ecological Indicators, 15, pp.281–299.

Siew, R. Y. J. 2015. Integrating Sustainability into Construction Project Portfolio Management, KSCE Journal Of Civil Engineering, 00(0), pp.1–8, DOI:10.1007/s12205-015-0520-z.

ten Brink, B., 2007. Contribution to Beyond GDP Virtual Indicator Expo (The Natural Capital Index framework MCI), International Conference, November 19-20, Brussels. Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2015]

Tobin, J. 1958. Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk, Review of Economic Stadies, 25(58), pp.65–86.

Trenado, M., Romero, M., Cuadrado, M. L., Romero, C. 2014. Corporate social responsibility in portfolio selection: “A goal games” against nature approach, Computers & Industrial Engineering, 75, pp.260–365.

Tufinio, S. P., Mooi, H., Ravestijn, W., Bakker, H. and Boorsma, M. 2013. Sustainability in project management: where are we?, International Journal Of Engineering, XI, pp.91–100.

Ugwu, O. O., Haupt, T. C. 2007. Key performance indicators and assessment methods for infrastructure sustainability – a South African construction industry perspective, Building and Environment, 42, pp.665–680.

Utz, S., Wimmer, M., Hirschberger, M, Steuer, R. E. 2014. Tri-criterion inverse portfolio optimization with application to socially responsible mutual funds, European Journal of Operational Research, 234, pp.491–498.

Vandaele, N., Decouttere, C. 2013. Sustainable R&D portfolio assessment, Decision Support System, 54, pp.1521–1532.

Zhou, P., Ang, B. W. and Zhou, D. 2010. Weighting and aggregation in composite indicator construction: a multiplicative optimization approach, Social Indicators Research, 96(1), pp.169–181.

Zhou, L., Tokos, H., Krajnc, D. and Yang, Y. 2012. Sustainability performance evaluation in industry by composite sustainability index, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 14(5), pp.789–803.