From the President's Desk
By Rob Andrejewski, ISSP-SA, Director of Sustainability, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
There are a multitude of reasons I love working in higher education - access to brilliant researchers, the opportunity to pilot "living lab" projects, immersion in a values-driven culture - but one stands out above the rest: interacting with students. These inquisitive, driven, and intelligent people share an impatient and audacious desire to shape a better world. For a sustainability director, it is infectious.
Their belief that they can make a difference requires idealism, but make no mistake, this hope is tempered by harsh realities. For students in the class of 2021, climate change, school shootings, and suicide bombings have always existed. The campus counseling and psychological services office, which assists people with generalized anxiety, depression, and other forms of distress, normally has a wait list. Perhaps because they have internalized the ubiquitous millennial notion that they can do anything they set their minds to, these students are willing to work for change despite the challenges.
This spring, we witnessed young people leading with fearless determination. (Con't.)
Earth Day 2018: "End Plastic Pollution"
Countdown to April 22
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From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.
In response, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and
inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics.
Do Sustainability Tools Work? How Do We Know?
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By Alan AtKisson, Author, Speaker, Senior Sustainability Advisor & ISSP Hall of Fame Inductee
A few decades ago, the sustainability movement lacked tools, so I started making some. Assessments. Indicators. Workshops. Even songs: they were communication tools.
The tools seemed to work, so I kept it up. But I discovered a problem, which I hope you can help me with:
There was no way to prove they work.
Let me explain...
My first tool was called "Amoeba." It introduces change ideas into organizations more effectively; the workshop part includes a role-playing game. (If you'd told me that three decades later, people world-wide would still be using this tool, I wouldn't have believed you.)
Then came "Pyramid," a workshop for integrated, collaborative learning and planning. It's been run thousands of times around the world. Our "Sustainability Compass," has helped companies, cities, schools and universities to adopt, assess, and report on sustainability. Widespread use suggests that these tools - collectively known as our "Accelerator" suite - work.
But we can't be sure. (Con't.)
This month, we spoke to Stacey Baumgarn,
Campus Energy Coordinator for Colorado State University.
Although currently working to further the sustainability field in the public sector, Jonathan is a lifelong entrepreneur. As he says about his decision to get credentialed by ISSP:
"As an entrepreneur, I value credential-based education over institutional education because I believe my reputation will weigh more heavily on experiences and results than on any set of degrees. Along with other certifications I have obtained, I decided to secure my ISSP credential with the intent to verify and expand my understanding of sustainability principles."
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ISSP co-founder Darcy Hitchcock read and reviewed Kate Raworth's 2017 book
Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist
. Darcy writes that the book's clear language and apt metaphors offer an approachable and compelling dissection of modern economic theory for sustainability-minded non-economists. A worthwhile and powerful read, with just one suggestion: a more fitting title could be "How Wrong-headed Economic Theory Has Convinced Us All to Destroy Life on Earth and What to Do Instead."
Course: Tools for Strategic Transformation
Begins April 11th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET
How can sustainability professionals navigate the jungle of sustainability techniques and change processes? How do we know when to apply them successfully?
ISSP's upcoming course teaches the VISIS Method (Vision | Indicators | Systems | Innovation | Strategy) and its underlying theory to develop a sustainability project or initiative, as well as produce and implement a detailed strategic action plan. Taught by expert sustainability consultant and author and ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame inductee Alan AtKisson, the course will teach participants to apply the VISIS Method. Participants will dig into case studies, examine the inner workings of selected tools, and consider the ethical dimension of strategy development.
Join us to learn a proven set of tools for helping individuals and organizations lead on sustainability. Classes start April 11th - sign up today!
Webinar: How Perdue Farms Uses Scorecards to Drive Sustainability
April 19th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET
Demand for more sustainable agricultural and livestock practices - organic, free-range, antibiotic-free - has skyrocketed both in the US and abroad. But how can this important moment for sustainable food be turned into a consequential movement worldwide?
This month, ISSP will host Steve Levitsky, Vice President of Sustainability at Perdue Farms, for a discussion on the future of sustainability as standard practice at the economy's largest food suppliers. The webinar - moderated by Tad Radzinski, co-founder and president of Sustainable Solutions Corporation - will focus on Perdue's strides towards making their sustainability vision a reality by leveraging environmental scorecards and stakeholder relationships.
ISSP webinars are free for members, and non-members will receive a coupon for $25 off a new ISSP membership.
Sign up today!
Upcoming ISSP Chapter &
Regional Learning Network Events
Chapters and Regional Learning Networks
bring together local communities of practice to network, share resources, and provide professional support. Get involved in your local ISSP community with these upcoming events.
4/11 5:30pm ET
- Informative workshop and networking reception in partnership with the NY Sustainable Business Council. Learn how to grow your business, reduce harmful chemicals and protect your employees, your customers, and yourself.
4/17 12:00pm CT
- Join us for a virtual networking meeting and presentation on the Future Energy Jobs Act by Amit Shulka. Free for ISSP members.
4/25 6:30pm ET
- Join us for a facilitated event connecting NYC's sustainability communities. Enjoy interactive networking, drinks from socially-conscious businesses, and most importantly: a room packed with inspiring, like-minded people making a sustainable impact for a greener New York! Discount for ISSP members.
4/26 12:00pm ET
- Join other sustainability professionals in Eastern Canada for our second meeting, this time focusing on stakeholder engagement. Free for ISSP members.
4/30 12:00pm ET
Be the first to register for the inaugural virtual "brown bag lunch," joining other Pennsylvania sustainability professionals ready to build stronger connections. Free for ISSP Members.
5/1 12:00pm ET Greater DC Regional Learning Network Meeting - Join us for a virtual networking meeting and facilitated discussion on Local/Social Procurement by Dr. Aurora Dawn Reinke who has been writing and speaking on this topic. Free for ISSP members.
ISSP Colorado Chapter
Come and experience new tools to elevate your work, the power of sharing a common experience with colleagues, an experienced and engaging faculty, and the reinvigorating connection to the very heart of why you do the work you do.
If you are interested in having a RLN meeting in your region, fill out the survey form and consider volunteering to be an ISSP Ambassador.
ISSP board members and associates can be found sharing their kno
wledge, sharpening their skills and networking at sustainability gatherings around the world. Reach out and introduce yourself to the ISSP members listed below if you too are planning to travel to one of the many sustainability conferences going on this spring through fall. Let us know where you're headed by dropping a note to
April 17 IPM Summit, Davis, California. Board Member Sarah Elaine Lewis is attending.
Home Delivery World
, Atlanta, GA. ISSP Board Member Jeff Yorzyk is speaking.
, St. Louis, MO. Kyle Crawford, ISSP-SA, and Marcia Lochmann, ISSP-SA, ISSP Greater St. Louis Chapter Co-Chairs are attending.
, San Francisco, CA. ISSP Board Member Jeff Yorzyk is attending.
The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world's leading professional association for sustainability professionals. ISSP is a member-driven association committed to moving the profession of sustainability forward through building strong networks and communities of practice.