Making Sustainability Standard Practice
Vol. 12       No. 1      January 2018 
  Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn
In This Issue
Quick Links
ISSP Events in November
TopFrom the President's Desk
My Foundation for Optimism
By Rob Andrejewski, ISSP-SA, Director of Sustainability, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
My wife and I recently found the original blueprints of our 1951 house. The deep Prussian blue paper and precise lines were undeniably beautiful, but it was the connection to a place we love that turned these builder's aids into art. Even before we placed the images behind glass and hung them on the wall, we saw them in a different frame than those who used them to guide construction.
Our ability to do this-to take an object or idea and see it from an entirely different perspective-is one of my favorite things about people. Our own experiences, values, culture, and beliefs form a unique lens through which we meet the world. While at times this can make communication, coordination, and consensus building difficult, it also means that our capacity for creativity and surprising one another is bottomless.
Even within ourselves, we contain the ability to hold multiple, at times contradictory, perspectives. Paul Hawken beautifully articulated this idea when asked how he felt about the future: "If you look at the science about what is happening on Earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this Earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse."
Like stars that shine brightest during the darkest nights, our sustainability community provides assurance that there are thousands (if not millions) of other people working to restore our endangered life support systems. From organizations improving supply chains to people advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, inspiration is all around us. It's hard not to be overwhelmed by the magnitude and emptiness of space until we shift our focus to the majesty of the stars. 

ISSP Looks Back on
More Than a Year of Credentialing 
Late last year, ISSP Certification hit a significant milestone: the one-year anniversary from the launch of the ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) exam. Since November of 2016, we've credentialed more than 150 ISSP-SAs and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professionals (ISSP-CSPs) - expanding the list of over 500 individuals who have been credentialed or begun the credentialing process since Beta testing first began in 2015.

ISSP credential holders hail from a variety of organizations and sectors, which is why we're spreading the word about ISSP Certification through panel presentations targeting specific audiences. On January 30th, we'll be hosting four credential holders who work in higher education as they share their personal stories as sustainability professionals and the value ISSP credentialing has brought to them. If you're in higher ed or academia, take a moment to register for this upcoming session - it's a great way to learn about ISSP's credentials while learning about the experiences of your peers.

If you'd like to earn recognition for your own sustainability knowledge, skills, and abilities, click here to take your first steps towards earning an ISSP credential!

Back to top 
Profile: John Cook, ISSP-CSP
This year's first credential holder profile features John Cook, Sustainability Manager at Niagara Bottling, LLC.

John explores the connection between the personal value he places in sustainability and his career path:

"When asked why I left teaching to work in a staff position for a university I replied: 'As a teacher I worked to change the way students saw the world, now it is time to change the world.'
My current position tweaks this a bit. Now I'm trying to change a particular corporation so we might change an entire industry.

We need to rethink how we talk about carbon, from what William McDonough calls a new language of carbon to Ellen MacArthur Foundation's work on promoting restorative design for developing a Circular Economy of Plastic, to repurpose an industry to be a positive force in promoting sustainability."

Read the full profile on our ISSP Member Profiles page, and be sure check out our directory of all ISSP credential holders.

Making Sense of Sustainability Certifications
As the field of sustainability has matured, a range of standards and certifications have emerged that influence how businesses operate, measure, and report; how supply chains are managed; and how products are manufactured and services delivered. Whether or not they are adopted, standards and certiļ¬cations provide helpful guidelines and examples for any organization interested in sustainability.

An increasing challenge, however, for sustainability professionals and the organizations they represent is understanding which certifications provide quantifiable benefit and truly drive sustainable outcomes. There are certifications for businesses, products, buildings, infrastructure, processes, services, and individuals. Some cover easily quantifiable aspects such as the use and waste of material, water, and energy while others address more intangible, but no less important, cultural and social issues. Certification rigor can vary from self-applied checklists to stringent criteria and costly audits. The result can leave professionals and their organizations confused and overwhelmed.

To address this issue, ISSP's Research and Resources Committee has designed a brief survey for sustainability professionals to capture their experience with various sustainability-related certifications. The results of the survey will be used to produce a report on the purpose, criteria, scope, and credibility of the most widely recognized certifications currently in use. It is our hope that the resulting dialogue will bring clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness to the organization's efforts to select and use certifications.

If you have experience with sustainability-related certifications of any kind, we invite you to participate in this Certification Survey . Anyone participating in survey will receive an advance copy of the results. If you are interested in examples of some of the certifications we may be evaluating, check out this Certification list on the ISSP website.

And, if you are interested in being involved in this research project, become an ISSP Volunteer !

Thank you,
The ISSP Research and Resources Committee

Back to top 
Webinar: Behind the Label - Safer Chemicals with the Environmental Defense Fund
January 18th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET
Consumer health is an important but under-addressed issue when it comes to corporate sustainability. The products we buy contain tens of thousands of chemicals, with more entering the marketplace each year. By the time these products reach consumers, it's difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in them and how they will affect us.

Boma Brown-West
Join Boma Brown-West, the EDF's Senior Manager of Consumer Health, to discuss the Behind the Label initiative designed as a go-to resource on safer chemicals and products.  We'll cover the initiative's efforts to raise awareness and move the needle on safe chemicals and transparent disclosures, including the successes and challenges faced so far and how practicing professionals can help.

Webinars are free for members, and all registrants will receive a recording of the live event.  Sign up today!

Webinar: How to Increase your Capacity to Make Positive Change
February 7th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET
Alan AtKisson
There is so much information available  now about how to make change-in business, in sustainability, and on a personal level. But even with all the books, tools and frameworks available, two out of three change efforts fail to achieve their desired result. How can your own effort avoid this fate?

Axel Klimek
Join ISSP Hall of Famer Alan AtKisson and veteran consultant Axel Klimek as they discuss how to make transformative change for sustainability, with special attention given to the problems faces by sustainability change-makers.

Webinars are free for members, and all registrants will receive a recording of the live event.  Sign up today!

Upcoming ISSP Chapter &
Regional Learning Network Events
ISSP 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.

1/8 12:00pm-1:00pm CT Texas Regional Learning Network - Join other sustainability professionals in the Texas for their 2nd virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources. Free for ISSP members.

1/8 8:30-10:30am ET NYC Chapter meeting - Corporate Citizenship - Come learn how the private sector is creating sustainable, equitable, and inclusive communities.

1/17 1:00-2:00pm GMT Europe Regional Learning Network Meeting - Join European ISSP members for the first virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources. Free for ISSP Members.

1/17 1:00-1:45pm PT - ISSP Member Info meeting  - Join Maureen Hart, ISSP Executive Director and other ISSP members at the monthly orientation session.

1/22 5:00-8:00pm PT Seattle Chapter meeting - Join ISSP members and other sustainability professionals at this networking event to connect and share ideas to advance your personal and professional goals. Attendance is free; pre-registration is requested.

1/25 5:30-7:00pm CT Minnesota Chapter meeting - Join other sustainability professionals at the inaugural Minnesota Chapter event focusing on networking and ISSP credentials. Free attendance is available online and in-person.

Coming soon - the following regional events are in the planning stages. Fill out our interest form to be notified when the dates are set, or keep an eye on our Calendar of Events.

  • Asia-Pacific Regional Learning Network meeting
  • Eastern Canada Regional Learning Network meeting
  • Chicago Chapter in-person meeting
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 Out and About
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 winter. Let us know where you're headed by dropping a note to .

Jan. 8-12 The Conscious Business World Summit  virtual event.  Board Vice President Rosalinda Sanquiche presenting.

January 30-31 Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco, CA. Board Past President Jeff Yorzyk attending.

March 14-16 GLOBE Forum Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business, Vancouver, Canada. ISSP Board Member Jacqueline Drumheller presenting.

April 4-7 National Academy of Inventors 2018 conference, Washington, D.C. Board Secretary and ISSP co-founder Marsha Willard participating in the panel, Inventing Green: Making Environmental Responsibility More Accessible to Current and Future Inventors
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.