Making Sustainability Standard Practice
Vol. 11       No. 11      November 2017 
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Better Together
By Rob Andrejewski, ISSP-SA, Director of Sustainability, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
The founders of ISSP recognized a truth that continues to inform the organization to this day: we are better together. In the beginning, collaboration was motivated by the need to learn from one another, to navigate the challenges of our new roles, and to share successes (and war stories). Together, these early adopters built the very community they wanted to join.
 
As the number of people working in sustainability increased, the ISSP community responded. Volunteers and part-time staff researched competencies, uploaded dozens of professional development resources, and taught courses offered nowhere else. Conferences in Portland, Chicago, and Denver energized members and allowed the development of deeper and more productive relationships. By leaning on one another, ISSP created a stable foundation from which sustainability professionals could grow.
 
These gatherings also revealed an emerging theme: We needed a way to standardize practice and recognize practitioners. Once again, our community came through. Over the next few years, hundreds of individuals and ISSP partner organizations contributed to the creation of ISSP credentials. Less than a year after launch, there are now more than 350 ISSP-SA and ISSP-CSP credential holders able to provide assurance to current and prospective employers that they have the competencies needed to advance sustainability.
 
It is in this spirit of collaboration and service to the sustainability community that ISSP is launching an incredible new partnership. ISSP and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) are joining forces to take sustainability certification and credentialing to the next level.
 
GBCI is a green business heavyweight, known for programs like LEED, SITES, and City Climate Planner. They've set the standard in green business and sustainability certification. Their expertise and global presence will amplify the reach of ISSP programs and credentials. This partnership will make sure more professionals than ever have the skills, abilities, and resources they need to transform business practices around the world.
 
Together, we are taking another big step toward making sustainability standard practice.

Join the ISSP Board of Directors!
Are you a committed sustainability professional interested in defining our practice and expanding the professional development and networking opportunities available to us? If so, we want you on the ISSP Board of Directors!   

Board members serve a two-year term, with our newest cohort to begin their terms in January 2017. Members of the Board are expected to actively participate in setting policy, developing programs, managing ISSP committees , fundraising, and implementing key projects for ISSP. For more information on what is involved and the application process, review the description of the Board Criteria and Selection Process in the ISSP Board Manual .

Self-nominations are welcome. If you would like to be considered for a position, please email a statement of interest including
  1. A brief description of your experience and which of the key elements of ISSP's mission you are most interested in working on
  2. A brief bio and link to your LinkedIn profile
  3. A letter of recommendation, preferably from an ISSP member
You must be an ISSP member to be considered and prior participation in ISSP committee activities is a plus. Emails and questions should be sent to execdir@sustainabilityprofessionals.org. Applications are being accepted through December 15th.


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Profile: Matt Beck, ISSP-CSP
This month, we profiled 
credential holder Matt Beck, Director of Sustainability at Imaginea Energy, an energy company in Calgary, Canada that defies industry stereotypes by focusing on sustainability and community.

Matt explains how a member of an older generation sparked his interest in the sustainability field:

"When I was a kid, I often would go visit my grandmother in Vermont. [She] would make sure we went to visit her friends who were bakers at the local farmers market, help another friend shear their sheep, visit maple sugar farms and apple orchards and have tea with local artisans. Together, we explored the give and take, ebb and flow, break down and build up processes of rural community life. When I reflect back upon those trips now, it is no real surprise that I was drawn to sustainability practice."

Read Matt's full profile, as well as profiles of other ISSP members, and be sure check out our directory of ISSP credential holders.

Progressing Past the CSR Plateau
By Coro Strandberg
Corporate social responsibility is stuck. When it emerged on the scene 20 years ago, businesses and other stakeholders had high expectations for what a focus on CSR could deliver. But the reality is that neither business nor society are on track to enable nine billion people to live well within the boundaries of the planet by 2050 - let alone 2030. There's a lot at stake: unless business steps up to contribute substantively to embracing the Sustainable Development Goals, their business models will be at risk.

Getting unstuck: a long-term approach
Against this backdrop of dwindling trust in business and corporate leaders, however, leading companies like Dow are resetting their sustainability course to contribute positively to society, tackle business risks and build value for shareholders. They adopt a long-term approach: 2025 for Dow. Dow plans to advance the well-being of humanity by helping lead the transition to a sustainable planet and society.

The trend to scaling, and accelerating sustainability by setting a long-term sustainability vision and ambitious, bold goals, is one of the  Qualities of a Transformational Company . This global framework provides 19 reference points - imperatives - for companies to pursue to both transform their business models  and  their operating conditions to steward their companies  and  society to a thriving future.

One of these qualities is  setting a long-term sustainability vision .

Recent research  conducted by the author reveals that leading companies don't just adopt a vision statement; they create a "vision story" which includes:
  • A summary of the long-term sustainability mega-forces that will affect their business, customers, suppliers and operating environment over the next 5 - 10 years;
  • A description of how their company will both adapt to and positively influence these sustainability forces; and
  • A long-term sustainability quest or north star that sets the course for how the company will create benefits for shareholders, its customers and the broader society.


From tinkering to bold action
These companies go beyond CSR as usual to create business as  un usual. As the diagram below reveals, they shift from an internal obsession to a value chain and external focus. They focus beyond internal projects, investing in measures to rethink and transform their entire industry. They collaborate with peers and competitors, suppliers and customers to influence standards and government policy to drive sustainability innovation in their sectors. They dump incremental change for bold action and accelerated systemic change at scale. Rather than merely tinker with their business models, they set a bold course to become truly sustainable in the future. To chart a sustainable course, businesses must pivot their sustainability models this way.



Learn more
To learn more about what's involved in updating your organization's vision story and put your company on a path to a sustainable future, check out the full report  here .

ISSP is hosting a webinar on this topic on November 9, 2017. Dow and will share its approach to setting a long-term sustainability vision. Learn more and register here.

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Webinar: Setting Sustainability Visions and Strategies to Address New Realities
November 9th at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET
Join Coro Strandberg, expert sustainability consultant, and
Coro Strandberg
Rose Perkins, Director of Sustainability for the Dow Chemical Company, in a discussion of setting long-term sustainability strategies to steward organizations and societies to a sustainable future. 

This webinar will profile recent research into the 
Rose Perkins
approaches leading companies are taking to develop "sustainability vision stories," that address the sustainability mega-forces that will affect companies and their operating environments; how the company can both adapt to and influence the sustainability forces in a positive way; and how to adopt a long-term sustainability quest that will improve outcomes for the organization, its stakeholders and broader society.

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.

11/1 5:30-7:00pm - ISSP Colorado Chapter - Colorado sustainability professionals gathered to network and discuss next steps for the CO Chapter.

11/2 5:00-7:00pm - ISSP Alberta Chapter - The inaugural Annual General Meeting, in Calgary, was attended by sustainability professionals from various sectors across Alberta. The guest speaker will be Dr. Gabriela da Costa Silva, EP, Team Lead, HSSE, Strategy & Planning for Progress Energy. Also on the agenda is the election of the ISSP Alberta Chapter Board of Directors.

11/6 noon-1pm CT - Wisconsin Regional Learning Network - Join other sustainability professionals in Wisconsin for a virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources, and plan future meetings. Free for ISSP members.

11/15  6:00-8:00pm UAE - ISSP UAE Chapter  - A timely meetup event to discuss the hot topic of CSR mandatory contributions, the new endowment legislation and the UAE national agenda!

11/16 8:00-8:45am PT (US) - ISSP Member Info meeting - Join Maureen Hart, ISSP Executive Director and other ISSP members at the monthly orientation session.

11/21 4:30-5:30pm NZ - Asia Pacific Regional Learning Network - Join other sustainability professionals in Asia Pacific for a virtual meeting to network, share ideas and resources. ISSP Member Brian Johnston will be sharing information on 'Incorporating SDGs into organizational sustainability programs and strategies - learnings from the sporting goods industry'. Free for ISSP members.

12/14 noon-1:00pm CT - Greater Chicago Regional Learning Network - Join other sustainability professionals in the Chicago region for their 2nd virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources. Free for ISSP members.
ISSP Out and About
ISSP board members and associates can be found sharing their knowledge, 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 fall.  Let us know where you're headed by dropping a note to  execdir@sustainabilityprofessionals.org.

Nov. 1-3 2017 SRI Conference , San Diego, CA. Board Vice President Rosalinda Sanquiche presented

Nov. 8-10 Greenbuild, Boston, MA. Meet Board Members Rob Andrejewski, Jeff Yorzyk, Lucinda Brown, and Tad Radzinski and ISSP Executive Director Maureen Hart, and join our panel discussion on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 11:45am ISSP professional credentials.

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Companies vs. Climate Change USA, Miami, FL. ISSP Board Member Jacqueline Drumheller is presenting on behalf of Alaska Airlines and Board Member Rosalinda Sanquiche will be hosting a roundtable discussion.  

Sustainability Events Around the World   
 
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.