From the President's Desk
Help Them Do It Themselves
By Rob Andrejewski, ISSP-SA, Director of Sustainability, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
During a recent conversation with a senior leader, a highly-regarded Chief Sustainability Officer was informed that she didn't really "do sustainability." This leader's rationale was that the CSO's work was, for the most part, performed by someone else. She didn't tighten the bolts on low-flow plumbing fixtures or order the local ingredients served in the dining facilities. Engineers took care of the retrofits, renewables, and recharging stations. In fact, most sustainability efforts could be traced to other parts of the organization.
This interaction left my colleague wondering if leadership "gets us." She felt underappreciated and misunderstood. While sympathetic to her reaction, I came to a different conclusion than she did. I believe that she had integrated sustainability so successfully that leadership saw it happening on its own. I was reminded of a quote often attributed to Lao Tzu: "A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves."
It can take years to become a conduit rather than a bottleneck for facilitating real change. Early on, many of us don our sustainability capes and adopt the hero's burden. We rarely say no to an opportunity, adding extra helpings of work to already full plates. Others may see us working hard "doing sustainability," but this strategy is neither smart nor long-lived. We either burn out or figure out another way.
Having a community of sustainability professionals to lean on and learn from is essential in the transition toward becoming effective leaders. Courses like
Leadership Skills for Change Agents
helped me realize the value of understanding organizational culture, tracking and reporting on progress (and not forgetting to celebrate the wins), and writing policies that hold the organization accountable to its values.
Going around and swapping out bulbs has merit; gaining top-level buy-in on a delamping initiative has real impact. Make enough strategic, systems-level changes and senior leadership will start taking credit for the financial savings and environmental benefits. I can't imagine a higher compliment.
Regional Learning Meetings are taking off!
Back to top
September saw the first round of ISSP
Regional Learning Network
(RLN) meetings, virtual gatherings of sustainability professionals for 'lunch'. ISSP members in different areas, including Asia-Pacific, Colorado, and Canada's Eastern Provinces, met online to network, share ideas and resources and plan future meetings. Two RLN meetings are already planned for October in the
Greater Chicago area
and planning has begun for meetings in Wisconsin, Seattle, California, and Europe. Many of these networks cover large geographic areas, so where there is sufficient interest, future meetings will be planned for individual nations/states and topics of interest.
RLN meetings are FREE for ISSP members and are a great low-carbon way to meet other sustainability professionals in your area! These meetings are part of ISSP's
. If you want to be part of a Regional Learning Network in your area, let us know by filling out the
Regional Learning Network Interest Form
. You can also use the form to let us know if you are interested being an Ambassador for your region or helping organize RLN meetings.
The Role of Sustainability Professionals
In the Wake of Natural Disasters
Rosalinda Sanquiche, ISSP-SA;
Owner, Well Written Consulting; VP, ISSP Board of Directors
Sustainability professionals have skills in areas not normally thought of as "sustainability" - consultants, city managers, airline executives, scientists, and merchants. In the wake of a natural disaster, recovery will require a systems approach, inherent to the training sustainability professionals receive, the expertise they demonstrate, and the processes they implement daily.
Join ISSP at Greenbuild 2017
Back to top
We're excited to announce that ISSP will be holding a session at this year's
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
in Boston, MA! Come join us as we spread the word on our activities and credentials to the broad community of sustainability professionals assembled by
The session will feature a panel of ISSP credential holders telling personal stories about the value their credential has brought to their sustainability work. We will also invite any attending credential holders to provide their insight 'from the audience.' All ISSP members attending Greenbuild 2017 are also invited to a get-together at the expo - stay tuned for details.
Learn more about the ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification program here.
Profile: Aurora Dawn Reinke, ISSP-SA
Back to top
The latest subject of our series of ISSP credential holder profiles is Aurora Dawn Reinke, Founder & CEO of sustainability consulting firm Astrapto LLC.
When asked what topic drew her into the sustainability field, Aurora didn't hesitate:
"Chocolate! I had been getting more and more interested in sustainability, especially the social aspect, and when I began to learn the realities of the supply chain of chocolate, it was pivotal. I made a choice at that point to no longer buy conventional chocolate candy. That was the tipping point of applying my values to more and more areas of my life."
Read Aurora's full profile on our
ISSP Member Profiles
page, and be sure check out our directory of all ISSP
ISSP Alberta Chapter
Nominations for its Board of Directors
Back to top
The ISSP Alberta Chapter of ISSP is seeking nominations for its inaugural Board of Directors. The Board will lead the vision for ISSP Alberta, make policy decisions, and ensure that the budget, policies and program efforts are consistent with the organization's mission and goals. Board members actively advocate for ISSP and work closely together to make the ISSP Alberta Chapter a successful organization in helping to advance sustainability as standard practice at the local level. The time commitment of Board members will be about ten hours per month. Evaluation criteria for nomination:
A member in good standing of ISSP and committed to ISSP's mission and purpose.
Actively involved in some aspect of sustainability.
Breadth of understanding of sustainability, with expertise in social and/or environmental aspects.
Board skills (technical, financial, management).
Representative of ISSP Alberta Chapter membership and sustainability interests in Alberta (region and sector).
Any current ISSP member (new or long-time) in Alberta may nominate themselves or another member by October 21, 2017. Nominations will then be made available to all ISSP members in Alberta for consideration through the
ISSP Alberta Chapter website
. On-line voting will take place before or at the
Annual General Meeting on November 2, 2017
. Nominations should include a resume and professional profile (max. 200 words), outlining motivation for serving on the Board. See
Annual Meeting page
for submittal instructions and to register for the meeting.
Course: Leadership Skills for Change Agents
Knowing how to make change is a one of the most valuable skills a sustainability practitioner can have. Foster your ability to make change with ISSP's November course,
Leadership Skills for Change Agents
, taught by expert instructor and corporate sustainability strategist Bob Willard.
In this course, participants will learn how to connect the dots between timeless leadership practices and how to transform an organization towards a sustainability culture. The course will prepare sustainability professionals at any level in the organizational hierarchy, including consultants and advisers, to lead an organizational change towards becoming a sustainable enterprise.
Webinar: Soil Health and Sustainable Textiles
October 24th at 12:00pm PT
Early this year, Wrangler launched a farmer engagement platform focused on soil health practices for cotton growers, the number one material input for their denim product. With nine partner organizations, Wrangler's healthy soils platform seeks to advocate for farming techniques that utilize new technology adoption, the use of cover crops, complex rotation, and no tillage practices. The net result is increased resiliency to drought, reduced pest pressure and increased carbon sequestration in soils.
Join Roian Atwood, Wrangler's Director of Sustainability, and Sarah Elaine Lewis, Managing Director of Implementation at The Sustainability Consortium, in this live-online conversation as we discuss the development, implementation, and key lessons of Wrangler's new partnership.
New Self-Study Course:
Sustainability ROI Workbook
Crafted by expert corporate sustainability strategist, Bob Willard, the Sustainability ROI Workbook is a new, free, open-source, downloadable set of Excel spreadsheets. They frame a comprehensive and compelling cost-benefit analysis for any sustainability-related proposal.
This self-guided workshop, based on a live-online event from September 2017, orients users to the need for a better business case tool and prepares them to use the 2nd Edition of the Workbook to build a business case for sustainability initiatives that a CFO will love, and more.
Learn more and register today
Upcoming ISSP Chapter &
Regional Learning Network Events
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.
10/2 6:00-8:00pm ISSP UAE Chapter
- Come network with other Sustainability professionals in Dubai and learn how sustainability frameworks, measurement, analysis, and knowledge management can drive performance and create long standing competitive advantage.
10/24 noon-1pm Greater Chicago Regional Learning Network
- Join other sustainability professionals in the Greater Chicago for a virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources, and plan future meetings. Free for ISSP members.
10/24 6:00-8:00pm ISSP UAE Chapter
- Join sustainability and CSR professionals in Dubai for the region's first meeting focused on sustainable CSR.
10/31 noon-1pm Texas Regional Learning Network
- Join other Texas sustainability professionals in Texas for a virtual lunch to network, share ideas and resources, and plan future meetings. Free for ISSP members.
11/1 5:30-7:00pm - ISSP Colorado Chapter
- Come network with other Colorado sustainability professionals and discuss next steps for the CO chapter. Snacks, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Registration is free for Chapter members.
11/2 5:00-7:00pm - ISSP Alberta Chapter
- The inaugural Annual General Meeting, in Calgary, will be attended by sustainability professionals from various sectors across Alberta and will provide an opportunity for networking and to learn more about ISSP. 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.
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
Oct. 15-18 AASHE Conference & Exp
, San Antonio, TX. Meet ISSP Board President Rob Andrejewski and Executive Director Maureen Hart
Nov. 1-3 2017 SRI Conference
, San Diego, CA. Board Vice President Rosalinda Sanquiche presenting
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 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
- AASHE Conference & Expo, October 15 - 18, San Antonio, TX
- Kingdom Renewable Energy Summit 2017, October 18 - 19, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Urban Transit and Sustainable Networks, October 25 - 26, Catania, Italy
- Sustainable Brands'17 Copenhagen, October 30 - November 1, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Sustainable Brands New Metrics'17, November 13 - 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Responsible Business Summit West, November 14 - 15, San Francisco, California
- Companies Vs Climate Change: USA, November 29 - December 1, Miami, Florida
- Sustainable Brands'17 Bangkok, November 29 - 30, Bankkok, Thailand