International Society of Sustainability Professionals
In This Issue

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Thank You To Our Newsletter Sponsor:
Chatham University
Great organizations like Chatham University and its School of Sustainability and the Environment make this newsletter possible. 

For information about sponsorships, contact ISSP marketing manager Ray Berardinelli

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VOLUME 7                           NUMBER 9                SEPTEMBER 2013
ISSP Begins the Search
for a New Executive Director


It is with excitement that I open the search for a new Executive Director for ISSP. The organization is entering a new chapter in its development as am I. Together with a committee of ISSP board members, I open the application process in the hopes of finding a new Executive Director to take the organization into its next phase of evolution.  

Marsha Willard 2013
Marsha Willard


I'm excited for where the organization is going and its potential for growth and impact. It's been a privilege to have been here from the beginning and to have worked with so many stellar professionals to get this organization launched. The next couple of years should prove dramatic for the organization. We are expanding membership through the creation of local chapters. We also plan to increase our on the ground presence with face-to-face training workshops. And we continue our effort toward professional certification. It's a great time to be a professional in this field and ISSP hopes to be the primary source of development for all those working in it.  


If you would like to be considered for the position, follow the link below to the search page on the ISSP site where you will find the position description and the link to our on-line application. We will accept applications until October 4, 2013. 


Click here to go to the application page   


Marsha Willard

Executive Director 


The Value of Communicating Sustainability: At the Intersection of Reality and Perception


By James Cerruti

Senior Partner, Brandlogic

There's little doubt that sustainability is at top-of-mind in the world of business. As awareness increases, stakeholders of all kinds are factoring corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance into their decisions, prompting more and more companies to release annual sustainability reports. 


At the same time, corporations are seeing the value of sustainability reporting for its direct operational


Join James Cerutti In Live Webinar Thurs Sept 19

Branding Redefined: How Sustainability Is Changing the Way We Do Business See Details Below  


impact. Measuring and reporting on ESG performance and commitments is therefore more than a promotional exercise: an organized and structured effort in accordance with GRI guidelines generates the very information needed to improve efficiency, reduce risk and establish credibility.


Brandlogic contends that sustainability should be considered from two directions: real performance as measured by accepted standards such as the GRI, and perceived performance determined through rigorous stakeholder opinion surveys. By doing so, it is possible to determine which companies truly "walk the walk and talk the talk," which have acquired an unwarranted reputation for sustainability, which are under appreciated and which are lagging behind on both fronts. This information is important for various stakeholder groups for obvious reasons, but it is also valuable to the companies themselves because it can uncover risks to the brand and help guide investment decisions related to sustainable practices, reporting and brand communications.


When Brandlogic conceived the idea, an in-depth comparison of real vs. perceived sustainability performance had never been done. Sustainability reporting was still not widely practiced and the prevailing focus was on the reality side of the equation. Accordingly, Brandlogic teamed with CRD Analytics on a pair of studies conducted in 2011 and 2012. Their purpose: To examine and compare 100 leading companies across nine industries, using established benchmarks for real ESG performance and their own survey of highly attentive stakeholder audiences around the world for perceived performance.  To read the full article and to see the survey results, click here.


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The Green Economy: Boosted, Busted, or Blasting Off? 

By Alan AtKisson, Member of ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame and author of Believing Cassandra and The Sustainability Transformation


Boosted, busted, or blasting off? One year after it was meant to be the centerpiece of global sustainable 
Alan AtKisson
development, at the "Rio+20" global conference, what is the status of the global transition to Green Economy? What is the "state of play," strategically? And on the big, substantive questions - e.g. redirecting capital investment into green technologies, systematic decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption, putting nature onto the balance sheet - what's happening, and who is doing what?

In early 2013, WWF Sweden asked us to do a global scan of these questions. We delivered this briefing to them in April 2013. Now (I am writing in August 2013), WWF Sweden has given us permission to share our findings with the rest of the world. (We express our thanks to Magnus Emfel, who coordinates climate innovation and sustainable economics for WWF Sweden, and we note again that the views expressed in this report are ours, and do not represent those of WWF Sweden or WWF International.)


In short, the Green Economy concept - which was intensely criticized at the Rio+20 conference, by critics from the political left, right, and even center - still appears more boosted than busted by the attention it received in Rio de Janeiro. As you will read in this strategic briefing, there is a tremendous amount of activity around the world that is linked to this concept, often at the very highest levels of government and corporate leadership. And in at least once case (China), the phrase "blasting off" is appropriate, because of the enormous levels of investment involved.
To read the full article, click here.




The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture

Pipher, Mary (2013). New York NY: Riverhead Books


Reviewed by ISSP Member Faye Sinnott


Who among us is not daunted by the size and scope of the environmental challenges we face? The obstacles of entrenched interests, significant money, and everyday inertia can sap the energies of the most optimistic among us and makes the task appear Sisyphean. Who has not struggled to turn anger and anguish into something positive...and effective?


Mary Pipher, whom many may know as the author of Reviving Ophelia, is a therapist living in Nebraska. While the final outcome is still unclear, she recounts the story of gathering her neighbors and friends to fight TransCanada's Keystone XL ("extra-leaky"?) pipeline, and their successes in growing a state-wide Coalition of everyday folk fighting to protect their water, homes and ways of life. 


Pipher charts the group's change from pessimism to feeling empowered, connected and courageous, AND resilient. The process has engendered emotional health, engagement, and action plans. This is a candid look at how one person has learned to value the moment and find joy in seeing small evidences of progress and growing connections among neighbors and colleagues.


To read the full book review, click here.

Next ISSP Conference To Be Held In Denver in November 2014: Help Us Plan It! 

We are inviting ISSP members to join an advisory committee to help us plan the the next ISSP conference, to be held November 12-14, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

This committee will meet up to four times over the course of the year.  Its job will be to provide ideas and contacts for the conference program.  If you'd like to have a say in what the next conference looks like, please consider joining the committee. We want to continue to make our conferences just what our members want.

Finding Other ISSP Members  

We get asked a lot about how to find other ISSP members.  It's easy to do! Just follow these simple instructions:
  1. Log into your member account on the ISSP website
  2. Click on the "Resources" menu on the left
  3. Then selection the "Member Search"  This returns the entire list of members, but you will find at the top of the page a set of criteria that you can search on - name, organization, sector, location in the world down to the city level
  4. Make your selections and hit "apply"
  5. This will return a list of all membership data base entries. Click on anyone and you will go to their profile page where you can send an individual email.
This easy process allows you to connect with any ISSP member around the world while allowing us to protect each member's email, phone and street address.

Lend Your Opinion and Experience

How Well Do We Live Our Values?

Research Study On Zero-Hour Contracts and Sustainability
Seeks Your Input

Unpaid internships and zero-hour contracts are on the rise. Although they can provide benefits to both the hosting organization and those looking to establish careers, zero-hour arrangements are considered by many to be exploitative.  

Recent research from Interns Anonymous found a staggering 26% of interns have done three or more internships and 39% of those had lasted for more than three months.  Being in the sustainbility consulting sector, we wonder if is this compatible with the nature of our profession. There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that the use of unpaid internships and zero-hours contracts is increasing within the sustainability/CSR sector. 

Given that most sustainability/CSR policies and strategies seek to raise employment standards and empower employees, should people working in sustainability be offered unpaid work or zero-hour deals? Is this compatible with best practice and the advice given to clients?

Terrafiniti, a UK based consultancy, has developed a questionnaire to gather data on the prevalence of this phenomenon world-wide from professionals and graduates in the sustainability space. The final report will be provided and all responses will be anonymous.

If you'd like to share your opinion or experience, click here to complete the survey.

Sponsor this Newsletter and Be Seen By Thousands of Sustainability Pros 

Sponsoring an issue of the ISSP Insight e-newsletter is a great way to be seen by thousands of sustainability professionals worldwide. It's also a terrific way to show your support of ISSP, just as Chatham University has done by sponsoring this issue.


mega_man_png Thank you to Chatham University and everyone involved with their Executive Master In Sustainable Leadership program!  For more information about the benefits of ISSP Insight e-newsletter sponsorship, visit http://bit.ly/10EF596.


Experience professional development with live webinars and online discussion forums   

SEP - OCT 2013
Sustainable Event Training
Gain an in-depth understanding of sustainable development principles and
how to put them into practical action in
event planning and delivery

Special Discounts:
5-week Course price: $550 USD $
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

Start SEP 5th.

Apply this elective course credit towards the ISSP Certificate  


Cameron Little vertical Online course with Cameron Little
Whether you advise, train or audit events from 10 to 10,000+ people, join this Cameron to understand sustainability issues in event planning and delivery. GreenShoot Pacific and ISSP offer this course to assist you in navigating through this complex new area of event management.



For more info click here

SEP 2013 Certificate Course:
Create a coherent, coordinated and comprehensive plan to assure effective implementation

Special Discounts:
4-week Course price: $450 USD $
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

>Start SEP 4th - Webinars are recorded
>Apply this core workshop credit towards the ISSP Certificate

OnMarsha Willard 2013line Course with Marsha Willard
In this 4-week interactive, webinar-based online course, move from ad hoc, one-off sustainability improvement projects to sustainability being integrated into the core culture of the organization.

You're not too late! Start this week: here 

OCT 2013 Certificate Course:
Sustaining Sustainability Organizational Assessments
& Systems 
Ad hoc to integrated > Build accountability  
> Keep it going!  

Special Discounts:
4-week Course price: $450 USD $
Early Bird Save $50 through October 1
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

>Start October 9 - Webinars are recorded
>Apply this core workshop credit towards the ISSP Certificate

Online Course with Dorothy AtwoodDorothy Atwood ISSP Conference 2013
In this 4-week interactive, webinar-based online course move from one-off sustainability projects to sustainability being integrated into the core culture of the organization through metrics, reporting, defined roles and responsibility.
For each improvement project or step toward sustainability, ask what do I need to do to keep this going and supported?

For more info click here 


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NOV 2013 Certificate Course:
Leadership Skills for
Change Agents
The new sustainability imperative
Special Discounts:
4-week Course price: $450 USD $
Early Bird Save $50 through October 28
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

>Start November 4 - Webinars are recorded

>Apply this core workshop credit towards the ISSP Certificate

Online Course with Bob Willard Bob Willard
In this 4-week interactive, webinar-based online course explore the risk and opportunity drivers of the new sustainability imperative. Acknowledge the urgency and why companies care more about sustainability now than they did five years ago. Apply the culture of sustainability and lead organizations effectively, quickly, and without executive position power. 

For more info click here 


                 ISSP's NEXT WEBINAR
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
Branding Redefined:
How Sustainability is Changing 
the Way We Do Business
With James Cerruti, Senior Partner of Strategy
and Research - Brandlogic

Thursday September 19 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  
11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  
Check for your time zone here

Explore the intersection between branding and sustainability and how companies are being perceived in this realm. Any company's ultimate brand power and success is correlated to how it can communicate its sustainability efforts. James will report on the characteristics that define the leaders, challengers, promoters and laggards in this area.

Free: ISSP Members
Or join us for $10 USD$
For more info click here 

Small Business: Big Impacts
How small and mid-sized companies can benefit financially from taking action as stewards
of the world's resources
with Graham Russell and Martha Young

The webinar will describe a groundbreaking research project that is examining the successes of SMEs that have embraced sustainability, the barriers many SMEs have encountered in implementing sustainability-based initiatives and how they were overcome.

Tuesday October 22 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  
11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  
Check for your time zone here

Martha Young Graham Russell.png Most large corporations have recognized that they can drive innovation, competitive advantage and improved financial performance by adopting sustainable business practices.  Small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) typically have not yet embraced sustainability as a key element of their business strategy. This represents a major lost opportunity, both for the SME business community and for the entire economy.  


Free: ISSP Members

Or join us for $10 USD$ 

For more info click here 

State of the World 2013:
Is Sustainability Still Possible?


This webinar will aim to restore the word sustainability to its original environmental meaning with Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and Robert Engelman, President of the Worldwatch Institute. 


The word "sustainable" has come to be all but meaningless, generally used to connote a practice or product that is slightly less environmentally damaging than the conventional alternatives. This webinar, based on the 2013 edition of Worldwatch Institute's flagship annual, State of the World (subtitled Is Sustainability Still Possible?), will aim to restore the word to its original environmental meaning.  


The key question is: can sustainability be shown to have a scientific foundation? And if so, what do theory and current data say about the sustainability of our global civilization?  


Wednesday November 13 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  
11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  
Check for your time zone here

Free: ISSP Members

Or join us for $10 USD$ 

For more info click  here 


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Sustainability Events
Happening Around the World

  • Greening the Heartland/Building Chicago Conference, September 9-11, Chicago, IL
  • Environmental Evaluators Network 2013 Pacific Forum, September 22-24, Corbett, Oregon
  • The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference, September 24-25 Philadelphia, PA
  • 3S Awards in Sustainable & Socially Responsible Sourcing, October, Location TBD
  • SXSW Eco, October 7-9, Austin, Texas
  • Corporate Sustainability Forum, October 10-11, Redondo Beach, CA
  • Green Industry Conference, October 23-25, Louisville, KY
  • Local Renewables Freiberg 2013, October 24-25, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
  • 2013 Net Impact Conference, October 24-26, Silicon Valley, California
  • Sustainable Brands London Conference, November 18-19, London, UK
  • Corporate Sustainability and Eco-Innovations,   November 18-19, Warsaw, Poland
  • Carbon Professional Path, various dates, Canada
  • Sustainability Workshop and Networking Series, various dates, Perrysburg, Ohio
  • International Society of Sustainability Professionals | mwillard@sustainabilityprofessionals.org | http://www.sustainabilityprofessionals.org
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