ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame

At ISSP Conference 2013 in Chicago, four major figures in the sustainability profession joined the ISSP Sustainability Hall of FameTM, which was established in 2011 to formally recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of sustainability and to the professionals who serve it.


As part of the Hall of Fame nomination process, names were submitted by ISSP members and, after thorough review, the current class was selected by the ISSP Board of Directors. They are:


Alan AtKisson, President and CEO of AtKisson Group. Alan has helped hundreds of organizations and leaders worldwide develop sustainability strategies, design initiatives, manage complex programs, assess progress, and find better pathways to effective sustainability leadership. He led the creation of the ISIS Accelerator, a comprehensive sustainability toolkit used worldwide by businesses, governments, and educational organizations. He is also the author of several books, has worked in over forty countries, and has given hundreds of inspirational speeches and practical workshops on sustainability innovation and leadership.


John Elkington, Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans, a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements. John is also co-founder of SustainAbility, where he remains a non-executive member of the board and of Environmental Data Services. John is recognized as a world authority on corporate responsibility, sustainable development and innovation, and is renowned for introducing the phrase “triple bottom line” into the sustainability lexicon. John has written or co-authored 18 books; his latest, Tomorrow's Bottom Line: The B Team Playbook for Market Gamechangers, will be released in 2013.


Hazel Henderson, Founder of Ethical Markets Media, LLC and the creator and co-executive producer of its TV series. She is an interdisciplinary economist and political theorist and contributor to the creation of the ethical investment industry. Hazel is also a world renowned futurist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of numerous books. Recently, she has served on the boards of such publications as Futures Research Quarterly, The State of the Future Report, and E/The Environmental Magazine.


L. Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, which educates senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life. She has co-authored several seminal works in the field, including the ground-breaking book Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution and most recently co-wrote The Way Out: Kickstarting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass. She has taught sustainable business management at Bard College, Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle, Washington, and Denver University, and was a founding professor at Presidio Graduate School's MBA in Sustainable Management program.


The four new members were formally inducted into the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame during a ceremony on the first day of ISSP Conference 2013 in Chicago. They joined the five founding members of the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame who were installed during ISSP's inaugural conference in Portland, Oregon in September 2011. Those five founding members are:


Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of Interface, Inc. and one of sustainability's earliest pioneers. After experiencing a “spear in the chest” epiphany over 17 years ago, Ray altered the direction of his petro-intensive company forever. Inspired by his vision, Mission Zero is Interface's promise to eliminate any negative impact its companies may have on the environment by 2020.


Gil Friend, president and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc., a leading sustainability strategy firm. Friend has been a central figure in the sustainability movement for 40 years, and has helped drive the creation of the sustainability consulting arena over the past twenty years. He is the author of The Truth About Green Business, which was ranked as a top "must read" sustainability book in a recent Triple Pundit survey. 


Amory B. Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, who has been active at the nexus of energy, resources, security, environment, development, and economy in more than 50 countries for 40 years.


Karl Henrik Robert, a Swedish cancer researcher and founder of The Natural Step framework for sustainable development. In recent years, he has focused his scientific research through the Real Change Program, an international initiative linking university research specialization in real world application using The Natural Step framework.  


Bob Willard, a leading expert on quantifying and selling the business case for sustainability. He is a teacher, speaker and author whose books include The Sustainability Advantage, The Next Sustainability Wave and The Sustainability Champion's Guidebook.


The nomination process narrowed the field of candidates to a list of finalists based on criteria for service, research, innovation, advancement of the case for sustainability, participation in the adoption of sustainability in sectors or regions, and/or contribution to the definition of the profession. The ISSP Board then selected the inductees in a multi-voting process. At the conference, each new inductee was honored by their peers for their accomplishments in the areas of experience, education, innovation, reach, publication and service to the industry.


Leaders In Their Field

During the summer of 2011, the ISSP Board of Directors selected five industry leaders from a larger group of nominees recommended by ISSP members. Originally intending to honor a single individual each year, the ISSP Board of Directors soon discovered the difficulty in singling out just one of the stellar nominees under consideration for the new award. Because of that conundrum and because it seemed more fitting to honor contributions rather than create a competition, the ISSP board chose instead to create the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame and honor all five of the nominees as the inaugural members of this distinctive group of professional fellows.

All five nominees were inducted to the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the ISSP Conference 2011, held September 22-23 in Portland, Oregon. Gil Friend and Bob Willard were on-hand to accept their awards in person. Mary Anne Lanier, the daughter of Ray Anderson, also attended the event and spoke eloquently of her father, who passed away in August 2011. Karl Henrick Robert and Amory Lovins joined the ceremony through a live Webcast link. At the conference, each inductee was honored by their peers for their accomplishments in the areas of experience, education, innovation, reach, publication and service to the industry.  

The induction ceremony at the ISSP Conference 2011 in Portland was the culmination of a process that began earlier in the year, when all members of ISSP were invited to submit nominees, along with a short rationale for each nomination. The ISSP board of directors then narrowed the list to five industry leaders that most closely met criteria for service, research, innovation, advancement of the case for sustainability, participation in the adoption of sustainability in sectors or regions, and/or contribution to the definition of the profession. In future years, the ISSP Board of Directors may chose to induct any number of people at once into the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame, including just one in a given year.

“The individuals we have chosen as our founding members for the ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame are among the giants in the field of sustainability,” says Marsha Willard, executive director of ISSP. “Through their accomplishments, they have certainly set a high standard for those who will come after us.”

Below: Bob Willard accepts his Hall of Fame award from ISSP Exec Director Marsha Willard at ISSP Conference 2011 In Portland. 

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