Ashland, LLC. Donates Study Guides to Ohio State University Library

Ashland LLC, a global specialty chemicals company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has
been a long-time supporter of Professor Neil Drobny's (ISSP Professional Development Committee member) undergraduate sustainable business classes at Ohio State University. Most recently, Ashland donated an ISSP Sustainability Associate Study Guide to the University Library so it may be available to any student who plans to take the exam. Drobny, who offers extra credit to students who take and pass the exam, says he learned early in his career in engineering that "professional certification is an important way to differentiate oneself in today's competitive job market." Accordingly, his courses include heavy doses of professional development as well as academic assignments.

Nicole Voss, Director of Sustainability and Environmental at Ashland, remarked, "It is our honor to be in a position to provide this valuable tool."
Related Resources: ISSP-SA Study Guide; ISSP-CSP Study Guide

From the President's Desk: Reducing Duplicative Efforts & Leveraging Resources Collectively for Greater Impact

On April 4, you should have received an email from us, formally announcing that ISSP will be co-hosting a Global Congress for Climate Change & Sustainability Professionals with ACCO. The first-of-its-kind Congress will be held in Chicago this December 9-12, 2019. Since its inception, ISSP has hosted three conferences, all of which have attracted the field’s leading voices. The Board and I pursued this partnership for our fourth convening because we truly believe we are stronger together; there are so many organizations doing great work in sustainability, and now is the time to reduce duplicative efforts and leverage resources collectively for greater impact.

We intentionally named this a "Congress" to indicate a very different focus from traditional conferences, with facilitated discussions on standardizing competencies and organizational structures, advancing professional credentialing, and establishing a uniform voice across the practitioner community. A heavily discounted presale for members of both organizations is underway until April 30th; join ISSP today to take advantage of this presale rate well below the market value of any comparable event! Please visit our event microsite regularly for the most up-to-date details (agenda, shoulder events and evening activities, etc.) as we finalize our plans. Should your organization be interested in supporting the Congress (financial or otherwise), click or share this link here. This will be the chance for your voice / brand to be heard / seen!

As you consider attending, we also hope you will look into participating in the countless Earth Day events that will be happening worldwide. While we are all working year round to “broaden, educate and activate the environmental movement,” those stateside can attend a volunteer clean up in more than a dozen cities on April 22 or submit their own cleanup here (we are looking at you, ISSP chapters and RLNs! :) ). Our International followers should be on the lookout for resolutions and reports from the Ninth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature that will also be taking place on the 22nd, and shared on the United Nations website.

I leave you this month with the wise words of one of the greatest environmental stewards of our time:

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” -- Wendell Berry

From the President's Desk: Bringing the Community Together

I was reminded why it is so important to bring our community of practice together at the recent GreenBiz19 conference, when Joel Makower asked, “what if we get it right?” He pointed out that the while we have plenty of negative examples to support the criticality of sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we also have every reason to be hopeful. The sustainability conversation continues to mature and is now incredibly far from where it stood just 10 years ago! While there is still significant ground left to travel, we are in the middle of a truly adult conversation about jobs, energy, the environment, economic equity, and social justice on a global scale. It is not only a very real conversation, it marks a time for the sustainability community to make its contribution to history. Conferences and local networking events bring us together as professionals to share our challenges, celebrate our victories, and “be with our people” in a way that is unique and necessary for us to maintain our energy in the face of regular - often daily - resistance to the deeply needed work we bring to our organizations and the world.

Since the inauguration of ISSP’s Sustainability Hall of Fame in 2011, our professional community has periodically convened to recognize individuals who are making significant contributions. Past inductees have included noted luminaries such as, Ray Anderson, Alan AtKisson, Susan Burns, John Elkington, Gil Friend, Hazel Henderson, Jeffrey Hollender, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Joel Makower, Karl Henrik Robert, Mathis Wackernagel, and Bob Willard. We are opening up the 2019 campaign and we hope you will take a few moments to nominate deserving colleagues, mentors, and experts we can lift up as role models for the occupation. Please also join us in expressing your utmost gratitude online for those who are giving their time, knowledge and creativity to our emerging field. You may use the hashtags #ISSP and #SustyHallOfFame to do so.

Click here to view the nomination form and note that submissions will be accepted through April 15th. New members of the ISSP Hall of Fame will be announced at an exciting fall event that is soon to be announced!

From the President's Desk: Make ISSP Part of Your Career Strategy

Last weekend I was honored to be a judge at a business case competition focused on solving real world social and environmental business challenges, sponsored by the University of Colorado’s Net Impact chapter. It was an excellent case focused on Danone North America and how to leverage their B-Corporation status to drive positive change related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Having led the team that hosted the first of these competitions way back in 2001, it got me thinking about my professional journey and the key decisions I made to get where I am today.

The first of these decisions was to focus my career on sustainability and to close the door on any other possibility; no matter what role I took on for a company, sustainability would be part of it. This led to signing up for regular newsletters and other resources that would help me stay abreast of developments in the field; to this day, I still receive - and scan - upwards of a dozen newsletters. The second decision was to commit to engaging with organizations that would help me see beyond a specific job or company to understand the broader field of practice - a resolution that had humble beginnings as a program volunteer with a local sustainability NGO, and led me to my current involvement in the ISSP Board.

Today’s graduates and new entrants to the field of sustainability have a stunningly greater amount of information available to them than I once did, but I also recognize that this can create confusion on how to focus their careers. This is the core of what keeps me passionate about ISSP: our mission is based in the idea that sustainability professionals are unique and necessary, do not always have the word “sustainability” in their title, and that we need a gathering place where we can advance our professional aspirations and connect with like-minded peers.

As you look to leverage your ISSP membership this year or to even join, my colleagues and I hope you will think of the organization not just as a “means to an end,” but as a partner in your career strategy. From monthly and on-demand courses that teach the field’s core concepts and regular webinars on cutting-edge topics, to in-person and virtual networking opportunities and a two-tier certification program, we meet you wherever you are in your trajectory. What’s more, this year we are bringing back our annual conference. Details coming soon, I promise!

All this is to say that my recent experience reminded me that we are forever students, and while empowering the next generation of sustainability professionals is essential to evoking real change, it is equally important to ensure that those of us who are farther into their careers maintain our ability to keep on learning. So start exploring our offerings today and please do not hesitate to share them with a friend or colleague who might be interested as well!