Welcome to our occasional series of articles profiling ISSP members who have achieved ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional designation.  Learn more about ISSP membership and the ISSP Sustainability Professional Certification and view our prior newsletters in which these profiles initially ran.

We'll be adding a new profile every month or so.  Scroll down to read our current profiles or use the following links to jump to each one:

Tanis Marquette, ISSP-CSP - North Wales, PA, USA

Profiled December 2017
Title: Global Sustainability Leader
Organization: Hexion, Inc.
Educational Background: Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

How did you first get involved in the sustainability field?

I have been in sustainability-related roles since 1992.  My positions were initially traditional environmental health and safety roles and grew into more sustainability-driven business strategy as my career has matured.

In 1997, I began my journey with Borden Chemical (which later became Hexion) in a two-week assignment assisting with EHS audit preparations. With a decade of EHS-related product and regulatory knowledge amassed, I was offered my 7th role promotion within the company.  The new position was designed to drive competitive advantage through technical (product) compliance. After 6 months of reading and learning everything I could about product and trade regulations and industry messaging, I realized our opportunities lay in sustainability. Ever since that revelation, I have had the absolute pleasure to craft my own path and do what I love every day.

How do the principles of sustainability apply in your day-to-day life?

At home, I am known as the “water police”. Any time anyone is brushing their teeth, shaving, or even washing the dishes and the water runs more than mere seconds, I am in the room shutting off the water.  Which is rather ironic, since I am the only person in the house that doesn’t like to drink water. But given how critical water is, I am happy to wear that badge!

Why did you decide to get credentialed, and what value has the credential brought to you?

Holding a relevant professional credential keeps you engaged in your field and provides additional credibility. Unlike a certificate or degree, a credential requires continuing education and active engagement with peers in your field - which ensures you remain at the top of your field and regularly enhancing your skills.

Of all my professional designations, attaining the ISSP-CSP has been the most rewarding. The ISSP-CSP assessed skills developed throughout my career in combination with my passion around sustainability. I love to read and learn. In fact, I have an extensive library of sustainability reference books. Studying for the exam introduced me to information that was new to me - it was invigorating!  That is the most wonderful thing about sustainability, there is always more to learn!  (Okay, maybe now is the time to admit I spent my maternity leave taking IQ tests…. I love tests too!)

What recommendations do you have for other sustainability professionals about the ISSP credentials?

The ISSP credentials are full-spectrum sustainability credentials. The examinations challenge applicants to apply their knowledge and experiences to real-world scenarios.

Beyond credentialing, ISSP offers a unique opportunity to participate and collaborate with peers in a truly global network. Don’t ever limit yourself and your opportunities by not participating. In the courses offered by ISSP, every professional brings a unique and valued perspective to discussions and contributing is always encouraged. ISSP offers the ability for you to learn and teach simultaneously.

How would you describe the value that the credentials bring to the sustainability field as a whole?

With the breadth of scope that encompasses sustainability as an occupational field, it is also important to demonstrate depth within the discipline.  The ISSP-SA and ISSP-CSP provide the opportunity to demonstrate both breadth and depth in this ‘new’ field.

While not new at all, sustainability as a focused degree program is still developing in undergraduate and graduate offerings.  There are a MBA programs that have incorporated sustainability aspects and even a handful of sustainability MBAs, but not all professionals are able to capitalize on those opportunities.  This means that for leaders already working in the sustainability field or aspiring to obtain new sustainability roles, certificates and degrees may not be aligned.  The ISSP credentials provide that alignment and demonstrated competency.

Matt Beck, ISSP-CSP - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Profiled November 2017
Title: Director of Sustainability
Organization: Imaginea Energy
Educational Background: Masters of Environmental Design, B.Sc. Global Resource Systems

How did you first get involved in the sustainability field?

After a brief tryst with electrical engineering in university, I found myself needing to reconnect with my love of the outdoors for a while. It was over the next year spent in the mountains teaching snowsports that I became enamored with the systems perspective of sustainability and finished my undergraduate education pursuing a better understanding of the subject. Since then I have been working in a number of different sectors on projects relating to sustainability.

Was there a formative event that sparked your interest in sustainability?

When I was a kid, I often would go visit my grandmother in Vermont. My parents were very much the big box shopping, suburban lifestyle types so I wasn’t very connected to the food system. On those trips to Vermont though, my grandma 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. She made sure to nurture an appreciation for the beauty of connection to the web of life. She also ensured I had an understanding that in order for that community to function, a good economic system had to be in place. 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.

Why did you decide to get credentialed, and what value has the credential brought to you?

I have found that holding a credential in my professional field allows me to get past a bit of the chest-puffing required to demonstrate experience and competency when starting a new working relationship that depends on sustainability knowledge. It lets us get quickly into the project at hand.

The community of ISSP credential holders and professionals stretches across the globe and the knowledge sharing, connections, and professional development opportunities that arise from being part of that network has helped me stay on top of quickly evolving field. Also, there is a bit of a motivating factor to pursue continuing education opportunities when there are requirements for credential maintenance.  It helps me keep my inner slacker in line.

What recommendations do you have for other sustainability professionals about the ISSP credentials?

I have found that the credentials have opened doors to a network of folks who are the best at what they do. On top of that, having a standard by which sustainability practice can be evaluated, gives us all a platform to evolve the profession and share best practices faster.

The team of staff and volunteers at ISSP that have developed the credentials are a very sharp and committed bunch. The materials that have been produced for the study guides, testing and coursework are great resources as you work to get your credentials.  And membership in ISSP opens doors to even more great sustainability resources.  I count on the materials from the ISSP website all the time on various projects.

How would you describe the value that the credentials bring to the sustainability field as a whole?

Having a common standard by which sustainability practice is held to enables the whole field to gain even more legitimacy. There are still may organizations that are early on their sustainability journeys and having a credential system in place will help them find the people with the expertise they need to help them accelerate their progress.

Aurora Dawn Reinke, ISSP-SA - Linthicum Heights, MD, USA

Profiled October 2017
Title: Founder & CEO
Organization: Astrapto LLC

Educational Background: Aurora has a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Computer Information Systems, Masters in International Business Studies, and a Doctor of Business Administration in Social Impact Management. In addition to being an ISSP-SA, she is a LEED Green Associate, Certified Sustainable Tourism Professional from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and Green AP with the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

How did you first get involved in the sustainability field?

After years of having my interest piqued, about 5 years ago I took a series of steps to make sustainability more than just an interest. I began to incorporate sustainability into the college courses I was teaching and partnered with a team to start a social enterprise incubator. About that time I also started my doctoral program with a focus on sustainability.

Was there a specific topic that piqued your interest in sustainability?

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. And I paid the price because fair and direct trade chocolate is much more expensive. Not to mention, it’s hard to pass up all that cheap candy at the holidays!  A similar experience went into my choice to focus on hospitality for my consultancy. I love to travel and I noticed how often hotels have the “please save the planet and hang your towel” signage in the room, yet when I hang my towel I still end up with a freshly laundered one. I realized there’s still much to be done in this field, especially when it relates to training and organizational culture.

How has your ISSP credential brought value to your sustainability career?

It has helped me with people outside the sustainability field; they want to know I am credible but they are only familiar with their own industry credentials.

It has also helped me network. Shortly after joining ISSP, I was laid off and when deciding whether to open my own consulting business, I reached out to several ISSP members with years of experience and they gave me such great wisdom and encouragement.

Why would you recommend the ISSP credentials to other sustainability professionals?

When I got my ISSP-SA I was just deciding to be a sustainability consultant. Getting the credential helped me shore up in knowledge areas where I was weak, and it gave me a real boost in confidence to feel legitimate in this field.

I would also like to encourage those with many years of experience in the field to get the credential. Given their personal networks and backgrounds, they may not need the credential for a promotion or to win a client; however, they should get it to raise the value and awareness of the field and the credential. This is a way to “pay it forward.”

How would you describe the value that the credentials bring to the sustainability field as a whole?

The knowledge and skills framework will help academics and professional trainers create relevant educational materials for the field. That also makes it easier to integrate sustainability into other disciplines rather than it always being a separate department.

Nic Bishop, ISSP-SA - Auckland, New Zealand

Profiled August 2017
Title: Group Sustainability Manager
Organization: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Educational Background: Nic studied both commerce and science at Victoria University of Wellington, and then completed a Masters in Environmental Management with Imperial College Wye. Nic studied in Paraguay on an AFS exchange and is enjoying using his spanish as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare also has a base in Tijuana, Mexico.

What are your current job responsibilities?

Nic leads the sustainability team at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. This involves all areas of sustainability and social responsibility for one of New Zealand’s largest companies. Nic and his team focus on these six sustainability strategy areas:

  1. Eco-design and eco-efficiency;
  2. Environmental Management Systems;
  3. Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility (ISO26000);
  4. Sustainable Procurement;
  5. Data to inform Sustainable Design (LCA work stream), as well as;
  6. Carbon & Energy Strategy.

Nic’s team also coordinates a network of Green Teams, whereby the organisation has 15 strategic green teams focused on topics from Biodiversity & Tree Planting, Public Transport & Cycling uptake, Sustainable Packaging, Electric Vehicles & Solar to name a few. He has established New Zealand’s first circular economy stakeholder collaboration with health sector sustainability leaders, investigating how to navigate the complexities of infection control, while also allowing application of circular economy outcomes for medical devices.

Much of Nic’s time is spent coaching senior leaders in the organisation, and future thinking so that he can provide the best advice to his executive team and Board.

Nic has previously been on the Board of the Packaging Council of New Zealand, was appointed by Environment Canterbury to the New Zealand Rural Waste Minimisation Initiative, and is a mentor for social enterprises specifically related to environmental topics for Akina Foundation.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Nic has been very fortunate to work for some of New Zealand’s largest and best known companies. While at Fonterra, Nic designed and was awarded by the Minister for the Environment, the first Accredited Product Stewardship scheme for Fonterra. Nic also chairs the Circular Economy Initiative for Trade Me, which has quantified the environmental benefit to the New Zealand economy of the online trading platforms’ re-use market.

Nic volunteers for the Rotoroa Island Trust, managing carbon assessment work. Rotoroa Island was the first certified carboNZero island in the southern hemisphere, with over 400,000 native trees planted - and easily accessible for the public to visit and learn about. This initiative also earned a Green Ribbon award from the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.

Why did you choose to join ISSP?

Nic choose to join ISSP to tap into a global network of like minded souls. Especially being based in New Zealand, and geographically distant from large population bases, having the direct link to very skilled, capable and well networked sustainability leaders is an invaluable resource. Nic has completed the ISSP S-CORE Sustainability Assessment course, and assists as Co-chair of the ISSP Credential Maintenance Committee.

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Catherine Hurley, ISSP-CSP - Lemont, Illinois

Profiled May 2017
Title: Sustainability Program Manager
Organization: Argonne National Laboratory
Educational Background:
I have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Dayton and hold several credentials including: Registered Professional Engineer, LEED Accredited Professional and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP).
 

What are your current job responsibilities?

I provide strategic direction and management for Argonne's Sustainability Program. I oversee projects that address greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable buildings, water management, pollution prevention and waste reduction, transportation efficiency, sustainable procurement, and climate change resilience.  My staff manages the Bike Share Program, Employee Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program, and employee education and engagement initiatives.  I coordinate annual sustainability performance reporting through the Lab’s Annual Site Sustainability Plan and in the site’s ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

As Sustainability Manager for the City of Evanston, Illinois, I helped Evanston earn the title of Earth Hour Capital for the United States in 2015 and traveled to Seoul, South Korea with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl to represent the City.

Why did you choose to join ISSP?

I was seeking to collaborate with professionals from across sectors and found ISSP to be the perfect resource to accomplish this. In my time at the City of Evanston, I became familiar with and made connections to sustainability managers working in local government. When I needed best practices outside of my sector, I found ISSP to be the best place to connect with the wider sustainability movement. The webinars and other educational resources were just the tools I needed to further advance my local work.

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Dr. Paola Fiore, ISSP-SA - Milan, Italy

Profiled April 2017
Title: Sustainability Management & Communications Specialist | Sustainability & CSR Coach |
Founder & CEO
Organization: ETICAMBIENTE® Sustainability Management & Communications Consulting 
Innovative Sustainability Coaching & Consulting Solutions for Responsible Growth & Profitability
Educational Background:
ACTP The Art & Science of Coaching - Erickson Coaching International, Canada
MSc Business & Corporate Communication - Il Sole 24 Ore Business School, Italy
MSc Environmental Law & Management - IPA Institute for the Environment, Italy
BA (Hons) Documentary Photography - UWCN University of Wales College Newport, UK
Environmental Law & Economics - University of the Studies of Pavia, Italy
Degree in Jurisprudence - University of the Studies of Pavia, Italy
 

What are your current job responsibilities?

With over 17 years of experience in transforming corporate and non-profit organizations into socially responsible and profitable market leaders, and 23+ years of environmental studies, I lead Strategy and Business Development and Markets and Operations for my own company ETICAMBIENTE® Sustainability Management and Communications Consulting.

We are a forward thinking pioneer in the field of sustainability management and communications, and sustainability coaching and training. We work with CEOs & Boards, Executives and Senior Managers who are keen to understand how sustainability can make good business sense, and acquire proper in-house expertise to create profitable sustainability strategies and initiatives.

We are dedicated to working with medium-to-large sized companies and multinationals struggling with integrating sustainability principles into their core business model, day-to-day operations and risk analysis, as well as striving to maximize stakeholder engagement and communications.

We partner with our clients to enhance sustainability leadership and innovation, build a business case for sustainability, identify areas for improvement and cost savings, access new markets for a green economy, avoid green and blue washing, and promote eco-friendly products and services.

By providing all-in-one consulting and coaching solutions, we empower our customers to improve brand reputation and conversations, drive long term business value and honor the Triple Bottom Line.
 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

My family, ETICAMBIENTE®, and volunteering work as a Climate Reality Leader and Speaker within the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Climate Policy Task Force Member within The Climate Reality Project, European Branch, and National Coordinator for Italy for The Climate Reality Project.

Why did you choose to join ISSP?

We strive for excellence everyday. That is our main goal in all we do in life and work. We recognize ISSP as the world's leading professional organization for sustainability practitioners. In this community of like-minded people, we can contribute together to advance practice, methodology, and tools in order to improve our work both at local and global levels. 

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Sarah Beyea, ISSP-SA - London, Ontario, Canada

Profiled December 2016
Title: Sustainability Toolkit Project Manager
Organization: Tavares Group Consulting Inc.
Educational Background:
Western University (UWO) - Master of Environment and Sustainability (MES)
University of New Brunswick - BSc Biology
University of New Brunswick - BA (Hons) Anthropology
 

What are your current job responsibilities?

In my role as Sustainability Toolkit Project Manager, I help organizations with sustainability action planning and implementation using the Sustainability Toolkit framework developed by Tavares Group Consulting. I have over nine years of project management experience. Currently I am the firm's project manager for the newest version of the Sustainability Toolkit, and the development of the Sustainability Toolkit software. Working with a consulting firm allows me to contribute to a wide range of sustainability focused projects in a variety of different industries. Past projects I have worked on include sustainability reporting, materiality assessments and gap analysis, environmental compliance, training development, and sustainability implementation. I have also been involved in several post-secondary student projects as a client mentor; most recently I have been fortunate enough to join ISSP's Credential Maintenance Committee.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am very proud of the student projects I have been involved with through my work at Tavares Group Consulting, which have allowed me to work with students from a number of fields ranging from computer science and marketing, to environmental and sustainability studies. It is great to be able to provide experience to future sustainability professionals, and demonstrate to students outside of the field that sustainability is not the responsibility of just one person in an organization, but that it can be incorporated into any job role.

Why did you choose to join ISSP?

I believe that collaboration is key in order for organizations and communities to become sustainable. I chose to join ISSP because of the opportunity it provided to connect with other sustainability professionals working in different fields all over the world. I also wanted to get more involved with promoting the sustainability profession and to keep informed of current best practices and leadership trends.

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Dr. Fabian Sack, ISSP-CSP - Sydney, Australia

Profiled November 2016
Title: Director
Organization: Sustainably
Educational Background:
Commonwealth Sustainability Champions Program - Vocational Graduate Certificate in Education for Sustainability
University of Wollongong - PhD in Corporate Environmental Ethics
Australian National University - Ba (Hons) Philosophy and social & political theory
 

What are your current job responsibilities?

At Sustainably we work with people who are passionate about acting sustainably, often in collaborative partnerships across sectors. Sustainably are specialists in:
  • Vocational education and training (VET) sustainability
  • Capacity building and training on climate change adaptation
  • Technical analysis for sustainability reporting
  • Policy analysis in sustainability and climate change adaptation

We deliver by facilitating stakeholder engagement, strategic leadership, collaborative research and innovative training. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
 
In my work life I look back fondly on my time at Sydney Water where we adopted integrated reporting in the early noughties, progressed some very significant commitments to carbon efficiency and introduced robust ecological footprinting to the mainstream of the Australian water industry. More recently I take great satisfaction in the work I'm doing with the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand to embed climate change adaptation in practice through action learning based professional development. 
 
Why Did You Choose To Pursue the ISSP-CSP Credential? 
 
For me becoming an ISSP-CSP meant joining a global community of practice. As the program matures, I'm sure stakeholders will become increasingly confident that they get reliable insights into best sustainable practice from certified sustainability practitioners. This can only be a good thing. 

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Beth Knight, ISSP-CSP - London, U.K.

Profiled October 2016
Title: EY Beacon Institute, Strategy & Operations Leader 
Organization: Ernst & Young LLP 
Educational Background: 
University of Cambridge (MSc Distinction), Sustainability Leadership
University of Exeter (BA Hons First Class), History 
Awarded Foresters Scholarship 
 

What are your current job responsibilities?

I lead Operations, Markets and Business Development for EY's Beacon Institute. I have over ten years' experience as a sustainability leader and management consultant in areas related to purpose-led transformation. I work with executives, entrepreneurs and academics to deepen thought leadership, elevate the debate and accelerate the adoption of purposeful business strategy. With the Beacon Institute, I'm responsible for convening a community of 'early adopters' and 'early majority' enabling the transition to a new, inclusive model of business. I am an Ambassador for the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and member of ISSP's Advisory Council on professional standards. 
 
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
 
My daughter Joslyn obviously has to come first. However, from my work-life I am very proud of the Sustainability Leadership competencies research I have undertaken with Cambridge University, its application by the British Psychology Institute and the work I continue to do in supporting the professionalization of jobs in Sustainability. 
 
What do you value most about your ISSP membership? 
 
The ability to stay connected to like-minded people and follow leading practice methodology - which is always tough when you work in such a complex and fast-moving field!