Since ISSP was formed in 2007, the field of sustainability has attracted thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds who are doing work in this field and claim the title “sustainability professional".  While the field has been enriched and informed by this diversity of expertise, it has also created inconsistency in practice and definition. We believe that in order for the field and its professionals to be taken seriously and be granted due credibility, there needs to be some definition and standardization of the competencies employers and seekers of consultants can come to expect.

With that goal in mind, ISSP has developed two Sustainability Professional Certifications designed to provide coherence to the field of sustainability as well as recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities sustainability professionals bring to their work. 


Info Sessions

Certification Info Sessions provide great introductions to the program for new or interested participants. Sign up for a free Info Session here. You can view a recording of a recent Certification Info Session below or download the presentation PDF.

Credential Renewal Webinars

Learn how to get started on renewing your ISSP credential with this quick walkthrough of the renewal process, where we also answer questions from attending credential holders! Sign up for future webinars on our event calendar. You can also view a recording of a recent renewal webinar below and download the accompanying Renewal One-Pager.


Panel Presentations

ISSP credential holders span many industries, sectors, and associations - which is why we're hosting a series of discussions about the importance of earning an ISSP credential aimed at specific audiences of credential holders. Below is a list of these presentations, past and planned, and links to recordings and the slides that were used. Be sure to check our calendar of events for future panels!



History of ISSP Certification

  • In 2010, ISSP published the results of its research on the core competencies of a sustainability professional
  • In 2013, we published the job task analysis that will be the basis for the certification scheme, reflecting the input of ISSP members and other sustainability professionals  from around the world
  • In 2014, our Spring survey of over 800 sustainability professionals showed that 70% were in favor of creating a certification. At its November 2014 meeting, the ISSP Board of Directors voted unanimously to create a certification for sustainability professionals in 2015
  • In 2015, ISSP conducted a first round of Beta tests for the Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) and Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP) Certification programs. Over 160 members of the sustainability field participated in helping us refine the Certification process and bring it closer to a 2016 launch. We also conducted a Sustainability Hiring Survey to see what knowledge, skills and abilities were in demand for organizations looking to hire sustainability professionals
  • In 2016, as a result of the high interest in our first round of Beta testing, ISSP conducted a second round of Beta testing for the Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) exam. We also launched an Education Partner Program to recognize organizations that provide high quality sustainability education and training, including newly developed preparatory courses for the ISSP Certification exams
  • The ISSP-SA launched on November 15th, 2016, while the ISSP-CSP will launch in the first quarter of 2017

Find Out More


ISSP appreciates the input of the many people who have contributed their thinking to date. For more information, please contact us at