ISSP offers two credentials:

  • Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA): For individuals who are new or aspiring sustainability professionals

  • Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP): For veteran sustainability practitioners with sufficient sustainability-related education and professional experience

What are the benefits of earning an ISSP credential?

  1. Assure your professional edge. As the sustainability field grows, so has the number of sustainability professionals. Undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs adding to the size of the sustainability workforce have exploded over the last five years. Earning and maintaining an ISSP professional credential helps you stand out from the crowd.

  2. Grow your personal brand. The ISSP credential exams are based on our comprehensive Job Task Analysis and designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities of professionals in any sector or function. Thus, getting certified is a great way to move beyond your functional expertise and establish your competence across the full breadth of the sustainability field.

  3. Keep your knowledge current in a rapidly changing field. The ISSP credential exams test your knowledge, skills, and abilities in the sustainability field, but they also require the documentation of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in order to remain valid. Earning CEUs from conferences, courses, publications, or other activities outlined in the Credential Maintenance Guidebook is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest sustainability information and best practices.

  4. Attract employment offers. A 2015 ISSP survey of hiring managers for sustainability positions found that over 70% of respondents viewed certifications as a hiring criteria, and 75% were more inclined than not to require a sustainability certification in particular if one were available. Businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions, and the public sector are finding value in hiring professionals who hold credentials that attest to their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Holding an ISSP credential can give you a leg up in applying to competitive jobs in the sustainability field.

  5. Connect with industry leaders. ISSP’s growing list of certified ISSP Sustainability Associates (ISSP-SAs) and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professionals (ISSP-CSPs) spans many sectors and global regions, and includes high-powered individuals in successful organizations. Earning an ISSP credential opens up opportunities to network with fellow credential holders and learn about the industries they are shaping.


Learn More and Get Started

Interested in earning an ISSP credential? First, read the Candidate Handbook for an in-depth description of the program, eligibility, and exam process. Then, visit our Apply for Exam page to register, as well as for additional information about the exams, fees, and study materials. You can find more reasons to get credentialed in the credentialing brochure.

You can also view a recording of the latest live Certification Info Session here or download the presentation PDF.

If you have questions, visit our FAQ. With further inquiries, please contact


Goals of Certification

  • Bring cohesion and definition to the emerging profession of sustainability

  • Provide credibility for employers and assurance of a standard level of competency of the sustainability professional

  • Impart practitioners in the field evidence of competency, furthering their credibility, influence and career advancement opportunities

  • Provide clear guidance and direction to educators and organizations creating sustainability courses, training programs and ongoing professional development opportunities for sustainability practitioners