The following policies must be read and consented to by all ISSP staff, Board of Directors members, committee members, and volunteers. All ISSP Board of Directors members, committee members, and volunteers must sign and return the ISSP Volunteer Agreement affirming their compliance with the policies below.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers

1. ISSP Code of Ethical Practice and Values

As Sustainability Professionals, we recognize that we not only serve our organizations but also act as stewards of decisions that impact the good of society, the environment and the greater economy.

As a condition of being a member of ISSP staff, Board of Directors, committees, or as a volunteer, individuals must agree to the following code of ethical professional practice, upholding the highest professional ethical norms and values implied by our responsibility toward multiple stakeholders:

Be Innovative: Endeavour to be an innovative, systems thinker in the pursuit of long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability

Be Objective: Support and promote sustainable actions and challenge unsustainable actions, based upon facts, figures, reasonable judgement and professional expertise

Pursue Continuous Learning: Pursue, develop, and maintain standards of professional competence and knowledge through a combination of training, learning, and practical experience, and through the support of others

Be Honest and Fair:

  • To uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report practicing sustainability professionals deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities
  • To ensure that professional judgment is not influenced by a conflict of interest and, where such a conflict may exist, proactively reveal to all relevant parties

Be Responsible:

  • To exercise impartiality, diligence, and objectivity in my professional work; promoting and striving for high standards and best practices in sustainability 
  • To understand and accept the consequences of my actions, and in giving advice, make the relevant person(s) aware of the potential consequences of actions
  • Consider the environmental, social, and economic implications of determinations and recommendations

Be Respectful: Treat others as I would wish to be treated

Be Forthright: Acknowledge my limitations of competence, not undertake work that I know is beyond my professional capabilities, and honestly represent the scope of the certification that I have been granted

1.1 Personal and Professional Integrity

ISSP promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity. As a representative of the ISSP organization, each member of the ISSP staff, the ISSP Board of Directors (“Board”), and ISSP volunteer will act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings.

2. Mission

ISSP has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the Board. The ISSP mission is responsive to the voice of the customer and to the communities served by the ISSP organization. Each ISSP program supports that mission.  Each individual who works for or on behalf of ISSP must understand and be loyal to that mission and purpose.

3. Governance

The Board has the responsibility and the authority to set the mission and strategic direction of the organization, as well as provide oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of the organization. The Board:

  • Ensures, through the nominating committee, that its members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all Board members understand and fulfill their governance duty to act for the benefit of ISSP;
  • Has a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are addressed through prompt and timely disclosure, recusal, investigation, and/or other appropriate action;
  • Ensures the Executive Director and the appropriate staff provide the Board with timely and comprehensive information so the Board can effectively carry out its duties;
  • Ensures that ISSP conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
  • Ensures that ISSP promotes working relationships with Board members, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders that are based on mutual respect, fair dealing, openness, and respect for applicable laws and regulations;
  • Ensures that the organization is fair and inclusive in its employment conditions, including but not limited to its staff hiring and promotion policies; ISSP is committed to the spirit and the letter of regulations and laws that promote and ensure equality of treatment in hiring and all employment conditions and opportunities;
  • Ensures that the organization is fair and inclusive in its selection of Board members and its assignment of volunteers to committees and councils and positions of leadership, and in accord with the spirit and the letter of regulations regarding equality of treatment in professional opportunities;
  • Ensures that ISSP policies are in writing, clearly articulated, officially adopted, and implemented; impartially and with respect for the spirit and the letter of the policies;
  • Ensures that the resources of the organization are responsibly and prudently managed; and
  • Ensures that ISSP has the resources and capacity to carry out its programs effectively.
4. Legal Compliance

It is ISSP policy to be knowledgeable of and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations

5. Responsible Financial Stewardship

It is ISSP policy to manage its funds responsibly and prudently:

  • ISSP spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
  • ISSP spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional and legally compliant management of the ISSP organization;
  • ISSP compensates staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately and with full regard for all applicable laws and regulations;
  • ISSP does not accumulate operating funds excessively;
  • ISSP ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable, and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the organization; and
  • All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
6. Openness and Disclosure

ISSP provides comprehensive and timely information to its stakeholders as appropriate and is responsive in a timely manner to reasonable and appropriate requests for information. It is also ISSP policy to ensure that all financial, organizational, and program reports are complete and accurate in all material respects.

7. Program Evaluation

ISSP regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs. ISSP is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness. ISSP is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its stakeholders.

8. Inclusiveness and Diversity

ISSP has a policy of promoting inclusiveness and diversity. ISSP staff, Board, and volunteers reflect that commitment to diversity in order to enrich its programmatic effectiveness. It is ISSP policy to promote inclusiveness and diversity in matters pertaining to employment conditions provided to its staff, as well as in the recruitment of Board members and volunteers, and among the communities served by the ISSP organization.

9. Standards of Conduct

As a staff member or volunteer member of the ISSP Board, ISSP committee, or sub-group, it is your duty to:

  1. Maintain the highest standards of personal conduct
  2. Actively promote and encourage the highest level of ethics within the industry or profession ISSP represents;
  3. Act in the best interest of ISSP;
  4. Act openly, fairly and in good faith towards ISSP;
  5. Maintain loyalty to ISSP and pursue its objectives in ways that are consistent with the public interest;
  6. Recognize and discharge your personal responsibility and that of ISSP to uphold all laws and regulations relating to the organization’s policies and activities;
  7. Strive for excellence in all aspects of the management of ISSP;
  8. Use only legal and ethical means in all ISSP activities;
  9. Serve all members of ISSP impartially and provide no special privilege for any individual member;
  10. Comply with all ISSP bylaws, rules and policies, including without limitation, those policies pertaining to disclosure of actual or apparent conflicts of interest, and improper acceptance of gratuities;
  11. Maintain the confidentiality of privileged information entrusted or known to you by virtue of your position;
  12. Refrain from engaging in or countenancing activities for personal gain at the expense of ISSP or its industry or profession;
  13. Refrain from using your position with ISSP to advance an outside interest;
  14. Refrain from engaging in or countenancing discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or any other protected class;
  15. Refrain from engaging in or countenancing infringement of misuse of ISSP intellectual property;
  16. Always communicate ISSP internal and external statements in a truthful and accurate manner by assuring that there is integrity in the data and information used by ISSP; and
  17. Not to become the subject of public disrepute, contempt, or scandal that affects your image or goodwill.

In addition, for volunteer members of the ISSP Board, ISSP committee, or sub-group, it is your duty to:

Accept no personal compensation from a member in your capacity as an ISSP Board, committee, or sub­group member except with full disclosure and the knowledge and consent of ISSP Board, Committee, or sub-group. This does not apply to small gifts, such as gift certificates, plaques, apparel, etc., provided by sponsors (chapters, e.g.) for unpaid speaking engagements, etc.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers

In consideration of your service as an ISSP employee, Board, committee, or sub-group member, you agree that you will at no time, either during your term of office or during the five-year period following termination thereof, for any reason, use for your own benefit or for benefit of any third party, or disclose to any third party, any “confidential information or trade secrets” of ISSP, other than as necessary in the course of ISSP’s business and in the scope of your authority as an employee, Board, committee, or sub-group member, or upon ISSP’s prior written consent. In addition to the foregoing, you agree to take reasonable and necessary steps to protect the confidentiality of said information. You agree not to remove any such information from ISSP’s premises or the premises of any Board, committee, or sub-group meeting, or make copies thereof except as needed to perform your duties as an employee, Board, committee, or sub-group member. At the conclusion of your service, or upon ISSP’s request at any time, you agree to return to ISSP all confidential information or trade secrets as well as all documents, diskettes, and other materials containing same.

For purposes of this agreement, “confidential information or trade secrets” includes information (whether written or oral and whether in electronic or any other format or medium) that: (1) derives value from not being generally known and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by third parties; or (2) is licensed to ISSP under an obligation to maintain its secrecy. “Confidential information or trade secrets” includes, without limitation, the following: (i) all deliberations of the ISSP Board, including all materials and information distributed in connection therewith; (ii) all information relating to consulting, educational programs, training, and any other proprietary products or services offered by ISSP; (iii) all models, formulae, drawings, and technical and research data generated by or for ISSP; (iv) all software (source and object code), algorithms, computer processing systems, techniques, methodologies, formulae, and specifications used or owned by ISSP; (v) all membership information, including without limitation, identities, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, or other identifying information of ISSP’s past, present, and prospective members; (vi) all names, addresses, and identifying information of ISSP’s vendors, suppliers, customers, and other entities with whom ISSP conducts business; (vii) ISSP’s methods and practices of doing business; (viii) ISSP’s pricing policies, structures, and practices; (ix) ISSP’s financial, budgetary, advertising, marketing and sales/services plans, forecasts, strategies, reports, and data; (x) all information or data that is subject to protection under the applicable trade secrets laws; and (xi) any other information, materials, documents, or data that ISSP reasonably identifies as confidential and/or proprietary information and/or trade secrets.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, information described above shall not be deemed “confidential information or trade secrets” to the extent that (i) it has been placed in the public domain without your direct or indirect involvement and with the actual knowledge of ISSP, and ISSP has not taken any action to enforce its rights with respect to such information or otherwise protect such information as confidential information and/or trade secrets; or (ii) applicable law expressly prohibits the information from being considered confidential information or trade secrets.

Neither the execution or delivery of this agreement, nor the furnishing of confidential information or trade secrets by ISSP shall be construed as granting to you, either expressly, by implication, by estoppel, or otherwise, a license under any invention, trade secret, patent, trademark or copyright owned or controlled by ISSP.

In the event that one or more of the provisions herein is declared by a court to be void or unenforceable, no other provisions shall be affected. If any provision is declared by a court to be over broad, that provision shall be limited and enforced to the greatest extent permitted by law. You agree that ISSP will be entitled to immediate injunctive relief, and all other available relief, in the event of your threatened or actual violation of any term hereof. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Oregon. This agreement supersedes all prior agreements and understandings pertaining to the subject matter herein.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers

This Conflict of Interest Policy is designed to help ISSP staff, Board members, committee members, and volunteers identify situations that present potential conflicts of interest and to provide ISSP with a procedure which, if observed, will allow a transaction to be treated as valid and binding even though a Board, committee, or sub-group member has or may have a conflict of interest with respect to the transaction. This policy is intended to comply with applicable statutory provisions governing conflicts of interest for directors of nonprofit corporations. In the event there is an inconsistency between the requirements and procedures prescribed herein and those in an applicable statutory provision, the statutory provision shall control.


“Covered person” means any person serving as an ISSP Board, committee, or sub-group member, or employee.

“Family member” means a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child or spouse of a child, brother, sister, or spouse of a brother or sister, of a covered person.

“Financial interest” means a financial or pecuniary interest of any kind, which, in view of all the circumstances, is substantial enough that it would affect, or could reasonably be perceived by others to affect, the covered person’s or family member’s judgment with respect to transactions to which the entity is a party. This includes all forms of compensation. For purposes of this policy, an ownership interest of less than 3 percent in a publicly traded company shall not, by itself, constitute a financial interest.

“Representative” means a director, officer, agent, partner, consultant, trustee, or representative.

“Transaction” means any agreement, relationship or business dealing involving: (i) the sale or purchase of goods, services, or rights of any kind; (ii) the providing or receipt of a loan or grant, or (iii) the establishment of other type of pecuniary relationship. The making of a gift to ISSP is not a contract or transaction.

Conflicts of Interest

For purposes of this policy, each of the following circumstances shall be deemed a conflict of interest

  • Outside Interests
    • A transaction involving ISSP and a covered person or family member.
    • A transaction involving ISSP and an entity in which a covered person or family member has a financial interest, or of which such person serves as a representative
  • Outside Activities
    • A covered person competing with ISSP in the rendering of services or the provision of goods.
    • A covered person having a financial interest in, or being a representative of, an entity that competes with ISSP
Gifts, Gratuities, Entertainment and Honoraria

A covered person or family member shall not accept gifts, entertainment, or other item of gratuity in excess of $50.00 in value from an individual or entity that: (a) does or is seeking to do business with ISSP, (b) is a competitor of ISSP; or (c) has received or is seeking to receive a loan, grant, or other financial commitment from ISSP.

A covered person may not, without the express written consent of the ISSP Executive Director, accept an article/book/speaking engagement that would deprive ISSP of membership and/or program fees, or involve the use of ISSP staff or resources to develop or design the article/book/speaking engagement


Prior to Board, committee, or sub-group action on a transaction involving a conflict of interest, the Board member, committee member, sub-group member, employee, or volunteer having a conflict of interest shall disclose all facts material to the conflict of interest. Such disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.

The person having a conflict of interest shall not participate in discussion of the matter by the Board, committee, or sub-group except to disclose material facts and to respond to questions. Such person shall not attempt to exert his or her personal influence with respect to the matter, either at or outside the meeting.

The person having a conflict of interest shall not vote on matters relating to the transaction. Such person’s ineligibility shall be reflected in minutes of the meeting.

In the event it is unclear whether a conflict of interest exists, the individual with the potential conflict shall disclose the circumstances to the ISSP chair or his or her designee, who shall determine whether there exists a conflict of interest that is subject to this policy. In making this determination, the ISSP chair or his or her designee may seek the advice of counsel or other third parties.

Covered persons who are not ISSP Board, committee, or sub-group members, or who have a conflict of interest with respect to a transaction that is not the subject of Board, committee, or sub-group action, shall disclose such conflict to the ISSP chair or his or her designee, or the ISSP Executive Director. The covered person shall refrain from any action that may affect ISSP’s participation in such transaction.

Disclosure Form

Each covered person shall annually complete a disclosure form (included in Volunteer Agreement) identifying any relationships, positions, or circumstances in which he or she is involved that he or she believes could contribute to a conflict of interest. Such relationships, positions, or circumstances might include ownership of, or participation in, a business that might provide goods or services to ISSP, ISSP chartered chapters, or affiliated organizations. Any such information regarding outside business interests or activities of a covered person shall be made available only to the chair and the Executive Director; their designees; any committee appointed to address conflicts of interest; and other persons as necessary in connection with the implementation of this policy.

The submission of disclosure forms does not relieve covered persons of their obligation to disclose conflicts of interest as they arise under the above stated procedures.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers


Harassment of any kind is expressly prohibited by ISSP. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, any unwelcome or unsolicited verbal statement (e.g., demeaning, derogatory, or vulgar comments) or physical conduct (e.g., hitting, pushing, touching, making sexual gestures, disseminating pictures or other graphic material) based on race, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, color, disability, physical appearance, national origin, ethnic status, or religion, which is either: (1) made a term or condition of employment, (ii) used as the basis for employment or advancement decisions, or (iii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, any unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances, demands for sexual favors or other verbal, physical, or sexual conduct of a sexual nature that is either: (i) made a term or condition of employment, (ii) used as the basis for employment or advancement decisions; or (iii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

ISSP does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment. ISSP will make every effort to provide an environment that is free from all forms of sexual harassment and intimidation.

Any act of sexual harassment, including the use of disparaging or demeaning remarks or the making of improper advances is prohibited. ISSP will not tolerate encouraging, condoning, or otherwise permitting sexual harassment. Moreover, retaliatory action against anyone filing a complaint of any type of discrimination, including sexual harassment, is strictly prohibited. Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action based on the circumstances of each case.


Anyone who believes he or she has been the subject of sexual or other harassment is obliged to report the alleged act immediately to the chair of the ISSP Board or the ISSP Executive Director. Anyone who witnesses incidents of sexual harassment should immediately report the incident to the chair of the ISSP Board or the ISSP Executive Director.

All complaints will be investigated in a timely and, to the greatest extent practicable, confidential manner. No one involved in the investigation is permitted to discuss the subject outside of the investigation process.

All complaints will be investigated by an impartial third party. ISSP will endeavor to protect individuals from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference, or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers

ISSP employees, volunteers, and individuals participating on the ISSP Board, committees, or sub-groups acknowledge and agree as follows:

Except as set forth below, all copyrightable works which are directly or indirectly made, conceived, or contributed by you during the course of your service for ISSP, or its Board, committees, or sub-groups (collectively “creations”) have been and will continue to be commissioned by ISSP and be works made for hire. If any creation is found by a court of competent jurisdiction not to be a work made for hire, you hereby assign such creation and all intellectual property rights to ISSP, including all rights of reproduction, distribution, performance, display, and the right to create derivative works.

You further agree to execute any documents that ISSP may deem necessary to enable ISSP to obtain all proprietary rights in the creations, and you agree not to copy, reproduce, revise, distribute, sell, or attempt to sell any creations without the written consent of ISSP. The foregoing is addition to, and not in limitation of, any and all rights that ISSP may have under applicable federal, state, and local laws governing copyright and other intellectual property matters.

Except as set forth below, any ideas, information, data, documents or materials that you disclose or present during any ISSP employment or Board, committee, or sub-group meeting may be modified by the Board, committee, or sub-group, or compiled with other works, and all resulting works, compilations, and creations, and all intellectual property rights, shall be the property of ISSP.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if you intend to present or disclose intellectual property during ISSP employment or at a Board, committee, or sub­group meeting for informational purposes which you do not wish to be incorporated as part of any ISSP material, and with respect to which you desire to retain all ownership rights, you must bring the matter to the attention of the ISSP Executive Director and the committee chair, if applicable, in writing prior to commencement of the meeting. In that event, you shall retain ownership of the work, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

You agree to submit to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in the state and federal courts of the State of Oregon in connection with any action that might be commenced in either of those forums by ISSP to enforce the terms of this policy.



For the ISSP Staff, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Volunteers

The ISSP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Conduct (hereinafter referred to as the “Codes”) requires members of the Board, committees, and sub-groups, other volunteers, and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. Employees and representatives of the organization must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

A. Reporting Responsibility

Each Board, committee, and sub-group member, other volunteer, and employee of ISSP has an obligation to report in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy: (i) questionable or improper accounting or auditing matters and (ii) violations and suspected violations of ISSP’S Codes (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Concerns”). 

B. Authority of Ethics Committee

All reported Concerns will be forwarded to the Ethics Committee in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The Ethics Committee shall be responsible for investigating, and making appropriate recommendations to the ISSP Board, with respect to all reported Concerns.

C. No Retaliation

This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable Board, committee, and sub-group members, other volunteers, and employees to raise Concerns within the organization for investigation and appropriate action. With this goal in mind, therefore, no Board, committee, or sub-group member, other volunteer, or employee who, in good faith, reports a Concern shall be subject to retaliation or, in the case of an employee, adverse employment consequence. Moreover, a volunteer or employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a Concern in good faith is subject to discipline up to, and including, dismissal from the volunteer position or termination of employment, respectively.

D. Reporting Concerns

1. Employees

Employees should first discuss their Concern with their immediate supervisor. If, after speaking with his/her supervisor, the individual continues to have reasonable grounds to believe the Concern is valid, the individual should report the Concern to ISSP’s Executive Director, or if the Executive Director is involved in the Concern, to the President of the ISSP Board of Directors. In addition, if the individual is uncomfortable speaking with his/her supervisor or the supervisor is a subject of the Concern, the individual should report his/her concern directly to ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors.

If the Concern was reported verbally to ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors, the reporting individual, with assistance from ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors, shall reduce the Concern to writing. The Concern form can be found in Appendix A. ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors is required to promptly report the Concern to the chair of the Ethics Committee (hereinafter referred to as “Chair”), which has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all Concerns. If ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors, for any reason, does not promptly forward the Concern to the Chair, the reporting individual should directly report the Concern to the Chair. Contact information for the Chair may be obtained through ISSP’s Executive Director or the President of the ISSP Board of Directors.

Concerns may be also be submitted anonymously. Such anonymous Concerns should be in writing and sent directly to the Chair.

2. Directors and Other Volunteers

Board, committee, sub-group members, and other volunteers should submit Concerns in writing directly to the Chair. Contact information for the Chair may be obtained from ISSP’s Executive Director.

E. Procedure of Reported Violations

The Ethics Committee shall address all reported concerns.

  1. The Chair will notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the Concern within five (5) business days, if possible. It will not be possible to acknowledge receipt of anonymously submitted Concerns.

  2. The Chair shall contact the complainant within 5 days of receiving the complaint and ensure a complete understanding of the alleged violation.

  3. The Ethics Committee shall make a preliminary determination that there could be a violation of ISSP’S Codes and/or questionable or improper accounting or auditing matters. 

a. If it is determined that there is no violation of ISSP’S Codes and/or questionable or improper accounting or auditing matters, the Chair shall notify the Complainant and the reason why it will not accept the Concern.  The Complainant would also receive notice of the right to appeal the Chair’s decision to the Ethics Committee.

b. If the Concern is accepted, the Chair shall immediately notify the Ethics Committee, the President of the Board of Directors, and the Executive Director.  The investigation will commence within thirty (30) days of the Concern acceptance.  The Chair shall acknowledge in writing to the Complainant that the Concern has been accepted and inform the Complainant of the investigation.  A copy of these Enforcement Procedures shall be sent with the notice.

c. The Chair shall acknowledge in writing to the Adverse Party that a Concern has been filed against the Adverse Party and that an investigation has commenced.  A copy of the complaint and these Enforcement Procedures shall be sent with the notice. 

F.  Investigation

The Ethics Committee has the authority to retain outside legal counsel, accountants, private investigators, or any other resource deemed necessary to conduct a full and complete investigation of the allegations.

If the investigation finds that the Concern is not warranted, the Ethics Committee will inform the Complainant and the Adverse Party that the Concern is being dismissed, and provide each party with a copy of the investigation and reason for dismissal.

G. Discipline

The Ethics Committee may decide to impose no disciplinary measures or to impose one or more of the following disciplinary measures at the end of the investigation: Reprimand, Probation, Suspension, or Termination. If determined, the Concern may also give rise to other actions, including civil lawsuits.

It is the intent of these Procedures that the range of disciplinary measures be as broad and flexible as possible so that appropriate disciplinary measures can be employed to remedy and redress the violation that has been committed.