ISSP Newsletter - June 2013

Latest News From International Society of Sustainability Professionals
Jun 10, 2013 3:45 PM ET

Featured Articles In This Month's Newsletter

Global Participants Advance Sustainability Discussions at ISSP Conference 2013 

More than 200 people attended ISSP Conference 2013 in Chicago last month. The event was packed with learning and networking opportunities for all involved. Many interesting follow-on projects grew out of the discussions in Chicago. A collection of fast facts from the conference appears below. For full information, including copies of presentations that were made at the event, follow this link.

Attendees from around the world. Participants included people from Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Israel, Nigeria, Peru, Sweden and the United States.

Great feedback from participants. Here 's what some attendees had to say about the event: 

  • "Great people. Great ideas. Great agenda. Sustainable yet tasty chow. Great event."

  • "Good mix of inspiration and practical knowledge sharing, and lots of fellow practitioners to meet. Well done!"

  • "GREAT Conference! It was indeed the most rich, meaningful and useful few days at a conference in recent memory!"

Keynotes and Generative sessions:

  • Hall of Fame and Wisdom Panel

  • Bob Massie, New Economics Institute

  • Speed networking: Certification? Yes or No

  • Mike Wallace, GRI - Trends in Sustainability Reporting

  • Rob Dietz, Enough is Enough

  • Lexicon Conversation 

Breakout Sessions

  • Community Sustainability

  • Reporting: SASB and Integrated Reporting Panel

  • Green Architecture

  • Sustainability and Industry

  • View from the C-Suite

  • Local Chapter Formation

  • Spirituality and Sustainability

Follow-On Projects

  • Chapter Formation. Be the first US or European Chapter. Get more information here.

  • Enough is Enough Book Group. See more info below.

  • Certification Body of Knowledge. Add your voice to this important work. See more info here.

And a final round of thanks to our sponsors and expo vendors:

Speaker Sponsor:

  • Ernst & Young

Meal and Break-Out Sponsors

  • Bainbridge Graduate Institute
  • Bard MBA In Sustainability
  • Chatham University
  • eco-officiency, LLC
  • Emissions Information, Inc
  • ISOS Group, LLC
  • Presidio Graduate School
  • Rick Woodward, ISSP Board Member

Exhibition Vendors

  • Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals - Chicago Chapter
  • PalletWrapz
  • Preton
  • S-CORE
  • Sustainable Plant
  • USGBC-Illinois Chapter/Greening the Heartland 
  • Vathier Ferguson
  • viz*spark

Planning is already underway for ISSP Conference 2014, which will be held in the autumn of 2014.  Share your opinions about location selection by participating in our member survey, which will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.

We hope to see you at our next conference!

Sustainability for Small & Mid-Sized Companies: A Huge Opportunity 

Most large corporations have recognized the imperative to transition to a more sustainable global economic model and are reaping tangible benefits from sustainability-based strategies. Most small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not following suit, at least in the U.S. Why not?

SMEs, defined as those businesses with less than 500 employees, are the growth engine of the U.S. economy, traditionally accounting for most of its innovation and new job creation. Consider these statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy's website:

  • SMEs represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer firms

  • SMEs have contributed 67 percent of net new private sector jobs coming out of the Great Recession (2009-2011)

  • Prior to the Great Recession, SMEs contributed 64 percent of net new private sector jobs

  • SMEs represent 98 percent of all firms exporting goods

  • SMEs produce patentable innovations 16 times more frequently per employee than large enterprises

Expediting the adoption of sustainable business practices by large numbers of SMEs clearly represents a huge opportunity, not only for the companies themselves, but for the entire American economy. In fact, making this happen may well be what finally brings sustainability truly into the mainstream of our economy.

Sustainability4SMEs is the name of an ambitious research project being undertaken by ISSP Board Member Graham Russell and his colleague Martha Young. Their goals are simple:

  • identify the barriers preventing SMEs from adopting sustainability-based strategies

  • understand those events or other factors that have caused some SMEs to successfully adopt sustainability as a driver of their business activities

  • identify those trusted advisors that have helped some SMEs understand the benefits of the sustainability message and assisted their initial efforts

  • examine the most common sustainability initiatives undertaken by SMEs and the metrics by which they judge their success

Russell and Young are collecting information from many hundreds of SMEs all over the U.S. to ensure that their findings and recommendations are based on solid, empirical data and not on the speculation that typically surrounds sustainability and SMEs. Further, the information is being collected and analyzed by industry vertical because it's obvious that the opportunities and challenges associated with sustainability are very different for a manufacturer than those for a retail operation or a transportation company.

For more information about this groundbreaking work visit: If you are an SME with opinions on the value of sustainability to your organization, please take the survey at:

If you work in sustainability for a city or county government and are interested in learning what your local business community is thinking or doing about sustainability, please contact Graham Russell or Martha Young, who will arrange for you to send the survey out in your territory and in turn, provide you with the findings.

Contribute To A Survey About Supply Chains and Social Responsibility 

This survey invitation is addressed to supply chain managers or sustainability/social responsibility managers in the U.S. manufacturing sector to contribute to research on socially responsible practices implemented at a supply chain level.

Social responsibility is a timely and a particularly important issue in the business world today and the benefits of applying socially responsible practices are said to accrue both to the focal supply chain and firm and, to the society at large.  However, little up to date research has been carried out to examine the implementation of socially responsible practices at a supply chain level. 

Results to be published will only refer to statistical totals and any answers given will be treated confidentially. Individual persons or companies will neither be identified in publications nor in published data. It will take you 10 to 15 minutes at the most, to complete this survey which contains mostly closed-ended questions. At the end of the questionnaire, you can indicate whether you would like to receive the results of the survey and/ or provide any comments.

Click here to enter the survey "Supply Chains and Social Responsibility".

If you have any questions, please contact
Pantelitsa Eteokleous
PhD Candidate, Leeds University Business School
Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building,
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Join ISSP's Virtual Book Club to Discuss Enough Is Enough: Building A Sustainable Economy In A World of Finite Resources

Want to learn more about the economic system of the future and discuss some of the key issues? Join ISSP members and others from around the world on-line as we read and discuss the book, Enough is Enough, Building A Sustainable Economy In A World of Finite Resources, by Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill. The book explores how to move from our current "required" growth economic model to a steady state economy.

The group will read one to three chapters a week over a 10-week period from July 8 to September 15. You can start your own local face-to-face group that can then weigh into the larger on-line group discussion forum.  Each week a new on-line forum question will start the discussion and sharing of ideas.  

As an extra special treat authors, Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill, will join the group via webinars the week of July 22 and September 8 (specific dates and times to be determined).

The timeline is:

June: Register to ISSP Book Group and organize local groups

July 8: Launch book group

July - September: Read and Discuss with at least two webinars

Post-September: Consider follow on activities 

The book group is free for ISSP members and $25 for non-ISSP members. Price does not include the book. To join, link to the registration page below. All registered participants will have access to the ISSP Learning Resource Center where we will host the private book club. Participants will introduce themselves to the group with an on-line profiles; the platform will host the forum for questions and a collection of additional resources. If you are interested in joining the group register here:

JULY WORKSHOP Biomimicry: Pathway to Innovation ... Learning from Nature   

Biomimicry is an old practice and new discipline that emulates nature's time-tested strategies for surviving and thriving sustainably on Earth. Formaldehyde-free building materials modeled after mussels, networks that emulate slime mold, and self-cleaning paint inspired by lotus leaves, are a few examples. A growing number of people are applying lessons from nature's treasure trove of tried-and-true solutions to spur innovation toward creating healthier, more resilient societies.  

Register for next month's education event with Mary Hansel and meet on-line on Tuesdays (July 9, 16, 23, 30), 2013 at 10:00am Pacific Time-USA for 90 minutes. 

Through a series of interactive, online webinar presentations and access to the ISSP Learning Resource Center this workshop is designed to meet the following learning objectives:

  • Ability to describe the concept of biomimicry and various ways (innovation tool, ethical gauge for sustainability, reconnection between humans and the planet) it is being used to advance sustainability.

  • Learn to translate challenges into functions that can be used to ask "How does nature...?"

  •  Explore a system's perspective on Earth's operating conditions and learn deep patterns of biological design (Life's Principles) that have evolved in response to those operating conditions.

  • Practice using Life's Principles to both evaluate, and inspire strategies to improve, sustainability performance.

  • Identify biomimicry tools and resources. 

Mary Hansel is a Certified Biomimicry Professional and was the instructor for ISSP's Biomimicry workshop September 2012.  She was among the first fifteen graduates of the Biomimicry Institute's two-year professional program with a concentration in biomimicry and business innovation.  She has designed and presented sustainability and biomimicry educational sessions for professional conferences, graduate courses as a guest lecturer, and internal workshops.

Mary specializes in organizational sustainability and intrapreneurial coaching.  She has included biomimicry as a core piece in her work since first learning about it in 2000.

Mary served for six years as Treasurer on Biomimicry 3.8 Institute's Board of Directors, and is co-founder and primary mover and shaker of Biomimicry Oregon, a biomimicry regional network in the Pacific Northwest.

Price: $450 Member Price: $325*

*Early Bird Discount available to ALL through 07/02/13: $50 off


June Webinar: ResourceFULL Use, Industrial Collaboration  

Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 11:00 am Pacific Time-US    

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Waste Composition Charts report that hundreds of thousands of tons of usable materials go to landfill in the Portland Metro area each year. 

When a material can be used as it was intended, repurposed or recycled locally rather than going to waste, a long list of benefits occurs! Surprisingly greenhouse gas reductions top the list. Other benefits include reductions in costs for donors and recipients, solid waste, toxics, water and energy savings. Creating a market for low cost materials is also an Economic Development strategy that spawns not only new local industrial feedstock supplies, but new products and green jobs.

ResourceFULL Use is a Portland based "industrial ecology" project with the objective of facilitating exchanges of by-products between manufacturers and other organizations. Unlike web based tools like Craig's List, Boneyard or IMEX, ResourceFULL Use combines online access to Materials Available and Needed with workshops, coaching and sharing case studies and Roadmaps. Please join us for this webinar. 

ResourceFULL Use participants report that their relationship to by-products has been transformed, and now they look at dumpsters, wastewater or other wastes and think "huh...I wonder who could use this?"

Presenters: Debra Taevs has been a partner and Co-Director of the ResourceFULL Use project for more than five years. She was the first Coordinator for a sister project in the Puget Sound, By-Product Synergy Northwest, and facilitated the Industrial Ecology Materials Exchange in Eastern Washington. Debra was the Deputy Director/Oregon Director for the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center for over six years and has worked to promote sustainable business practices with City of Seattle, Peace Corps and others. Debra has a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Washington and a Business Degree from San Diego State.

Dorothy Fisher Atwood has over 25 years of environmental consulting experience with the last ten years focused management systems implementation for private and public organizations.  She is the Management Systems program manager for Zero Waste Alliance (ZWA), a Portland-based non-profit organization.  ZWA is one of the eleven US Environmental Protection Agency-designated Local Resource Centers in their PEER center of management system excellence. Her work includes development of implementation tools and procedures, training, and sustainability and environmental management system (including ISO 14001) integration into core business systems.  

Price: $10, free for ISSP members.


Sept-Oct Workshop: Sustainable Event Training with Meegan Jones    

Seeking to achieve improved sustainability performance for your events?  Learn how to articulate the right questions and make the informed decisions before you design and deliver sustainability management strategies.

Over 500 event professionals have taken this course face-to-face.  Now it is offered as an online ISSP workshop taught by an experienced sector specialist/instructor from GreenShoot Pacific.  The Sustainable Event Training workshop is delivered online via ISSP's dynamic, interactive eLearning experience: meeting online once a week for 5 weeks for a live webinar plus interacting 24/7 at the ISSP Learning Resource Center. 

Gain an in-depth understanding of sustainable development principles and how to put them into practical action in event planning and delivery.  Meegan will cover these topics: Sustainable development principles; Identifying sustainability issues; Destination, Venue & Accommodation; Biodiversity, Community, Society; Sustainable sourcing/procurement;  Implementing ISO 20121; GRI Event Organizer's Supplement; Legacy & Leadership; Managing transport impacts; Waste eduction/resource recovery; Water supply and management; Energy management; Reducing GHG emissions; Produce a sustainability policy; and more.

Instructor Meegan Jones is an event professional (20 years) who provides sustainable solutions for live events and productions.  She is Director of GreenShoot Pacific (GSP), training and consulting on sustainability for the events, screen and music touring industries. Meegan is author of Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide, published by Earthscan/Stylus in 2012.  She was recently on the working group for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) events organizer sector supplement and is also on the international working group for the development of ISO 20121 Events Sustainability Management Systems. Meegan is President of the Sustainable Event Alliance, an industry body working towards increased sustainability performance in the event industry. Recent credits include; Sustainability Manager for Festival Republic (Glastonbury, Reading, Latitude Festivals), Global Greening Consultant Live Earth 2010 and Live Earth India 2008, Festivals and Events consultant for Julie's Bicycle (UK Creative Industries Climate Change Group), and Project consultant United Nations Music & Environment Initiative. Meegan has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from UWS.

Price for the five-week workshop is $550 for non-members and $325 for ISSP members. A $50 Early Bird Discount is available to ALL and ends 08/28/13.


SELF-STUDY WORKSHOP:  Sustainability 101 

Instructor is Darcy Hitchcock, co-founder of ISSP and co-founder of Axis Performance Advisors

Are you well-versed on all the essential sustainability concepts? To be a credible sustainability professional, there are certain key concepts you should know. Use this self-study workshop to test your knowledge and fill in any gaps. The course has four modules (read more HERE).  

The prerecorded webinars are taught by ISSP co-founder and sustainability consultant/author, Darcy Hitchcock.  

Dates: Open Enrollment. Register at any time.  

Take up to 8 weeks to complete.  


2013-2014 Certificate Workshops Offered By ISSP

Sustainability 101 + 5 CORE + 3 ELECTIVE+ 4 WEBINARS  = 1 ISSP Sustainability Professionals Certificate  

Purchase the entire certificate program for $2600 and receive the prerequisite Sustainability 101 for free, a $250 value    


  • JUL Biomimicry, Learning from Nature - Mary Hansel  

  • SEP SPaRK Sustainability Planning - Marsha Willard

  • SEP-OCT Sustainable Event Training - Meegan Jones

  • OCT Sustaining Sustainability - Dorothy Atwood

  • NOV Leadership Skills - Bob Willard   


  • JAN Stakeholder Engagement - Susanne Croft

  • FEB Ecosystem Valuations - Jim Pittman

  • APR Storytelling for Sustainability - Jeff Leinaweaver

  • MAY Strategy Tools for Sustainability Transformations - Alan AtKisson

More info on the ISSP Certificate program HERE


Sustainability Events and Conferences Around the World 

See details about these events on the Other Sustainability Events page of the ISSP Website. 

  • Accountability Project, June 3-7, Toronto

  • BASF at The Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series, June 12, Toronto and Live Webcast

  • BALLE Conference 2013, June 12-14, Buffalo NY

  • Changing Tack - The Regeneration Roadmap, June 13, Webinar

  • TBL Conference, June 17-18, New York

  • Leading for Sustainability, June 24-27, Ashland, Massachusetts

  • 3rd International Exergy, Life Cycle Assessment, and Sustainability Workshop & Symposium, July 7-9, Nisyros, Greece

  • International Summit of Sustainability Leaders, July 11-13, Lake District, UK

  • Wellbeing Research Conference, July 24, Lake District, UK

  • EV Roadmap 6, July 30-31, Portland, Oregon

  • CIIS 2013 International Congress of Innovation and Sustainability, August 29-30, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  • Greening the Heartland/Building Chicago Conference, September 9-11, Chicago

  • 3S Awards in Sustainable & Socially Responsible Sourcing, October, Location TBD

  • SXSW Eco, October 7-9, Austin, Texas

  • Corporate Sustainability Forum, October 10-11, Redondo Beach, CA

  • Green Industry Conference, October 23-25, Louisville, KY

  • Local Renewables Freiberg 2013, October 24-25, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

  • 2013 Net Impact Conference, October 24-26, Silicon Valley, California

  • Conference on Peer-To-Peer Systems for Production, Consumption and Exchange, November 7-8, Lancaster, UK

  • Corporate Sustainability and Eco-Innovations,   November 18-19, Warsaw, Poland

  • Carbon Professional Path, various dates, Canada

  • Sustainability Workshop and Networking Series, various dates, Perrysburg, Ohio