ISSP Newsletter - September 2013

Sep 6, 2013 6:30 PM ET

ISSP Newsletter - September 2013


ISSP Begins the Search for a New Executive Director

By Marha Willard, ISSP Executive Director

It is with excitement that I open the search for a new Executive Director for ISSP. The organization is entering a new chapter in its development as am I. Together with a committee of ISSP board members, I open the application process in the hopes of finding a new Executive Director to take the organization into its next phase of evolution. 

I'm excited for where the organization is going and its potential for growth and impact. It's been a privilege to have been here from the beginning and to have worked with so many stellar professionals to get this organization launched. The next couple of years should prove dramatic for the organization. We are expanding membership through the creation of local chapters. We also plan to increase our on the ground presence with face-to-face training workshops. And we continue our effort toward professional certification. It's a great time to be a professional in this field and ISSP hopes to be the primary source of development for all those working in it.  

If you would like to be considered for the position, follow the link below to the search page on the ISSP site where you will find the position description and the link to our on-line application. We will accept applications until October 4, 2013. 

Click here to go to the application page   

The Value of Communicating Sustainability: At the Intersection of Reality and Perception

By James Cerruti, Ssenior Partner, Brandlogic

There's little doubt that sustainability is at top-of-mind in the world of business. As awareness increases, stakeholders of all kinds are factoring corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance into their decisions, prompting more and more companies to release annual sustainability reports. 

At the same time, corporations are seeing the value of sustainability reporting for its direct operationalimpact. Measuring and reporting on ESG performance and commitments is therefore more than a promotional exercise: an organized and structured effort in accordance with GRI guidelines generates the very information needed to improve efficiency, reduce risk and establish credibility.

Brandlogic contends that sustainability should be considered from two directions: real performance as measured by accepted standards such as the GRI, and perceived performance determined through rigorous stakeholder opinion surveys. By doing so, it is possible to determine which companies truly "walk the walk and talk the talk," which have acquired an unwarranted reputation for sustainability, which are under appreciated and which are lagging behind on both fronts. This information is important for various stakeholder groups for obvious reasons, but it is also valuable to the companies themselves because it can uncover risks to the brand and help guide investment decisions related to sustainable practices, reporting and brand communications.

When Brandlogic conceived the idea, an in-depth comparison of real vs. perceived sustainability performance had never been done. Sustainability reporting was still not widely practiced and the prevailing focus was on the reality side of the equation. Accordingly, Brandlogic teamed with CRD Analytics on a pair of studies conducted in 2011 and 2012. Their purpose: To examine and compare 100 leading companies across nine industries, using established benchmarks for real ESG performance and their own survey of highly attentive stakeholder audiences around the world for perceived performance.  To read the full article and to see the survey results, click here.


Branding Redefined: How Sustainability is Changing the Way We Do Business

Explore the intersection between branding and sustainability and how companies are being perceived in this realm. Any company's ultimate brand power and success is correlated to how it can communicate its sustainability efforts. James will report on the characteristics that define the leaders, challengers, promoters and laggards in this area.

With James Cerruti, Senior Partner of Strategy and Research - Brandlogic

Thursday September 19 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  

11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  

Free for ISSP Members and $10 USD$ for non-members

For more info click here

The Green Economy: Boosted, Busted, or Blasting Off? 

By Alan AtKisson, Member of ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame and author of Believing Cassandra and The Sustainability Transformation

Boosted, busted, or blasting off? One year after it was meant to be the centerpiece of global sustainable development, at the "Rio+20" global conference, what is the status of the global transition to Green Economy? What is the "state of play," strategically? And on the big, substantive questions - e.g. redirecting capital investment into green technologies, systematic decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption, putting nature onto the balance sheet - what's happening, and who is doing what?

In early 2013, WWF Sweden asked us to do a global scan of these questions. We delivered this briefing to them in April 2013. Now (I am writing in August 2013), WWF Sweden has given us permission to share our findings with the rest of the world. (We express our thanks to Magnus Emfel, who coordinates climate innovation and sustainable economics for WWF Sweden, and we note again that the views expressed in this report are ours, and do not represent those of WWF Sweden or WWF International.)

In short, the Green Economy concept - which was intensely criticized at the Rio+20 conference, by critics from the political left, right, and even center - still appears more boosted than busted by the attention it received in Rio de Janeiro. As you will read in this strategic briefing, there is a tremendous amount of activity around the world that is linked to this concept, often at the very highest levels of government and corporate leadership. And in at least once case (China), the phrase "blasting off" is appropriate, because of the enormous levels of investment involved.

To read the full article, click here.

October Certificate Course:

Sustaining Sustainability Organizational Assessments & Systems 

Online Course with ISSP President Dorothy Atwood

In this 4-week interactive, webinar-based online course move from one-off sustainability projects to sustainability being integrated into the core culture of the organization through metrics, reporting, defined roles and responsibility.

For each improvement project or step toward sustainability, ask, what do I need to do to keep this going and supported?

Ad hoc to integrated > Build accountability  > Keep it going!  

Special Discounts:

4-week Course price: $450 USD $ 

Early Bird Save $50 through October 1
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

>Start October 9 - Webinars are recorded
>Apply this core workshop credit towards the ISSP Certificate

For more info click here 

November 2013 Certificate Course:

Leadership Skills for Change Agents: The New Sustainability Imperative

Online Course with Bob Willard, member of ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame and author of The Sustainability Advantage, The Next Sustainability Wave, and The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook

In this 4-week interactive, webinar-based online course explore the risk and opportunity drivers of the new sustainability imperative. Acknowledge the urgency and why companies care more about sustainability now than they did five years ago. Apply the culture of sustainability and lead organizations effectively, quickly, and without executive position power.

Special Discounts:

4-week Course price: $450 USD $ 

Early Bird Save $50 through October 28
ISSP Members save $75 off anytime

>Start November 4 - Webinars are recorded
>Apply this core workshop credit towards the ISSP Certificate

For more info click here 

ISSP's October Webinar:

Small Business: Big Impacts

How Small and Mid-sized Companies Can Benefit Financially from Taking Action as Stewards of the World's Resources 

With Graham Russell and Martha Young

Most large corporations have recognized that they can drive innovation, competitive advantage and improved financial performance by adopting sustainable business practices.  Small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) typically have not yet embraced sustainability as a key element of their business strategy. This represents a major lost opportunity, both for the SME business community and for the entire economy.  

The webinar will describe a groundbreaking research project that is examining the successes of SMEs that have embraced sustainability, the barriers many SMEs have encountered in implementing sustainability-based initiatives and how they were overcome.

Tuesday October 22 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  

11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  

Free for ISSP Members and $10 USD$ for non-members

For more info click here

ISSP's November Webinar:

State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?

This webinar will aim to restore the word sustainability to its original environmental meaning with Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and Robert Engelman, President of the Worldwatch Institute. 

The word "sustainable" has come to be all but meaningless, generally used to connote a practice or product that is slightly less environmentally damaging than the conventional alternatives. This webinar, based on the 2013 edition of Worldwatch Institute's flagship annual, State of the World (subtitled Is Sustainability Still Possible?), will aim to restore the word to its original environmental meaning.  

The key question is: can sustainability be shown to have a scientific foundation? And if so, what do theory and current data say about the sustainability of our global civilization?  

Wednesday November 13 @ 11:00am Pacific Time-US  

11am PDT/ 12pm MDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT  

Free for ISSP Members and $10 USD$ for non-members

For more info click here

Calendar of Sustainability Events Happening Around the World

 For information about these events, visit the Other Events page on the ISSP Website

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

  • Environmental Evaluators Network 2013 Pacific Forum, September 22-24, Corbett, Oregon

  • The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference, September 24-25 Philadelphia, PA

  • 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

  • Sustainable Brands London Conference, November 18-19, London, 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