Corporate Eye

Kick Ass Sustainability Professionals Reach Critical Mass

Critical mass is the name for a global network of bicycle-based mass protesters. They assemble in cities in huge numbers and pedal through the streets in order to demonstrate that they, too, are traffic.

Am I suggesting that sustainability professionals should join their ranks? Er, no.

Critical mass is also the minimum amount of fissile material needed to create a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Once the chain reaction has been started it will carry on with only the addition of fuel to keep it going.

Am I suggesting that a certain number of sustainability professionals have “gone nuclear”? Certainly not!

However, this month’s launch of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is a critical moment in recent history, allowing a mass of sustainability experts around the world to reach out to one another for the very first time ever.

Niche Concern to Business Fundamental
At the moment there are many, many sustainability professionals working around the world. Each has their own particular specialism, ranging from business to water supplies.

While there are some basic foundations to the sustainability movement, such as GRI G3 and ISO14000, many of these sustainability professionals work in radically different environments.

Their organisation structure may vary from commercial to voluntary. Their industry may vary from mining to financial services. And their regulators may vary, from the prescriptive EU to the liberal USA.

This means there is ample scope for these professionals to meet beneath a single roof and start to make use of their common interests and goals.

Some of these are obvious: the ability to discuss ideas, experiences and solutions and discounts on publications, tools and services being classic benefits of professional organisations.

In addition, ISPP are offering conferences and webinars as well as distance learning courses. The first of these is entitled “Leadership Secrets of Kick-Ass Sustainability Professionals”.

All of this costs only $150, which will be refunded if you introduce five more individuals or organisations to join.

Establishing a Chain Reaction
The group has been incubated to launch by the Zero Waste Alliance and is sponsored by Hewlett Packard and Business Week.

Membership spans a large cross section of sustainability disciplines, including urban development, academic research, NGOs, electronics and energy generation.

As this membership grows the society will become an influential professional body, able to speak from the vast experience its members bring to the table without political or industrial favouritism.

The result could easily be a self sustaining chain reaction through all industry and sectors as sustainability takes its place alongside accountancy as one of the core components of business’ way of life.

It would be a shame to miss the opportunity at the first time of asking.

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A former CTO, Chris has a broad and varied background. He’s been involved with blue chips, consultancies & SMEs across a wide variety of sectors and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. In 2007 he decided to combine his knowledge of business and IT with his passion for all things sustainable and has been busy writing ever since. However, his greatest ambition remains to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the International Society for Sustainability Professionals. This is an important moment and I want to get on board.

My pleasure … I’m glad you see the opportunities this organisation can offer!

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