Is ISSP Certification Right for You?

Last Updated:
Thu, 2018-11-15 14:35

As a working sustainability practitioner, or someone new to the sustainability industry, you may be wondering if certification will add value to your career and/or help you stand out from jobseekers.

That answer is yes! Studies have shown that certification leads to salary increases.

Within the world of corporate sustainability, the certification to pursue is managed by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (or ISSP). As the name implies, ISSP Certification is internationally recognized.

If you’re new to sustainability or want to learn more about ISSP Certification qualifications, please visit our Sustainability Overview series.

So the question remains, is ISSP Certification right for you?

The first part of this answer depends on whether you currently work in sustainability or plan to work in a sustainability-focused career. In either case, ISSP Certification is appropriate for you. ISSP defines a sustainability practitioner as someone who allocates at least 20% of their working day to sustainability-oriented practices or strategies.

issp sustainability professional image

Note that there are two levels of ISSP Certification:

  • ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA)
  • ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP)

The designations must be achieved in that order, too. All candidates are required to first pass the ISSP Sustainability Associate exam before they can go on to become an ISSP-CSP credential holder.

Who Should Become an ISSP Sustainability Associate?

This entry-level certification is for individuals who are new to sustainability or those in allied professions (such as purchasing, human resources, and facilities management) who incorporate sustainability thinking into their work.

Who Should Become an ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional?

This advanced certification is for veteran sustainability professionals with five or more years of experience working in the sustainability field.

Hear from Certified ISSP Professionals Now!

If you’re on the fence about pursuing ISSP Certification, check out the Member Profiles on ISSP’s website. The ISSP organization has profiled several ISSP members who have achieved ISSP-CSP Certification.

The profiles, published monthly, share the member’s educational background, current job responsibilities, accomplishments, and how they believe ISSP will benefit their careers. Right now there are profiles from professionals in Illinois, Italy, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.



Catherine Hurley ISSP Profile



The ISSP Member Profiles are a great resource for understanding the role that ISSP Certification plays in a sustainability professional’s career.

To prepare for your ISSP Certification exam, please enroll in an ISSP Exam Prep course. Everblue is an ISSP Education Partner with ISSP-certified instructors.

We look forward to seeing you in a live or online ISSP training course! If you have any questions about the training, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-720-5642.