Case Study: Sustainability Excellence Credentials

3R highly values the professional growth of its employees. One way 3R fosters this growth is through the Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) credential

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) developed the Sustainability Excellence credential for those seeking credibility in their understanding of sustainability trends, concepts, and frameworks that will set them apart from other professionals*.

There are two Sustainability Excellence credentials: Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) and Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP). SEA is designed for those who are new to the field of sustainability, such as students, recent graduates, or professionals interested in incorporating sustainability into their work. SEP demonstrates advanced knowledge and experience in the sustainability field and is intended to recognize experts who are at the forefront of the transition to a more sustainable world.

The Sustainability Excellence credential is a foundational component of 3R’s professional development approach. Not only are 3R Founder and President Jana Lake and Associate Director Gina MacIlwraith SEP certified, but over fifty 3R employees and interns have earned SEA designation in the past three years. Additionally, Gina has hosted seven study cohorts for 3R employees to help them prepare for the exam. 3R offers all interns a spot in the study cohort and reimburses interns for the credential exam fee.  

“The cohort adds value to our internship. Not only do they gain work experience, but they can also obtain the SEA credential as part of their internship,” said Gina.  

Gina, who has over two decades of experience in leading environmental, health, and safety efforts in the public and private sectors, said the SEA credential ensures that 3R team members have a consistent fundamental understanding of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. The credential also enhances employee understanding of the history and philosophy of sustainability frameworks–something the 3R leadership believes is essential for success as a professional in the field of sustainability.  

“Our staff understand the history and frameworks of sustainability, so we do more than just fill in the boxes in a report,” Gina said.  

*ISSP provides education to support exam preparation, credential maintenance, and professional development. Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) acquired the Sustainability Excellence credential in 2019 and is responsible for administering and delivering the certificates.