The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) have announced that they will jointly convene a global congress to advance their respective fields and elevate the recognition of professionals as invaluable to successfully driving institutional progress on climate change and sustainability. The first-of-its-kind Congress will be held in Chicago on December 9-12, 2019.
Organizations are increasingly making ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop resilience plans and support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unanimously adopted by all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. Effective response to the challenges and opportunities that organizations face across sectors and regions requires substantially increasing the stature, convening authority and resourcing of the professionals who have emerged as key leaders and implementers of these initiatives.
Participants at the Congress will engage in facilitated discussions on standardizing competencies and organizational structures, advancing professional credentialing, and establishing a uniform voice representing the practitioner community. The Congress’ innovative participatory program will be shaped by a planning council of leading practitioners from industry, government agencies and higher education institutions.
“Success in reducing emissions, increasing adaptive capacity and enhancing resilience will require unprecedented operational and policy shifts, and a substantial upgrade to workforce capacity to design for changing conditions impacting our natural, built and social systems,” said Daniel Kreeger, Executive Director of ACCO. “It is critical that climate change and sustainability professionals come together, align efforts and substantially advance the capabilities and recognition of their fields of practice.”
By aligning efforts as the two most prominent international credentialing bodies in the fields of climate change and sustainability, ACCO and ISSP seek to convene practitioners in a substantial stride towards climate action and sustainability.
“Our members lead public, private and not-for-profit institutions to integrate sustainability and climate considerations, yet the occupations themselves are still poorly defined” said Jeff Yorzyk, Board President of ISSP. “In partnering with ACCO, we believe our members and credential holders will be poised for success, and our organizations will be better able to elevate and advocate for the occupations. We must collaborate and challenge one another on the tough questions if we are to evoke true change.”
More information about the Congress is available online at www.ACCOISSP.org. Additional information on the program agenda will be made public later this Summer.