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    Over the past decade, the terms Sustainability, Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility have become central in discussions between policymakers, company board members, media, consumers and the society in general. While the concept has reached the mainstream, opportunities still exist for implementation, while at the same time new technologies and policies will require from organizations to provide innovative solutions, services and products. Here are the hottest trends to watch for and prepare for 2020 and beyond:

    1. Through the recent European Green Deal, the goal is for Europe to become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050. The first steps will be the provision of a sustainable investment fund (1 trillion euros) for the next decade, as well as a more demanding Climate Legislation. The European Green Deal will be based on four pillars: the Emissions Trading System, Sustainable Investments, Industry policies, and Fair Transition and will affect directly existing business models and thousands of European organizations they have not integrate sustainability strategies.
    2. The shift to circularity will become more and more obvious, and a $24 billion stimulus package has been announced to facilitate circular economies in Europe.
    3. End of Plastic. The need to protect the marine environment will take center spot in the environmental agenda. To this direction, biodegradable alternatives to plastic will become more common, along with policies to ban single-use plastics, in an effort to protect the marine environment and biodiversity.
    4. European companies will focus more on climate change, energy efficiency, sustainable operations and sustainable supply chains while new legislation and investor requirements will push for more transparency.
    5. More sustainability (ESG) reporting is expected, and the reach of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiatives) and other related standards will continue to grow as companies seek to improve transparency, integrity and reliability. Integrating Reporting will not become the new trend yet, despite several publications that refer to this issue.
    6. Sustainability report will evolve. Reports will rely more on graphs, info-graphics and videos and not only on words in order to capture faster and easier the attention of the readers.
    7. Measuring performance and impact is becoming more and more important and a requirement from investors. Specifically, measurements will be required for demonstrating activities and their impacts to stakeholders improving decision-making as programs evolve over time, and align sustainability activities with corporate goals.
    8. Expect to see more formal education for C-Suite Executives in corporate social responsibility and sustainability due to increased complexity and investor’s expectations.

    CSE is a leading boutique firm operating globally that specializes in maximizing business impact in Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. CSE helps professionals advance their careers through our certified on-site, online ( and group training services globally and supports companies and organizations grow and excel through Sustainability consulting and coaching.

    Upcoming in-person Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Programs (2020 Advanced Edition) include London, March 12-13 and Brussels in June 25-26, 2020 and other dates globally.


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    The successful November 2019 Dubai training focused on the importance of the need for a comprehensive sustainability strategy, including full commitment and support of each organization’s leadership.  Another focus, praised as one of the key take-aways by participants and challenges for the organizations in Gulf Countries and Africa, was the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, there was a strong interest in measuring the social impact and value created of long-term CSR Initiatives. Also, the central role of sustainability in each county’s vision and strategy for the future was discussed, as well as for the Dubai 2020 Expo, and the role companies play in the fulfillment of these strategies.

    The training included a majority of participants from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco and Dubai.

    Several SVPs, Circular Economy Experts, Senior Specialists, Sustainability Directors and CSR Professionals from leading companies such as The World Bank, Oman Oil, Emicool, Aldar Properties and Worley Parsons joined CSE’s certified sustainability program that has qualified over 6.500 Sustainability and CSR professionals.

    CSE is preparing now for the London Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2020), March 12-13, 2020.   As always, CSE will tailor the training to the unique needs of Europe.

    Supply chain, investor rankings, and materiality are important components of the Center for Sustainability and Excellence Certified Sustainability Practitioner training which will be presented in London 2020.  CSE does not pick focus topics arbitrarily, such as the request for extra SROI information in the 2019 Houston training.  We listen to participants from past trainings and to participants enrolled for future trainings.

    Want to inform the focus for London? Register early and earn the chance to inform the discussion, bring your unique challenges and learn the case-study based methodology to enhance your sustainability journey.

    Contact us at [email protected] today!

    The Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) thanks all of our participants at our sold-out San Francisco training, October 15-16, 2019.  The discussions were enlightening, deep, meaningful and the key issues brought to the table critical.

    CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2019 provides participants the tools they need to implement effective sustainability strategies. Executives from Fortune 500 & Fortune 1000 companies tackled issues arising from Sustainability Reporting, ESG ratings, stakeholder engagement and competitive advantage.  Discussion also focused on the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as responsible communication of sustainability practices, initiatives and results. The salient topics covered included supply chain, compliance, international legislation, the circular economy and the significance of materiality assessment.

    Several Sustainability Professionals from leading companies such as Cisco, Oracle, Chevron, Lyft joined CSE’s certified sustainability program that has qualified over 6.500 Sustainability and CSR professionals.

    Attendees were among the first to learn about CSE’s research on Sustainability Reporting Trends in Silicon Valley 2019, a follow up to 2016’s research. CSE’s research indicates that Silicon Valley has made significant improvements in sustainability strategy and reporting over the past three reporting cycles. Despite improvement, much work remains especially when comparing Silicon Valley to CSE’s research findings on the Sustainability Status of all sectors in North America.

    Attendees from corporations, governments and NGOs from around the world have trusted CSE and participated in our advanced training to become Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioners and earn recognition in the Sustainability and CSR field.  Each training addresses issues of deep concern to the region and the participants.  The upcoming trainings include Miami January 16-17, 2020 and Atlanta March 9-10, 2020!

    CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Leadership Edition 2020, will take place in New York City on June 11-12, 2020 and its goal is to help sustainability and other ESG professionals rise to any occasion and implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in their organization.

    Register early for our future global trainings and earn the chance to inform the discussion, bring your unique challenges and learn the case-study based methodology to enhance your sustainability journey.

    Contact [email protected]


    As mentioned in a previous blog article, North Bay Village, like many other areas across Florida, is beginning to notice the effects of rising sea levels.  Top environmental issues in Miami are not new problems and have been raised for decades.

    For example, one problem is Florida allowing development on its beaches and the sea level rise, as a result of climate change, is not stopping developers of Florida’s coast.

    In 2016, South Florida was home to 6 million people and projected to grow by 3 million over the next three decades. Yet, by 2050, an estimated $15 billion to $36 billion of Florida’s coastal property will be threatened by sea-level rise, according to a report in 2015 from the Risky Business Project, a Bloomberg Philanthropies effort that quantifies economic risks from climate change.

    In South Florida, sea-level rise and climate change are already having an effect on available drinking water as the rise of the ocean is bringing salt water into the water system.

    It is undeniable the beautiful Florida beaches are attractive to tourists. On May 1, 2019, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) announced a record-breaking 16.5 million overnight visitors in 2018, up +3.5% compared to 2017, along with 6.8 million Day Trippers for a total visitor number of 23.3 million. The record-breaking visitor volume led to an economic impact of nearly $18 billion, fueled mostly by international visitors who contributed an estimated +54% of the total economic impact. Greater Miami and the Beaches broke another record by selling a record 15.6 million hotel room nights in 2018, representing an increase of +1.5% compared to 2017. This speaks to the strong demand for the destination. But tourists bring their own challenges – often in the form of motor boats and fishing rods, contributing further to the sustainability issues.

    If you represent or are directly or indirectly linked to these industries affected by these environmental challenges in Florida, what solutions do you adopt and what actions to do implement to ensure the sustainability of your organization? Join us in Miami in early 2020 for sustainability discussions regarding the Sunshine State.

    CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2020, takes over Florida January 16-17, 2020 to help sustainability professionals rise to any occasion. This challenging two-day training offered by Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to give you all the latest tools and resources required to implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in your organization.

    This ambitious project aims to slash carbon emissions by 3,243 metric tons. Dubai International Airport made a smart and eco-friendly move with the installation of 15,000 solar panels on its premises that will reduce its carbon emissions and save millions annually in electric bills.

    Dubai Airports, the operator of the world’s busiest international airport, and Etihad Energy Services Company, a leading energy service company announced the completion of its project to install photovoltaic panels at Terminal 2 – the largest at any airport in the region.

    The solar project has a capacity of 5 megawatts that will generate 7,483,500 kWh energy annually for Dubai Airports. The project will reduce existing Terminal 2 load by approximately 29%. It will also slash annual carbon dioxide emissions.

    The project is part of Dubai’s smart initiative that aims to promote the use of clean renewable energy sources by installing solar panels on usable rooftops in Dubai. It aims for individual villa and building owners to generate electricity from solar power.

    Energy Services Company will provide maintenance services for Dubai Airports for a period of seven years from completion. These include the use of energy efficient fittings, the optimization of cooling systems, the installation of energy efficient LED bulbs and many others.

    Energy Services Company aims to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030. It is currently preparing to implement a number of projects, expanding beyond building retrofits to include industrial retrofits and solar projects.

    Sustainability practitioners bring strong and creative thinking to achieve goals and deal with the challenges and new projects that come ahead. CSE is holding its next Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program in Dubai, November 17-18, 2019.

    Many start-ups and companies focused on sustainability call San Francisco home.  Now the rest have to catch up!  For new sustainability practitioners, this is good news.  There are ground floor opportunities.  For established practitioners – also good news.  Leadership, management and executive roles are expanding.


    CSE offers advanced certified education on Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Circular Economy for professionals.  Trainings maximize a company’s impact and help professionals become qualified in the field.   They provide the latest practical tools and resources to implement or upscale corporate sustainability and ESG ratings to drive initiatives, generate value and create effective strategies.


    We have added San Francisco, October 15, 2019, to our rotation of trainings. Senior managers and VPs from more than 90% of the FORTUNE 500 have attended our programs.  They join over 1500 Certified Sustainability Practitioners from over 50 countries all over the world.


    CSE has completed its second exploration of sustainability strategies and reporting in Silicon Valley (report forthcoming in September).  CSE’s 2016 report uncovered the disturbing news that Silicon Valley companies lag other sectors in sustainability practices.  The 2019 research indicates significant improvements. Still, there is plenty of room to raise standards and increase ESG Ratings relied upon by investors. The same year Google won the Silicon Valley Community Foundation award for its corporate social responsibility (CSR), CSE president Nikos Avlonas received their CSR Practitioner of the Year award.

    West Coast issues include Climate Change and sea-level rise, water resources, city growth and management and applying ESG (environment, social, governance) principles to the region.  An important CSE strategy is to meet corporations where they are.  From construction to Silicon Valley  (Workday, Netgear), CSE has developed meaningful relationships with both SMEs and large international corporations.  We’ve provided education on Sustainability to leading companies such as  Google, T-Mobile, Sandia National Laboratories and other companies based in California and Washington.

    Because of its leadership in sustainability, San Francisco is an ideal location for our Certified CSR-P TrainingOct. 15-16, 2019.  Other upcoming trainings include Toronto, Oct. 31-Nov.1, 2019 and Miami, Jan. 16-17, 2020.


    The famous Noodle House has announced a ban on single use plastics and implemented bio-degradable delivery packaging. Restaurants will increasingly be forced to adopt sustainable practices or run the risk of disappointing customers, according to Sarood Hospitality general manager Spencer Ayers.

    “There will be a move towards rejecting brands that aren’t conscious about sustainability in the future,” Ayers said in an interview with Arabian Business. Following a similar move by Freedom Pizza in January 2018, other brands in the UAE immediately followed by banning the use of plastic straws, cutlery, cocktail sticks and stirrers across all its outlets. The initiative was then rolled out across other branches of hospitality by the second quarter of the year.

    The goal for Hospitality businesses in Dubai and the UAE is to be single-use plastic free by the beginning of 2020.

    Acting on the changing habits of tourists and locals in the UAE, restaurants are also increasingly being forced to use technology to “appease the needs” of the consumer.

    Many restaurants will likely begin implementing technology that helps ease the process of ordering food, booking tables and paying. This will limit the use of paper thus contributing to the encasement of sustainability in the UAE area.

    Sustainability practitioners bring strong skills and an umbrella way of thinking to deal with the challenges ahead. CSE is holding its next Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program in Dubai, November 17-18, 2019.

    San Francisco, the heart of the tech world, has some of the most progressive environmental and social mandates in the US.  One would think Silicon Valley corporations in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale would be equally sensitive to sustainability issues.

    To answer this query, CSE has undertaken a series of research examining leader corporations in Silicon Valley.  CSE’s 2016 research found Silicon Valley lagging on sustainability indicators compared to other sectors and even the FT 500.  Key sustainability factors include Community, Environment, Ethics, Employees, Supply Chain and Philanthropy.  At the time, only 21 of 100 companies in the study had a sustainability strategy that included all six concerns.

    CSE is revisiting the research in 2019.  Highlights from the report will be debuted at CSE’s Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2019), Oct. 15-16 in San Francisco.  Spoiler alert: the tech world is doing better – but not good enough!

    That is why training is key.  CSE has developed unique training with leading Silicon Valley companies to instill a sustainability culture within those companies.  CSE trainings start and finish by making the business case for sustainability.  If a company cannot advance financially, they can’t help their community of stakeholders.  With Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit, investor relations are key!

    Employees need to understand this as well as employers do.  That is why so many tech leaders send attendees to our training.  We’ve worked with Google, Workday, Netgear, LG Electronics, T-Mobile, Sandia National Laboratories and other tech organizations.

    The same year Google won the Silicon Valley Community Foundation award for its corporate social responsibility (CSR), CSE president Nikos Avlonas received their CSR Practitioner of the Year award.

    Coupled with its leadership in sustainability and having the pulse of the tech world, San Francisco is an ideal location for CSE’s Certified CSR-P Training, Oct. 15-16, 2019.  Other upcoming trainings include Toronto, Oct. 31-Nov.1, 2019 and Miami, Jan. 16-17, 2020.

    Sustainable companies have Action Plans. If you don’t – get one NOW. Cities have them as well. Houston developed an Action Plan in 2008, specifically targeting emissions reduction and later energy efficiency. The plan has paid off in many ways from landfill incinerators to green fleets to competing with other cities for best in class.

    An Action Plan identifies areas already part of an organization’s sustainability strategy and highlights stakeholder concerns. The Action Plan then details who needs to sponsor the effort (i.e., identifying civic leaders), a cross-departmental team, which ESG (environment, social, governance) pillars are of greatest importance and how the organization can pull these pieces together over a specific timeframe.

    With an Action plan, an organization can design initiatives and goals for Environment, Local Communities and Services that increase stakeholder value, reduce potential risk and improve performance. The Action Plan often serves as a tool to provide impetus to nascent sustainability efforts.

    If you don’t believe Houston’s Action Plan has paid off, look at the latest government and corporate achievements in diverse areas. Houston companies are exploring sustainable materials for textiles, polyolefins for packaging (with resins from polyethylene and polypropylene), green restaurants, green buildings and working with community health care workers to improve population health.

    These efforts lead to jobs. A quick search of Indeed lists over 500 jobs in sustainability at entry, middle and senior levels, with salaries ranging to over $95,000 a year. Opportunities exist around greater Houston and include various industries like restaurants, finance, real estate, engineering, food services, health, waste, construction, non-profits and even the Zoo!

    The Action Plan Houston started in 2008 focusing on emissions reduction has evolved to include green energy sourcing, climate change adaptation and a vision toward 2030. The variety of ways in which a city, state, SME or major corporation can contribute to sustainability is endless.

    To learn how to complete an Action Plan, attend our next Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2019 to be held in Houston, September 26-27, 2019. This course offers pragmatic methodology and tools to implement a corporate sustainability program. This is the “how to” course for identifying stakeholders, material issues, goals, implementation and reporting. Upcoming trainings: San Francisco, Oct. 15-16, 2019, Toronto, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2019 and Miami, Jan. 16-17, 2020.

    The Center for Sustainability and Excellence has a long-standing history in Europe of providing Sustainability Education to global FT 500 corporations and executives. 

    This June in Brussels Sustainability Leaders from all over Europe will join the new advanced edition of the Certified Sustainability (CSR) Program. This training will bring together high level professionals from different countries, fields and companies to join the two-day workshop, to develop and enhance their business strategies through CSR frameworks.

    The sustainability agenda at the European level is “a positive agenda, it is about making people’s lives better” (European Commission, Reflection Paper, “Towards a Sustainable Europe 2030”). The European Union is strongly supporting the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy and it has been at the forefront of efforts to build a financial system that supports sustainable growth.

    Corporate Responsibility (CSR) is a key enabler of the transition to a more sustainable future, as private actors’ engagement is needed to deliver efficiency and results. CEO’s and the whole C-Suite need to be sustainability experts. The European Commission openly addressed the need for implementing further actions to stimulate companies to put sustainability at the core of their business process, through incentives.

    Sustainability professionals have to address new legislation, integration of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into the current sustainability plan, new and upcoming trends, ways to influence and get support from C-suite executives, the role of Investors and how to maximize their corporate performance in ESG ratings.

    CSE will be in Brussels, Belgium, in June 20-21, 2019. The Certified Sustainability Program provides tools for the design and implementation of the corporate Sustainability plan, as well as effective management of Sustainability complexities within their organization.

    This program will feature a presentation of the Surprising Findings from CSE’s recent European Research on Sustainability Goals Integration and Sustainability (CR) Impact. The research focuses on Sustainability Reporting practices of more than 500 corporations from leading business sectors and outlines key considerations related to common strategic objectives, social impact goals, UN SDGs and external assurance practices.