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    Many of the most reputable and largest cruise companies in the world have offices in or near Miami.

    In November 2019, it was announced Port Miami will be remaking the city’s skyline for $1.5 billion, one cruise terminal at a time, with five new cruise terminals coming to the port by 2022.

    With a combination of public and private dollars, Miami-Dade County is betting on the cruise industry in a big way. Mayor Carlos Gimenez said about $6 billion of Miami-Dade’s economy comes from the cruise industry, a number that is likely to grow given the investment in new port infrastructure and in the ever-increasing fleet of ships.

    In 2019, 6.8 million people cruised from Port Miami, a 66% increase since 2009, according to county statistics.

    Although cruises are increasingly popular, they raise environmental concerns as their heavy and growing use of fossil fuels means someone on a seven-day cruise produces the same amount of emissions as they would during 18 days on land. And they can damage fragile ocean ecosystems, due to practices like irresponsible disposal of sewage.

    In March 2019, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced the advance in sustainability on the seas, aiming to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 per cent by 2030.

    Given Miami’s commitment to grow its presence in the cruise industry, the city could also play an important role and push the industry for more sustainability practices. Will this happen?

    If you represent or are directly or indirectly linked to the cruise industry 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 this important industry for 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.

    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]


    CSE trainings move beyond ESG metrics to show positive corporate results from incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Investors are increasingly calling for robust corporate sustainability reporting (CSR).  Stakeholders are questioning long-term performance in a carbon-constrained world. Many are pressing companies to go beyond the standard ESG (environment, social, governance) approach — measures aimed at limiting corporate impact.  They want to know how companies can improve the world.  Working toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can guide companies toward areas of positive, measurable impacts stakeholders desire.

    To facilitate this transition, CSE has incorporated the SDGs into its research, consulting and certification programs. CSE’s Sustainability Reporting Trends in North America 2017 finds that only 6.2% of companies are integrating SDGs in their reporting to stakeholders.  This provides an enormous opportunity for companies to establish themselves as leaders.  Top companies are listening!  Forbes reported on CSE research, interviewing CSE president Nikos Avlonas, award-winning CSR pioneer and best-selling author.

    CSE research informs their Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition, which has been updated for 2018.  The program offers Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility training for professionals who want to maximize their company’s impact and become qualified with the latest knowledge in the field.  More than 90% of FORTUNE 500 senior managers and VPs have attended the programs and joined over 1500 Certified Sustainability Practitioners from over 50 countries.

    The need for practitioners is urgent in urban centers, leading CSE to offer three spring trainings in North America in Atlanta, Toronto and New York.   Urban centers need an enormous influx of sustainability-trained staff.  Whether it’s infrastructure, finance, transportation, or health care, manufacturing, real estate, energy or IT, trained sustainability practitioners are needed in every field and every discipline – public and private.

    CSE addressed a major need in the US – sustainability in IT, an emerging sector in Atlanta, March 8-9, 2018.  CSE research has identified weaknesses in the IT sector.  Silicon Valley corporations lag behind the sustainability achievements of the Fortune Global 500, leaving a major opportunity for Atlanta. On top of a comprehensive agenda, other topics key to their regions were the focus of training in New York City, June 11-12. 

    As companies are forced to rebuild from disaster and design strategies to take Houston into the 2020s, training becomes key.  Module 1 of CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program addresses the crucial business case for sustainability.  By the time attendees reach Module 8, they are ready to apply important skills to the future trends.

    For more information on city themes, registration and Group Discounts, contact [email protected].


    Social entrepreneurship is considered to be “the use of startup companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.”

    Social entrepreneurs bring innovation and deliver change in various areas, such as the environment and society. They go beyond the traditional routes and they do that through an invention or a different application or approach of an existing technology or practice. Their priority is to create social value above all, the financial value comes second. Ultimately, entrepreneurs innovate by finding a new service, product or new approach as a solution to a social problem.

    Social entrepreneurship is used as a term both as for non-profit organizations and organizations which blend for-profit goals with generating a positive “return to society”

    Perhaps the most well known example of social entrepreneurship is the one of Tom’s shoes:  the innovative use of the “ One for One” business model, in which for each purchase of a pair of shoes by a consumer, a gift of a free pair of shoes is given to a poor child in a developing country.

    A social entrepreneur believes that everyone potentially can contribute to a social cause meaningfully and bring change to the world. He takes risks, he is persistent, optimistic, innovative and with high standards.

    In order to become a social entrepreneur it is of great importance to take certain steps:

    Find your purpose, your goal, and the change you want to bring to this world and determine how.

    Create a unique, different offering which does not exist already. It is important for your offering to be something new.

    Search for people and try to get support from them, who will understand your purpose, share their ideas with you and possibly give you relevant advice.

    Develop your business model and search for initial funding sources, a loan or angel investors.

    Sustainability Academy’s Online Diploma on Social Entrepreneurship will provide you with a step-by-step introduction to Social Entrepreneurship and Benefit Corporations as well as offer you unique knowledge in a simple and practical way. Let the change begin!


    You have always wanted to “make a difference”. You dream about helping the environment and have a positive social impact on society. So, you decided to pursue a career in Sustainability. But do you think you have what it takes? Below you can find some useful advice on the pursuit of your job in Sustainability.

    Do your Research

    You have to do your research on Sustainability and what it means, the job description. Sustainability is not philanthropy: you have to really get an in-depth knowledge of the field and understand that it requires communication among departments, it involves various tools and resources and it includes many roles within a Sustainability department. If you want to gain more advanced knowledge in the field, visit Sustainability Academy’s online courses.

    Try New Things

    It would also be excellent to have experience on another department. Someone who has championed at a Sales or Finance department for example is considered to have a more holistic view of the organization when entering a Sustainability department. Such a professional is considered to have gotten his “hands dirty” as opposed to someone who has only known a supposedly sterile environment.

    Get Out of the House a Little

    It is of great importance for a Sustainability professional to be involved in “extracurricular” activities related to Sustainability. This means you can be part of a CSR organization, or to be into volunteerism, or to have done pro bono work at a benefit corporation. All these things count as proof you are indeed passionate about making an impact and Sustainability is not just a job for you. Get more information about things you can do here.

    Speak Green

    You have to be communicative. If everything goes well and you become a Sustainability professional you will be invited to achieve cross-department communication. You will have to be able to articulate your ideas, since Sustainability is a very specific and a very broad field at the same time. You should be able to be precise and comprehensive. It would also really be helpful if you learned to “speak green”. Getting in touch with the industry’s jargon would definitely assist you in entering and being absorbed in a Sustainability department.

    Be a Leader at what you do

    Leadership is also a skill you will have to cultivate. There are very few positions and large Sustainability departments for you to choose from. So, it is inevitable that only the best will be hired. This means people who have the ability to persuade others, influence them and make them behave the way you and your department aim to. You will have to make people from different philosophies and departments, such as marketing, finance, legal, to be on your side. Not to forget the significance of networking. You should build your network as effectively as possible in order to maximize your opportunities and impact.

    Build your Green Brand

    You can also build your green brand. It would be helpful to sell yourself, to have an online presence across social media, online groups, and blogs, anything that will make you kind of famous as a Sustainability professional.

    Good Luck

    All the best from Sustainability Academy in your endeavors. If you indeed want to equip yourself with the latest skills, tools and resources on the field of Sustainability in the most flexible yet effective way, take a look at the Sustainability Academy’s online courses.


    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead

    When anthropologist Margaret Mead talked about changing the world, global population was less than 3.7 billion.  Now, the population stands at 7.6 billion and growing!  How small of a group do we need to promote sustainability?  Or how big?

    The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) wants to change the world.  We’re taking on a piece of this “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” with an initiative to reach 100,000 of them by 2020!

    CSE has created the Sustainability Academy, an innovative online platform for organizations to maximize their Social Impact!  The goal is to teach the language of sustainability, promote its common goals and explain its unifying principles, across disciplines and international boundaries.  With the academy, companies can educate their staff, suppliers and other stakeholders in the field of Sustainability.

    “Education is key to individual, corporate and global prosperity,” says Nikos Avlonas, president and founder of CSE, best-selling author and sustainability pioneer.  He defines prosperity to include financial, social and governance (ESG) concerns and the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit.

    Beyond the lofty objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), corporations face EU directives on sustainability, mandates from ASEAN on sustainable energy, and a global fixation on limiting carbon emissions.  Through education, organizations learn tools such as SROI (social return on investment) to help understand and calculate their Social Impact.

    For start-ups, world-changing opportunities are even greater.  The academy platform helps organizations support Social Entrepreneurship and young entrepreneurs who want to start careers and enterprises already focused on sustainability.  Established corporations or new, building a common understanding, knowing key definitions, where to turn for advance guidance, how to report ones successes – these all add to financial performance.

    We at CSE are practical dreamers – dreamers with results.  Based in part on his work with the Sustainability Academy, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in US and globally, honored Avlonas as 2018 Practitioner of the Year for Corporate Responsibility, together with Google, Inc., winner of the corporate award.

    Innovative platforms such as the Sustainability Academy help us all become committed citizens who can change the world!

    For more information on how you can promote the initiative or join in the effort, contact [email protected].



    More than 19 billion pounds of garbage ends up in our oceans every year, a great percentage coming from soda bottles and plastic bags. This number is expected to rise 100% by 2025 while according to the President of the United Nations, by 2050 there will be as much plastic in the ocean as fish, weight-wise. It is beyond imagination that every piece of plastic ever made is still out there, since only a fraction is recycled.

    Where does the plastic come from?

    The main reasons for plastic ending up in the oceans are the dumping of garbage into waterways and the pollution by plastic manufacturers. The number one reason though is the mismanaged waste disposal, a great percentage of which is coming from the developing countries. However, individual littering is not coming far behind. The plastic bottle you forgot on the beach is still out there, in the ocean.

    The characteristics of plastic

    Plastic is widely used in our every-day lives mainly because it is cheap, durable and easy to use. Those are the same reasons why it constitutes the most common trash in the oceans. Plastic has also another trait: it is not bio-degradable, when exposed to sunlight it breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces. But where do those small pieces end up?

    The consequences of the pollution

    Unfortunately 600 wildlife species are threatened by the rapidly rising use of plastic according to the Ocean Conservancy. Leatherback turtles get caught up in plastic bags which results to their death, whales are found with enormous amounts of plastic in their bellies, while seabirds pick up the plastic fragments to go and feed it to their chicks.

    The story does not end here. It has been estimated that 25% of the seafood we eat has consumed plastic which it has also mistaken it for food. We do not yet have exact information of what this can do to humans, still fragments of plastic have been held responsible for being toxic to humans and possibly leading to cancer and reproductive problems.

    What can we do?

    It is beyond doubt that all nations hand in hand with corporate organizations are the first to take a stand and reduce the amount of plastic that is produced and then stuck in our lives forever. However, each and every one of us has his own share of responsibility. Re-use, recycle and reduce the amount of plastic in your life starting from today.

    You want to become part of the solution? For cutting-edge sustainability education on essential sustainability issues, you can take a look at Sustainability Academy’s online courses.


    Polar bears are mammals that spend most of their time in the Arctic Ocean and they are considered very good swimmers. They have a high percentage of body fat and a water-repellent coat in order to be able to survive in the Arctic Ocean’s conditions and they are mainly fed by seals. They are hunting half of their time and still, they may catch 1 or 2 seals out of 10.

    Polar bears are divided into 19 sub-populations, out of which 3 are already in decline according to the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group.  In the southern Beaufort Sea there has been documented a 40% population loss for polar bears. Additionally scientists are afraid that this decline is going to continue in the future due to climate change since there is a continuous loss of their ice habitat.

    But why are polar bears so severely affected by climate change? Polar bears need the sea ice to cover most of their primary needs: they access the seals from which they are fed, while they use it to breed and rest. As sea ice deteriorates polar bears do not have the means to survive.

    Dr. Pete Ewins, WWF’s Senior Species Officer stated that “This is a clear warning sign of the impact a warming Arctic has on ice-dependent species like the polar bear.” “Given this sub-population is at the edge of the range, it’s no surprise to see this happening so soon.”

    Unfortunately, polar bears are not the only ones affected by climate change. Many species are facing endangerment since their habitats are deteriorating, such as African Elephants, Giant Pandas and Snow Leopards. On the other hand extreme weather conditions have also made their appearance all over the world causing disasters. Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma are only recent examples of how climate change has affected our lives.

    It seems that after many years of humans leaving their footprint on the planet, the time has come for animal populations and future generations to pay the price. All nations and people individually should take responsibility for their actions and work together towards a resilient, sustainable world.

    You want to become part of the solution? For cutting-edge sustainability education on essential sustainability issues, you can take a look at Sustainability Academy’s online courses.



    Leveraging Community and Skills in the quickly expanding Sustainability Sector

    CSE  and our Business Network of Affiliates help companies and organizations improve business performance while promoting social, economic and environmental values.

    The Sustainability sector is one of the fastest growing business opportunities available.  Start-ups and corporations are looking to install sustainable practices at every level from foreman to financier.  Sustainability Reporting is a trend reaching every major corporation, domestic and international, and many smaller businesses looking to grow and compete.

    CSE welcomes Sustainability freelancers and small consulting companies to join our Affiliate program.  CSE selectively partners with creative and engaged sustainability professionals who can teach sustainability principles and lead sustainability programs as consultants.

    Joining the CSE network provides:

    • Opportunity to become a Certified Sustainability Consultant
      • Discount on certification courses
      • Free materials and webinars
      • Access to original CSE research
    • Ongoing opportunities to expand your resources, knowledge and marketing capacity
      • CSE Affiliate logo for your website and presence on CSE website
      • Supplement your expertise with CSE resources for joint projects or RFPs
    • Increased revenue
      • Conducting CSE Sustainability Trainings in your community and networks
      • 15% commission for referring clients outside your expertise to CSE
    • Increased professional visibility
      • Offer clients discounts on External Assurance
      • Offer online courses in a wide variety of Sustainability topics and skills, using your brand as point of reference

    CSE certified practitioners span the globe with Affiliates in Canada, Central America, Hong Kong, Japan, Oman Qatar, Romania, the UK and, of course, the USA.  Current expansion is focused on North America.  CSE is vetting applications to join our award-winning family.  Visit the CSE website for more information and to apply.

    What do Nestlé, Adidas Group and Heinz have in common? For starters they are all successful, green, profitable companies. Looking closer one finds out that they are quite active in the CSR field, they have solid Sustainability strategies and they communicate it.

    Nestle’s Corporate Responsibility strategy focuses on three goals: (1) To help people live healthier and happier lives, (2) to build up prosperous, resilient communities and to (3) conserve resources for generations to come.

    Adidas’ partnership with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus’s micro-finance organization, Grameen Bank helped the organization materialize a very thoughtful project: to manufacture a low-cost and low-budget shoe for the poor in Bangladesh, which they were able to afford.

    Heinz’s “micronutrient campaign” aimed to battle iron-deficiency anemia and malnutrition of children in 15 developing countries. Approximately 5 million children received sachets of vitamin and mineral powders approved by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, costing only two cents a sachet.

    One might say that these companies’ corporate responsibility strategies are effective, period. However, the secret lies deeper.

    In 2006 researchers and business strategists Michael Porter and Mark Kramer first introduced Shared Value. Creating Shared Value (CSV) is the simultaneous creation of positive social and environmental impact and positive financial results. According to CSV, financial, societal and environmental benefits can be achieved at the same time. “Shared Value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or sustainability, but a new way for companies to achieve economic success.” It has been adopted by a wide range of companies all over the world and in essence these companies make good use of these societal and environmental problems: they see them as opportunities to build profitable Shared Value business cases.

    Basically, society faces many problems: malnutrition, water shortage, climate change, deforestation and many others. The role of business’ in all these has traditionally been perceived as negative, that companies caused great problems in their effort to make profits and made the existing problems worse.

    NGOs, social organizations and the government on the other hand were perceived as the solution. Still, the resources available from these entities under no circumstances were adequate to address societal problems effectively. And here is where companies come in.

    Organizations create wealth when they make profits. And in reality they make these profits when they meet needs, not by causing more social or environmental problems. Consumers nowadays more than ever raise these social issues and they demand from companies to be environmentally and socially responsible. In fact companies benefit from solving social problems: e.g. it may be expensive to host a safer working environment but healthier happier employees come to work more often. There is a trade-off among social and economic performance.

    Companies that authentically and essentially prioritize these social issues in their corporate agenda meet the needs of their consumers and make more profits, therefore they Create Shared Value.

    CSE’s next Global Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program will be held in Bucharest, Romania June 21-22 and will provide all the latest updates and key concepts regarding trends and legislation on corporate sustainability, SDG’s, carbon emissions, GRI reporting guidelines, ways to measure the stakeholder engagement, case studies and best practices.