After several years’ hiatus, the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) returned to San Francisco, presenting its signature Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program at the University of San Francisco for their Master for Nonprofit Administration.
Why does such a sustainability oriented city need CSE? The Parks Department encourages food production, and the city government requires that Farmers Markets accept EBT cards, making healthier food more affordable. San Francisco is striving to be waste-free by 2020 and is already three quarters of the way there. Much of the public transit system is comprised of zero-emission vehicles, and San Francisco defies the state average of 100 gallons of water per person with a mere 49 gallons per person per day. The list goes on!
This implementation and planning for the future necessitates an enormous influx of a sustainability-trained workforce. Whether it’s infrastructure, finance, transportation, health care or agriculture, sustainability practitioners are needed in every field and every discipline throughout the community. Trained professionals need to be in place throughout the entire system – public and private.
Nikos Avlonas, president of CSE, has been addressing urban needs for decades. He was founder and co-chair of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Strategy Committee; is advisory council member of SERF (Society of Environmentally Responsible buildings) Green Building; and vice president of the Corporate Responsibility Institute, a nonprofit for CSR evaluation and benchmarking (based on the Business in the Community Index).
Sustainability practitioners are needed within many varied fields whether manufacturing, financials, real estate, energy or IT. Even though University of San Francisco is training tomorrow’s business leaders and social entrepreneurs, sustainability is not only a business or management issue. Engineering, R&D and operations need an approachable means of bringing sustainability into every aspect of the corporate world.
Not everyone has the time or the money to spend four years earning a sustainability degree. Informed employees, aware students, corporate leaders who understand the fundamentals are needed immediately! CSE has trained executives from Pfizer, Janssen, BP, and many others around the world. Modules on Local Legislation, Global Standards and Future Trends provide critical foundational knowledge.
In San Francisco, CSE can speak to a major revenue source – Silicon Valley. CSE completed ground breaking research in 2016 demonstrating that Silicon Valley corporations, for all of San Francisco’s successes, lag behind the sustainability achievements of the Fortune Global 500, many of whose executives CSE has trained. The report “Sustainability Trends in Silicon Valley” identifies weakness, and the CSE Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2017, is part of the solution.
San Francisco isn’t CSE’s only California stop this year. CSE is collaborating with the SRI Conference Nov. 1–3, 2017, in San Diego, CA, hosting CSE’s Advanced Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program as a pre-conference training Oct. 31- Nov. 1, 2017.
The next U.S. training is in New York City, September 28-29, led by Nikos Avlonas, followed by Toronto then San Diego. Visit the website for other trainings around the world or for online courses offered by the Sustainability Academy.