EDUCATION: This bowl of porridge is just right… (Part 1)

SSC delivers state-of-the-art strategic sustainability consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses.  It’s what we’re good at.  We accomplish this mission by working with some of the most experienced and credible leaders in our field.  Sustainability consulting is what they’re good at, too. 

It may come as no surprise to learn that, in order to remain successful, SSC continues to promote sustainability education.  So as part of our education theme this month, our three-part series, starting today, will help you identify just how much education you need, and where to get it.  Keep in mind that “education” is a pretty broad term – it encompasses everything from casually browsing books and magazines, to certification courses, to full-fledged 2-year MBA programs.  Today we’ll talk about getting started.

The first question you should ask is, “Do I need more education?”  The answer is: probably.  Education, by itself, is never a bad thing.  You should do a cost-benefit analysis to see if the return on your educational investment exceeds its opportunity cost. 

Second, Figure out what you want to get out of your education.  Nothing is worse than investing time, money, and effort into something only to realize that you’re no closer to achieving your goals. 

Next, perform a gap analysis.  Are you a talented consultant who doesn’t know a thing about sustainability?  Or are you a chief sustainability officer who doesn’t know how to draw up a project contract?  Do you have great ideas but have no idea how to use a professional network to make them a reality? 

At the end of the day, it’s likely that you need one or more of the following: 

  • Real-world experience and credibility
  • Skills learned from academic accomplishments
  • Networking abilities

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is a professional association designed to facilitate networking and exchanging resources and best practices.  The ISSP is inexpensive to join, and is a very good investment if you’re interested in learning how to make sustainability standard practice.  Its recent competency study answers the question, “What should a sustainability professional know how to do?”  Visit the ISSP website – it’s a great first place to start. 

Next, consider downloading SSC’s Sustainability Consulting 101 webinar.  Our founder and president Jennifer Woofter will walk you through everything you need to know when considering a career in sustainability consulting or whether you need to hire a sustainability consultant. 

Next Tuesday, we’ll go over some more resources with the information you’ll need to get you pointed in the right direction. 

By the way…want to get your little ones reading and teach them about the importance of sustainability?  Check out this short list of environmental books for kids.