Submitted by Nikos Avlonas
Although Corporate Sustainability has grown rapidly over the past years and most executives in various research studies declare that Sustainability is extremely important to their business, few organizations globally have integrated sustainable values into their core strategy and supply chain.
There are many reasons why this is happening.
One of them is due to the lack of appropriate awareness and education. Sustainability is not yet a core course for the most American or European MBAs, while executives don’t devote much time to professional education in this area since they consider Sustainability or CSR a ‘’soft’’ issue.
Today, sustainable development represents one of the most discussed topics, on a social, environmental and economic level and Corporate Responsibility professionals are increasingly required to upscale their specialized skills and knowledge to address the stakeholders’ needs and thus constitute a competitive advantage for companies and future leaders. This demonstrates a growing need for quality professional education in this field.
This became evident also in the United Nations 57th meeting in December 2002, where the UN General Assembly proclaimed the years from 2005 to 2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), ’emphasizing that education is an indispensable element for achieving sustainable development’.
From a market perspective, available data reinforces that point of view: A CSE global research was recently conducted based on CSRHub data to investigate the impact of educated CSR professionals on their companies’ sustainability performance. 20 companies with senior sustainability professionals from Europe, Middle East and North America for the years 2011-2013 served as a statistical sample to investigate their overall sustainability ratings and annual performance. The aim of this research was to discover any impact between these companies’ Sustainability ratings before and after having trained Sustainability Practitioners within their teams.
The outcomes demonstrated that companies with Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioners increased their sustainability performance. CSR professionals were now able to really understand the sustainability business case and create an efficient Action Plan based on a measurable sustainability strategy for their companies
An organization’s social and environmental impact is now globally considered a key element of its reputation; it contributes immensely to its profitability, it provides a high return on investment and elements of excellence and leadership, improving stakeholder dialogue and providing a clear competitive advantage. However, embedding sustainability within an organization’s core strategy requires the effective alignment of CSR activities and initiatives by experienced and trained professionals.
The Sustainability Academy is set to make a difference on this planet. It is a global initiative for affordable certified education in the field of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. It aims to help professionals, entrepreneurs and graduates update their knowledge, keep up to date with current legislation, global trends and best cases. With more than 5.000 learners already from 30 countries, it aspires to bring them up to 100.000 by 2020 through its innovative programs. Empowering professionals will not only bring more value to companies, but also have a massive impact on the whole of society and the environment, it will lead to the creation of more green jobs which will contribute to a more sustainable future for the generations to come. The Sustainability Academy offers certified Online Training Programs, Coaching as well as special In-house Programs for organizations, who recognize that investing in their human capital through education is the most important determinant for sustainable growth and excellence. Specialized courses in the field of Sustainability Reporting, Carbon Footprint Reduction and LCA or ESG Performance for Investors are included.
The CSE is a recognized global leader in professional Sustainability training and coaching and one of the first to recognize the growing need for advanced certified education in the field.
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