Sustainability Excellence Credentials

Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP)

GBCI’s Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) and Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) credentials recognize individuals dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place – economically, socially and environmentally. Credential holders help organizations and communities of all types integrate sustainability best practice throughout business operations. The SEA and SEP credentials provide third-party verification of competency in the field of sustainability and recognize individuals who have the skills to foster innovation, transform culture and lead sustainability initiatives for organizations and communities throughout the world.

Gain recognition for your knowledge, experience and credibility in the sustainability professional marketplace by earning either an SEA or SEP credential. Earning an SEA or SEP credential demonstrates to the market that you:

  • Understand and can communicate sustainability topics to diverse audiences
  • Are abreast of the most current sustainability issues, tools and techniques
  • Are able to apply systems thinking in developing sustainability solutions and assess sustainability risks and opportunities in any organization, community or industry
  • Are involved in planning, implementing and evaluating the integration of sustainability into organizational culture and practice

The SEA and SEP credentials are based on years of research by hundreds of sustainability professionals and organizations to define the core competencies required to be effective in the field and provide formal recognition of knowledge, skills and abilities. They are designed for sustainability professionals in every industry and region, including those who might not have a sustainability-related job title. Regardless of whether you are a recent graduate, changing fields, or a longtime professional, one of our sustainability credentials will meet your needs. By preparing and recognizing the sustainability workforce needed to make the world a better place, Sustainability Excellence training and credentials pave the way for a healthier, more resilient, prosperous future for all.

Each credential is valid for 2 years and requires ongoing professional development activities. Learn more in the Sustainability Excellence CMP Guide.

Download the Sustainability Professionals Town Hall report

Sustainability Excellence Associate

The Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) credential demonstrates an understanding of core sustainability concepts and is designed for those who are new to or are interested in entering the sustainability field, including students, recent graduates and/or early career professionals.

Registration & Eligibility

To earn your SEA credential, simply purchase, schedule, and pass the exam. Register here for the SEA exam.

The Exam

The SEA exam requires successful completion of 75 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 2 hours. Learn more by downloading the Candidate Handbook below.

Resources

A comprehensive set of study materials is offered through ISSP to help you prepare for the exams. For a detailed walkthrough of the credentialing process, including rescheduling, cancellation and refund policies, download the Candidate Handbook below.

Download the Sustainability Excellence Candidate Handbook

Sustainability Excellence Professional

The Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) demonstrates advanced knowledge and extensive experience in the sustainability field and recognizes leaders and experts who are at the forefront of the transition to a more sustainable world. In order to earn an SEP, candidates must demonstrate professional excellence in and mastery of several key fields including core sustainability concepts as well as stakeholder engagement, planning and implementing sustainability strategies, evaluating efforts and adjusting sustainability plans.

Registration & Eligibility

Earning an SEA is a prerequisite to becoming an SEP. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, sustainability-related professional experience or a combination of education and experience (5 years of professional experience within the last 10 years, 4 years of professional experience within the last 8 years plus one year of education/training, or 3 years of professional experience within the last 6 years plus two years of education/training) and three professional references. Registrants must agree to abide by the GBCI Disciplinary and Exam Appeals Policy.

In order to apply to take the SEP exam, you must submit a complete application form. Once the application is accepted, you must purchase, schedule and pass the exam. Click here for SEP application instructions.

The Exam

The SEP exam requires successful completion of 100 multiple choice questions and must be completed within 2.5 hours. Learn more by downloading the Candidate Handbook below.

Resources

A comprehensive set of study materials is offered by ISSP to help you prepare for the exams. For a detailed walkthrough of the credentialing process, including rescheduling, cancellation and refund policies, download the Candidate Handbook below.

Download the Sustainability Excellence Candidate Handbook

SEA Fees USGBC and ISSP Members and Students Nonmembers
SEA Exam $175 $350
SEP Fees USGBC and ISSP Members Nonmembers
SEP Application $75 $150
SEP Exam $175 $300
Renewal Fees Every 2 Years USGBC and ISSP Members Nonmembers
SEA $75 $150
SEP $100 $200

 

In 2016, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) launched the ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP) credentials. These two professional credentials were acquired by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) in November 2019 and were rebranded as the Sustainability Excellence Associate (SEA) and Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) credentials. GBCI is responsible for administering and delivering the credentials, and ISSP now delivers education to support exam preparation, credential maintenance and professional development.

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