Workforce Perspectives on Accreditation for Sustainability Programs in Higher Education (Session 1)

The Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE) hosted a second Virtual Roundtable conversation related to accreditation for sustainability degree programs in higher education. This free, 75-minute program was open to the public and invited a wide range of speakers.

This event was repeated twice to accommodate different timezones and allow the inclusion of more participants.

Session 1: March 21 at 11:00AM EDT  (75 minutes)

Session 2: March 22 at 5:00PM EDT  (75 minutes)

The purpose of the Roundtable was for faculty and administrators from colleges and universities with sustainability programs to be able to talk with representatives from different sectors including private industry and corporations as employers of sustainability graduates, as well as city and state governments, nonprofits, federal agencies, and other employers. After brief opening comments from invited panelists, participants chose a breakout room for small group discussion. 

The main question we asked was: How do we create alignment between the demand for sustainability professionals and the design of sustainability education programs and their evaluation?

Important recent publications on this topic include: Larry Fink’s Blackrock letter to CEOs, the LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report, and the Microsoft report on “Closing the Sustainability Skills Gap". 

An abbreviated version of our five key takeaways from the roundtables are:

  1. Accreditation poses a unique opportunity for diversity, equity, inclusion in sustainability. 
  2. Employers express high demand for storytelling, empathy, and collaboration skills. 
  3. There is also high demand for emergent technical skills. 
  4. Sustainability education takes place across many degree levels. 
  5. Applied learning is essential. 

Please contact Krista Hiser, Senior Lead and Advisor for Sustainability Education, for a meeting summary including the full 5 key takeaways or with any questions at


Missed the first virtual sustainability education roundtable focused on perspectives from the higher-education sector? Watch the recording here.