As part of its 2015 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, WashU adopted the objective to “continue to enhance staff sustainability knowledge and skills in capital projects, operations and maintenance, and custodial and grounds teams.” In addition, the university strives to sponsor and support employee professional development in other areas of sustainability, including purchasing, alternative transportation, green labs, and more.

WashU partners with local and national entities that provide professional development, continuing education, certificates, and accreditations. This page summarizes some of the resources that are available on an ongoing basis. Please subscribe to the Sustainability Professional Development newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming opportunities.

Sustainability & Higher Education

University College

For those interested in deepening their sustainability knowledge or applying sustainability in their career, University College offers a Certificate or Bachelor of Science degree from Washington University. The program covers the broad fundamental knowledge, skills, and competencies to drive sustainable outcomes that address today’s urgent environmental, economic, and social challenges. The Bachelor of Science degree and Sustainability Certificate can be applied across a wide range of fields, from management, design, and planning, to environmental services in business, non-profit, and public institutions.

The Sustainability Certificate provides an interdisciplinary foundation to the field and consists of five core courses.

The Sustainability degree offers a deeper dive into areas of concentration:

  • Sustainable Environment and Science: a focus on the environmental aspects of sustainability.
  • Sustainable Management and Organizations: a focus on understanding and applying sustainability in corporate and institutional management.
  • Urban Sustainability: A focus on urban-scale sustainability policies and programs.

Courses can be taken on an individual basis are also open to all in St. Louis whether pursuing a degree or not. WashU employees and contract employees can apply their tuition benefit.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders.

AASHE offers an annual conference (one of the biggest higher education sustainability conferences in the world), webinars, virtual and in-person workshops, courses and more. Their content is appropriate for sustainability officers, university administrators, faculty and students. WashU maintains an institutional membership, so anyone with a WashU email should be able to sign up for a free membership and access the member’s only resource hub.

Green Building & Infrastructure

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the main governing body for green building certifications, resources, and trainings. It provides professional education across all areas of the built environment, from design to demolition, to maintenance and renovation.

USGBC – LEED professional credentials

Increase your green building knowledge. Studying for a LEED exam provides you with fundamental knowledge of green building concepts, including transportation, energy, water, and air quality.

LEED Green Associate: A foundational professional credential signifying core competency in green building principles.

LEED AP with specialty: An advanced professional credential signifying expertise in green building and a LEED rating system.

USGBC – National Membership

Qualifications: As part of WashU’s institutional membership to the USGBC, WashU employees and students may sign up for a free account on USGBC’s website and attach your account to WashU’s membership using the Member ID below. Register using your university email address.

Benefits: Discounts on LEED courses and exams, online continuing education classes, and LEED credential fees.

University Contact: Railesha Tiwari

WashU’s Member ID #1230500522113725

USGBC – Missouri Gateway Chapter

Washington University is a proud sponsor of the local chapter of the US Green Building Council. This organization provides regular professional development and networking opportunities that grows the connectivity and impact of green building professionals. There is also a Emerging Professional Meet Up group, mentor opportunities, volunteer programs like the Green Schools Quest and more.

WashU’s sponsorship often includes complimentary seats or discounts for events, including the professional development credits required for maintaining LEED credentials and exam prep courses. Contact Railesha Tiwari to inquire.

Green Building Professional Skills Operations & Maintenance Training (GPRO)

The class is meant to provide building professionals with strategies to improve efficiency, comfort, and health in buildings. It is ideal for property managers and building staff in multifamily residential and commercial buildings, including: building superintendents, operators, facility and property managers, operating engineers and stationary engineers. It is not meant to teach people how to operate buildings, but how to incorporate green building & sustainability practices into day-to-day operations. It also offers continuing education for LEED professionals!

In person and virtual trainings are available through the local chapter of USGBC. In person, this is a two-day course that concludes with the exam and a certificate. Virtually, the class is three days from 1p-5p each day and also provides an exam and certificate.

International Facility Management Association Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP)

SFP is an assessment-based certificate program delivering a specialty credential in sustainability. It incorporates efficiency, data-driven decision-making and sustainable practices to benefit economic, environmental and social bottom lines.

TRUE Advisor

The TRUE certification program enables facilities to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, cutting their carbon footprint and supporting public health. TRUE Advisors understand the requirements of the rating system, help projects achieve TRUE certification and are committed to advancing zero waste values and policies. TRUE Advisors serve as the resident expert in supporting and implementing zero waste programs and leading facilities through the certification process.

WELL Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard is a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. Backed by the latest scientific research, WELL includes strategies that aim to advance health by setting performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and policies and a commitment to fostering a culture of health and wellness. The WELL Building Standard draws expertise from thousands of WELL users, practitioners, medical professionals, public health experts and building scientists around the world.

A WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) credential is available, which denotes expertise in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and a commitment to advancing human health and wellness in buildings and communities around the world.


Originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration, Fitwel is the a certification system committed to building health for all®. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. 

Living Futures Accreditation (LFA)

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) brings together individuals and organizations that are bringing forth advanced solutions for reinventing our relationship with the natural world, the built environment, and each other. ILFI offers a suite of high performance building certification programs, including the Living Building Challenge (LBC), Core Green Building Certification (Core), Zero Carbon (ZC), and Zero Energy (ZE). These programs are designed to serve as a philosophy and advocacy tool, as well as a third-party certification based on actual performance. ILFI also offers a professional accreditation (LFA).

FAQs: USGBC Membership & Credentials

Q: Are there resources available to prepare for the LEED GA course?

A: Yes!

Q: I thought I was a USGBC member. Why can’t I get into the local events for free?

A: While WashU employees are eligible to receive free memberships to the national USGBC organization, this is separate from the local USGBC chapter (Missouri Gateway Chapter). Members of national USGBC receive a discount on chapter membership. Membership to the local chapter includes benefits like free and discounted access to networking and professional development events. Even if you aren’t a member of the local chapter, we do occasionally have discounts or free registration available through WashU’s sponsorship of the local chapter.

Additional Courses

Additional content and recommended credentials for green building professional development have been compiled by members of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter in this google doc.

Sustainable Purchasing

Washington University is a member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC). SPLC offers members a wide range of in-depth tools, resources, and training to assist with purchasing decisions, like incorporating sustainability into RFPs, evaluating proposals, writing contracts, or prioritizing appropriate third-party certifications. Aligning departmental and university-wide purchasing decisions with sustainability goals is a powerful way to influence the university’s environmental and social impacts.

Employees and students can sign up for free individual membership with a WashU email address. Registration will give you access to training, online events and seminars, member’s networking, and many other resources. Engagement is recommended to all those who have responsibilities for making purchases on behalf of the university.

International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP)

ISSP is a professional association of sustainability practitioners designed to support members, develop capacity, facilitate networking, and share knowledge. ISSP offers two professional certifications, providing third-party verification of compentency within the sustainability profession. Credentials include ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) and ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional (ISSP-CSP). Both certifications are now operated by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the same entity that manages the LEED AP credentialing framework and others.

ISSP-SA 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. ISSP-CSP is for professionals who have extensive experience in the sustainability field. It is designed for those looking to gain formal recognition of sustainability knowledge, skills and abilities.

League Cycling Instructor (LCI)

League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) are ambassadors for better biking through education. Certification is earned through a 3-day training, which enables certificate holders to teach Smart Cycling classes to children and adults. The goal of the classes is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike and to ensure that people on bikes can ride safely and legally.

International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)

I2SL is a professional organization that brings together experts in the fields on laboratory design, construction, planning, ownership, and use. I2SL membership grants access to past and current national conference presentations and a robust set of resources are available to members and non-members. A St. Louis Chapter of I2SL was established in 2019. Local membership includes access to chapter meetings, events, and St. Louis-specific resources.

Do you have an active or recent credential?
Let us know!

In the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, WashU outlined an objective to “enhance staff sustainability knowledge and skills in capital projects, operations and maintenance, and custodial and grounds teams.” Please help us track credentials by filling out the brief form. In addition to contributing to university reporting processes, we want to learn more about how to support staff in pursuing and maintaining credentials. Don’t have a credential yet? Let us know what support you need through the form.

To receive periodic notifications about professional development and continuing education opportunities related to sustainability, subscribe to the Sustainability Professional Development newsletter.