Skip to main content

The Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) credential represents sustainability expertise and extensive experience.

The Sustainability Excellence Professional (SEP) is designed for those with advanced knowledge and extensive experience in the sustainability field and recognizes leaders and experts at the forefront of the transition to a more sustainable world, including: 

  • Professional sustainability leaders
  • Established professionals pursuing sustainability initiatives in their business or organization
  • Chief Sustainability Officers

To earn an SEP credential, candidates must demonstrate professional excellence in and mastery of several key fields, including core sustainability concepts and stakeholder engagement, planning and implementing sustainability strategies, evaluating efforts, and adjusting sustainability plans. The credential indicates expertise in the following:

  • Engaging stakeholders: Skills and knowledge related to collaboratively working with stakeholders to forward a mutually satisfactory beneficial agenda.
  • Planning sustainability strategies: Create a comprehensive, long-term and inclusive approach to the systematic implementation of sustainability vision and initiatives.
  • Implementing sustainability strategies: Managing the ongoing activities related to successful integration and fulfillment of sustainability goals.
  • Evaluating and reporting sustainability efforts: Collect, analyze and report the results of sustainability metrics.
  • Adjusting plans: Continuously review efforts and adjust to meet emerging needs and opportunities.

Move your career in sustainability forward

  • Highlight your focused commitment to sustainability across your career
  • Reiterate the credibility of your work for clients
  • Demonstrate well-established competency to lead sustainability initiatives at organizations and communities of any kind with prospective clients and your professional network
  • Gain access to a growing community of credential holders

Get started


Earning an SEA credential is a prerequisite to becoming a SEP. In addition to maintaining an active SEA credential, SEP candidates must have three professional references, a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, sustainability-related professional experience, or a combination of education and experience:

  • Five years of professional experience within the last ten years,
  • Four years of professional experience within the last eight years plus one year of education/training, or
  • Three years of professional experience within the last six years plus two years of education/training

Read the SEP candidate handbook for additional information, including the credentialing process, rescheduling, cancellation, and refund policies.


To take the SEP exam, you must submit a complete application form demonstrating that you meet the exam prerequisites, along with three completed professional reference forms. Refer to the SEP candidate handbook for application instructions.


The SEP exam requires the successful completion of 100 multiple choice questions and must be completed within 2.5 hours.

Study and prepare

Study materials are available from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. It is recommended to take a month to prepare using these resources.

Continue learning and maintain your credential

The SEP credential is valid for two years and requires ongoing professional development. Learn more in the CMP Guide.

USGBC and ISSP offer online education to increase your knowledge of core sustainability concepts and strategies and support credential maintenance. View available online courses.


The SEP cost includes a one-time application fee, a one-time exam fee and a renewal fee every two years. Discounts are available for USGBC and ISSP members.

SEP fees USGBC and ISSP members Non-members
SEP application $75 $150
SEP exam $175 $300
Renewal fees every 2 years USGBC and ISSP members Non-members
SEP renewal $100 $200

View the SEP candidate handbook for additional information on the credentialing process, rescheduling, cancellation, and refund policies.