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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

International Sustainability Management Education

The International Sustainability Management Education (ISME) network promotes systems thinking through its education and research, support of sustainability summer schools, creation of sustainability teams, and sharing the knowledge of ISME members within its global network. 

ISME Logo  Welcome to the ISME Network

The ISME network provides the structure needed to establish the foundation for global sustainability.   ISME focuses on using a systematic approach to identify and manage the causes and effects of environmental, social, and economic risks. Based on sustainable development as the thematic area of study, the ISME's main objective is to create interdisciplinary global sustainability teams that assist organizations and communities in sustainable development planning to ensure risks to sustainable development are identified and managed.     

The ISME is a virtual global organization that creates the needed direction and motivation to build education and research programs to assist individuals in better understanding global sustainability and their role in promoting and supporting sustainability principles in their organization.  The growth of sustainability requires entrepreneurial thinking and innovation using the systematic management approach in developing and growing viable enterprises that continually create needed services and technologies for a sustainable economic development.

Our Objectives:

  1. Bring together the knowledge and experience of global communities to contribute to peace and prosperity through better understanding the cause and effect of global risks;
  2. Improve the quality and increase the volume of student and faculty mobility around the world;
  3. Increase the quality and volume of multilateral cooperation between higher education institutions in the area of global sustainable development;
  4. Create and encourage interdisciplinary teamwork and build student competency in environmental, social and economic problem solving;
  5. Enhance student learning of global sustainable development through applying real world concepts in a multidiscipline and multicultural setting, and
  6. Emphasize importance of a student's responsibility to understand systems thinking and cultural diversity as it applies to problem solving and conflict resolution.

The ISME Story

        In 2002, faculty from the U.S. University of South Carolina, School of the Environment, and the German University of Siegen's Institute of Corporate Environment Management developed the International Environmental Management Education Summer School.  The first summer school took place at the University of Siegen in 2004.  Since that time, the summer school has continued in the U.S., Germany, Denmark, and Spain.  In 2009, the summer school was awarded a three year grant from the European Union, through our partner at the Autonomous University in Barcelona.  During this time the structure was created to establish Global Sustainability Teams.  In 2012, the IEME changed to the International Sustainability Management Education (ISME) network to focus on the integration of international management systems to build a foundation for a sustainable development in organizations. Through global partnerships of international stakeholders the ISME expanded its support of individuals and organizations in focusing on global sustainable development.  The ISME continues to focus on education and research that promotes the importance of organizations using integrated management systems to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  As our faculty, students, and other professionals join ISME Summer School events, participate in Global Sustainability Teams, and join our Global Sustainability Working Group, we will continue on our path to assist in identifying problems and creating solutions for global sustainability.

International Advisory Board (IAB)

       The ISME Advisory Board will continually review the activities of the ISME. Board members will be experts from various backgrounds, which will include educational institutions, national standards organizations, government agencies, multinational personnel and others, who will require excellence in the ISME research, audit analysis, case studies, training, and material development.

ISME Managing Director and Working Group:

      The ISME Managing Director is Chair of the Working Group, who will oversee course development, faculty selection, and oversee the ISME student selection process to participate in ISME activities/exchanges.  The ISME Working Group will also review and make recommendations for ISME scholarships, faculty and student awards, and review of all individuals and organizations requesting ISME membership.  A Welcome to the ISME will be sent to individuals and organizations who complete the membership form or contact the ISME Managing Director. 

Our Faculty: 

        ISME faculty are from universities, government offices, private companies, and NGOs from several countries. During the summer schools faculty with the host organization(s) and speakers from a variety of private and public organizations contribute to the students learning outcomes.  Several phases of group work, short presentations, discussion, and problem solving sessions give a well rounded learning experience.

Contacts and Connections

Contact and join the ISME Network

  • Individuals and organizations can join the ISME in promoting sustainable development through hosting a summer school, leading a GST, or contributing to the ISME listserv. 
  • To join the ISME listserv please send an email to . New members are added to the listserv to receive articles, announcements of upcoming events and updates to the ISME.  Members can also be listed on the ISME Network page. ISME Network page members may be asked to provide publications, short presentations, serve on committees, and potentially host an ISME event.   
  • For Additional Information or to ask questions, contact: Phillip E. Barnes, PhD, ISME Managing Director,  Telephone: +1.803.777.1373
  • Mailing address: ISME, University of South Carolina, Byrnes Building, Office 434, 900 Sumter Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29208


The ISME Supports

 Summer School - A global learning experience

             The ISME Summer School consist of a one or two-week format: Week one focuses on Lectures and group work, where students become familiar with sustainability, management, and leadership. Further topics include aspects of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, eco-efficiency, accounting, integration of management systems, identifying organizational risk, and value- chain analysis. Week two extends the week one learning experience through students and faculties' presentations of identified solutions to current relevant global issues and problems. Students will participate in activities, including, a visit to an organization that has integrated management systems, analyzing continual improvement through management systems applications; solving environment, social, and economic problems within organizations and communities, or targeting areas where GST members are studying conflict resolution. 

  Global Sustainability Teams - Integrated thinking

              Global Sustainability Teams are usually created during ISME Summer Schools but can also be created during ISME seminars or workshops by students and faculty to research a specific topic. A GST teaches the individual to utilize the experiences and knowledge of fellow team members in order to solve a sustainable development problem where conflict has reduced the ability to balance economic, environmental and social wel-being.  GSTs assist students in understanding the importance of using integrated thinking as a tool for problem solving.  GST members are given global situations where each team member contributes to a team solution.  Teams learn how a systematic approach to problem solving contributes to implementing best practices in any type organizational structure.  Team members utilize life-cycle analysis, eco-efficiency, sustainability management, cost/benefit analysis, differences in country cultures, regulatory requirements, managerial cost accounting, and integration of international management system tools that benefit society, the natural environment and the economics of the organization.   

Sharing the message

              The ISME membership includes students, faculty, government representatives, managers and leaders from several global organizations.  ISME members are from many countries and contribute to the ISME list-serv by sending articles, newsletters, and other information to the ISME list-serv manager.   

Education and Research

ISME faculty are from universities, government offices, private companies, and NGOs from across the globe.  During the summer school faculty with the host organizations and speakers from a variety of private and public organizations contribute to the students learning outcomes.  Several phases of group work, short presentations, discussions, and problem solving sessions give a well rounded learning experience.  Below is a selection of ISME member publications, presentations, and films/videos. Members of the ISME should contact to post their work.  


  • Housni, F, et al., (2022) Environmental sustainability maturity system: An integrated system scale to assist maritime port managers in addressing Environmental sustainability goals
  • Housni, F.; Maurady, A.; Barnes, P.; Boumane, A.; Britel. R. (2021) Indicators for monitoring and assessment of environmental management systems in ports, The International Conference on Innovation, Modern Applied Science & Environmental Studies, Vol 234.
  • Cadez, S.; Czerny, A.; Letmathe, P. (2019): Stakeholder pressures and corporate climate change mitigation strategies, Business Strategy and the Environment 28(1), 1-14
  • Leblanc, C., Editor (2019): The Perils of Climate Risk, The People and the Science, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pages 267, ISBN 978-1-5275-3100-0,
  • Letmathe, P.; Wagner, S. (2018): “Messy” Marginal Costs: Internal Pricing of Environmental Aspects on the Firm Level, International Journal of Production Economics 201 (July 2018), 41-53  
  • El-Bassiouny, D.; Letmathe, P. (2018): The adoption of CSR practices in Egypt: internal efficiency or external legitimation?, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 9 (5), 642-665,
  • Letmathe, P., & Rabinovitch, I. (2018). The Responsible Care initiative as an enabler of implementing corporate social responsibility concepts in the chemical industry. In Measuring and Controlling Sustainability. Routledge, 34-49.
  • Leblanc, C., Editor, (2018): Dymistifying Climate Change, Volume I & II, Environmental Health, and Social Implications, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Vol I, pages 196, ISBN 978-1-5275-0013-6; Vol II, pages 306, ISBN  978-1-5275-0014-3, --
  • Cadez, S.; Guilding, C. (2017): Examining distinct carbon cost structures and climate change abatement strategies in CO2 polluting firms, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol.30 No.5, 1041-1064
  • Egbue O.; Long S.; Samarayanake V.A. (2017): Mass Deployment of Sustainable Transportation: Evaluation of Factors that Influence Electric Vehicle Adoption, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy,19 (7), 1927-1939
  • Cadez, S.; Czerny, A. (2016): Climate Change Mitigation Strategies in Carbon-Intensive Firms, Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 4132-41

Films and Videos:

Macroplastics in South Carolina Waters: Connecting the Midlands to the Coast--A DOCUMENTARY -- Emma DeLoughry,                                                                                                                       


  Attachment Size
 Poster for Port Study.pdf 715.93 KB
 Global SCM Letmathe 4.pdf 1.19 MB
 Remmen--Smart energy system 2018.pdf 1.79 MB
 Some examples for quality approach at the CRTS March 9th 2018.pdf 1.55 MB
 Do we need a quality manager to meet the ISO 9001 2015 requirements (1).pdf 206.51 KB
 Integrated Management Systems for Sustainable Development--2019.pdf 810.6 KB
 poster for ISBT 2010.pdf 265.87 KB

ISME Network


The ISME Network is made up of individuals, from a variety of backgrounds and organizations, who have posted links to their organization, department, professional profile, Linkedin page, etc.  Below is a list of individuals and contacts who participate in the ISME by sponsoring workshops, seminars, providing lectures, serving on committees, and more, in the ISME Network. Other ISME network members choose to only be connected through the ISME listserv.  When joining the ISME members can decide to either join the listserv or provide additional information and be listed on the ISME Network page.  Contact Phillip Barnes, to request ISME membership. 

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain  ISME Class at University of South Carolina  ISME class in Siegen, Germany

Siegen, Germany History Lecture  Tangier, Morocco EMS class  ISME students and faculty collaboration after class

Students receiving Summer School Certificate  Exploring nature on the Congaree  Quality Specialist Raouf Alami, Rabat, Morocco Class on Quality Systems

Professors Maurady and Barnes in Tangier  Summer School Students on the Congaree  Clemson and USC students and faculty listen to an outdoor lecture


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