Ad Net Zero to mark first anniversary with global summit, training qualification & industry best practice guide

Ad Net Zero, the UK advertising initiative to help the industry respond to the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions is marking its first-year anniversary with a special 2-day Global Summit. Ad Net Zero is made up of 70 leading companies from across the UK advertising industry, committing to achieving net zero carbon emissions from their operations by end 2030 as part of wider industry drive. It will take place on November 3 & 4 live from Glasgow at the same time as COP26 when the world’s leaders gather to look at measures needed to tackle the challenge of climate change. The Global Summit will be free to attend for any advertising professional from around the world and will provide inspirational content through thought leadership sessions and practical workshops. Anyone interested in attending the Summit online can register for a place here.

In addition, Ad Net Zero will be launching the first training qualification for advertising professionals to fully equip people with the understanding to take responsibility for the carbon emissions related to the operations of advertising work day-to-day, as well as consider the role their work plays in promoting sustainable products and services. The training which will be available online to all ad professionals, in the UK and internationally, via the IPA’s globally recognised CPD platform is in the final stages of beta testing with Ad Net Zero supporters and will be available to the industry later this year.

During the course of 2021, Ad Net Zero supporters have also contributed to the development of a Best Practice Guide for all businesses in the advertising supply chain to help track, measure and reduce their carbon emissions. This Guide, which has also been rigorously tested by the Ad Net Zero supporter base, will be published at the Summit for everyone in the industry to access for free.

Ad Net Zero is headed in the UK by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA and chaired by Unilever. The Global Summit is being funded by the Ad Net Zero supporter base which as of September 2021 has 70 organisations (full list below) representing the broad spectrum of the UK advertising industry, many of whom are also exploring how to accelerate positive action in international territories.

STV will play host to the Summit live from its HQ in Glasgow, directly opposite the location for COP26. Online attendees to the Summit will hear from leaders in companies including Unilever, Mastercard, Pepsico, Havas, Dentsu, WPP, Facebook, Google, Sky, global and international trade bodies such as the World Federation of Advertisers, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority and isla, global advertising industry experts from the likes of Cannes Lions and Campaign and dynamic initiatives in this space such as ChangeTheBrief and AdGreen.

On Day One (November 3) the content programme will set out the ambitions of Ad Net Zero and the system change needed in the world’s advertising industry to reflect the changes necessary across business and society to tackle the climate emergency. Big themes to be explored include what is meant by sustainable leadership in advertising, the role of marketing to be a force for positive change and the ways we can tackle greenwashing in advertising.

On Day Two (November 4) the content programme will take the form of a series of practical workshops, with step-by-step advice and guidance for advertising professionals to understand how to track, measure and reduce the carbon emissions of their work, as well as support the shift to more sustainable products and services across all areas of people’s lives.

Sebastian Munden, Chair of Ad Net Zero and EVP and General Manager, Unilever UK & Ireland, said: “The goal of the Summit is to help equip every advertising professional, from brands, agencies, media owners and tech platforms, to understand the role they can play day-to-day to support the world-wide industry effort to shift to a more sustainable way of operating. Every attendee will be asked to make a commitment to changing the way they work and, wherever possible, that the work they make helps to ensure the advertising industry, in the UK and internationally, does everything it can to address the climate emergency.”

Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA, said: “To accelerate the system change we need to make right through the advertising supply chain, we have been working hard and fast to bring the industry’s first training qualification and Best Practice Guide to market. As we near the completion of the first year of a decade of essential change for our industry, these actions are central as we help everyone who works in advertising to focus the industry’s huge influence on promoting a more sustainable way of living.”

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