Ad Net Zero to host global summit during COP26 to educate adland on sustainable practice

To mark its first year of operation, the UK initiative Ad Net Zero is hosting a two-day global summit during Cop26 and offering a training qualification and an industry best practice guide.

Ad Net Zero marks first anniversary global summit to educate ad professionals
Ad Net Zero marks first anniversary global summit to educate ad professionals

As Ad Net Zero reaches its first year, the industry anti-climate change initiative is marking the occasion with a two-day Global Summit, training qualification and industry best practice guide, which are each devised to equip ad professionals with the right tools to help shift the industry into a more sustainable way of operating. 

Set up last year, Ad Net Zero was created by the Advertising Association (AA), IPA and ISBA to help the industry respond to the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions. Chaired by Unilever, it comprises 70 leading companies from across the UK advertising industry. Each has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by the end of 2030 as part of a wider industry drive.

Dovetailing with COP26, where global leaders will gather to look at measures needed to tackle the challenge of climate change, the Ad Net Zero global summit will take place in Glasgow at the beginning of November. Free to attend for any advertising professional from around the world, the summit will host a dense programme of thought leadership and practical workshops. STV will play host to the Summit live from its HQ in Glasgow, directly opposite the location for COP26. 

Day one sets 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, while day two will take the form of a series of practical workshops, with step-by-step advice and guidance. 

Beyond the global summit, Ad Net Zero has created the first training qualification for advertising professionals. Available online to all professionals, the training aims to encourage people to recognise their responsibility for the carbon emissions related to the operations of advertising work day-to-day, as well as the role their work plays in promoting sustainable products and services. 

Throughout 2021, supporters of Ad Net Zero have contributed to the creation of a Best Practice Guide for all businesses in the advertising supply chain to help them track, measure and reduce their carbon emissions. It will be published at the summit in November.

“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," said Sebastian Munden, chair of Ad Net Zero and executive vice-president and general manager of Unilever UK & Ireland.

"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 of the IPA, said that to accelerate the system change, the ad industry needs to make changes right through the advertising supply chain. "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,” he said. 

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