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Ad Net Zero Launches New Training - The Essentials Certificate

Advertising Association

6 min read Partner content

The first-of-its-kind course will provide best practice training in sustainability for advertising and marketing services professionals

London, November 1, 2021: Ad Net Zero, UK advertising’s response to the climate crisis, led by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA, has launched a new training course - The Essentials Certificate - to help people working in advertising and marketing services understand the climate crisis and the actions needed to achieve net zero emissions in advertising operations by 2030. The 10-hour online course is now available to all professionals, in the UK and internationally, via the IPA’s globally recognised CPD platform. It aims to empower advertising professionals with the knowledge and practical skills to become genuine agents of change and take positive action in this critical decade for climate action.

The launch of the Ad Net Zero Essentials Certificate comes as the industry prepares to gather at the Ad Net Zero Global Summit on November 3 and 4 to hear from leaders across the world’s advertising industry on the system change needed to tackle climate change.

The Essentials Certificate will offer participants practical techniques to measure and reduce the carbon emissions related to the work advertising produces, recognise how the industry can promote sustainable behaviour change, and understand how to avoid greenwashing in advertising. The content has been devised by Ad Net Zero, headed by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA, along with a specialist team of more than twenty leading advertising and sustainability experts from across the industry. Participants will be offered the opportunity to test their knowledge through a range of interactive content, including tests at the end of each module and practical tips to implement in their day-to-day work.

The course will be delivered via five modules and a final multiple-choice exam, with a digital certificate of completion and a MIPA star awarded to successful participants, at a discounted cost of £60 per person for Ad Net Zero Supporters and £120 as standard.

Sebastian Munden, Chair of Ad Net Zero and EVP and General Manager, Unilever UK & Ireland said: “The pressing challenge of climate change requires a system-wide and fundamental response from our industry to change the way we work in order to change the work we make. This new training course arrives at the right moment for us to take responsibility as individuals to learn and put into practice techniques and approaches that are all geared towards positive climate action. I encourage everyone in our industry, from brands through to agency teams, from media-owner sales teams to ad tech providers, to take the time to achieve this certificate.”

Stephanie Lambert, Head of Industry, FMCG – Facebook, said: “The sustainable transformation that businesses are making within the next 5-10 years requires our teams to have a foundational understanding of climate change, and the role that marketing plays in support of the shift to more sustainable consumption and lifestyles.  We’re excited to roll out Ad Net Zero’s robust training qualification to our sales and marketing teams to equip them with this knowledge and enable them to be the best partner to our clients.”

Experts involved in the development of the training & beta-testing


  • Alexander Cronin – Senior Environmental Management Consultant, Green Element
  • Sera Holland – Co-Founder, The Fawnbrake Collective
  • Tricia Duffy – Strategy Advisor, AdGreen
  • Jo Coombes – Project Director, AdGreen
  • Amelie Lambert – Communications and Sustainability Consultant


  • Sebastian Munden – EVP and General Manager, Unilever UK & Ireland
  • Margaret Jobling – Group Chief Marketing Officer, NatWest


  • Caroline Davison – Managing Director & Sustainability lead, ELVIS
  • Rob McFaul – Co-Founder, Purpose Disruptors and #ChangeTheBrief advisor, Mindshare
  • Pauline Robson – Managing Partner, MediaCom
  • Dom Stevenson – Head of Production, Jump (Havas Media Group)
  • Anuschka Clarke – Managing Partner, The7stars
  • Natasha Allard – Senior Manager, Global Environment Strategy, dentsu

Industry Groups

  • James Best – Chairman, CAP and Credos
  • Rachel Aldighieri – Managing Director, Data & Marketing Association
  • Justin Davis – Copy Advice Executive, ASA
  • Tom Merryweather - Complaints Executive, ASA
  • James Ogilby – Senior Investigations Executive, ASA
  • Ruth Piper - Complaints Executive, ASA
  • Janet Taylor – Copy Advice Executive, ASA

The IPA team

  • Indre Dragunaite MIPA - Head of Learning Technologies 
  • Louise Hinchliffe - Associate Director of Professional Development
  • Michael Smith - Online Qualifications Content Developer

The Ad Net Zero Team

  • Stephen Woodford – Chief Executive, Advertising Association
  • Matt Bourn – Director of Communications, Advertising Association
  • Jan Sanghera – Project Manager for Ad Net Zero, Advertising Association
  • Irene Gari Chia – Ad Net Zero Executive, Advertising Association

How The Course Works

Learning is delivered via five modules to help participants understand the key concepts related to our climate future and where to seek out tools to enable them to act in their professional role and as a member of society. The course also offers further reading to deepen understanding of the topics, but this is optional.

Module 1 - Climate Fundamentals: Climate change, its history and current key legislation, policies, initiatives and organisations to be aware of.

Module 2 - Ad Net Zero: A deep dive into Ad Net Zero, its origins, ambitions and the action plan needed to drive change through the UK advertising industry.

Module 3 - Changing the Way We Work: A step-by-step guide to the actions we need to take as individuals and businesses, exploring the proportionality of impacts and decisions we make around all aspects of the way we work.

Module 4 - Sustainable Behaviour Change: An introduction to the #ChangeTheBrief initiative, focusing on how the skills and influence of the industry can be applied to promoting sustainable lifestyles with practical ways to incorporate action into the creative process.

Module 5 - Understanding the Rules and Regulations Around Greenwashing in Advertising: A guide to the fundamentals of ‘greenwashing’ and how to actively avoid it in the work we produce, from basic understanding of good work practice to specific ASA rules that apply to misleading environmental claims.

About Ad Net Zero

Acknowledging the need for advertising as a sector to respond to the urgency and scale of the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions, the Advertising Association’s Climate Action Group produced a report and recommendations for cross-industry action in November 2020 to be taken forward under the umbrella of the Ad Net Zero initiative.

Concern over the issue is shared across the advertising sector by individuals and companies alike. Some 71% of people working across the industry are worried about the negative impacts of the industry on the environment; more want their agencies to take climate action.

Many agencies and companies across the industry have taken their own steps to work more sustainably. New policies and commitments are being announced by firms large and small all the time. But more needs to be done collectively.

People across the sector want advertising to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, through the role it can play in influencing corporate policy and consumer behaviour, helping people make more sustainable choices in what they buy, use, and do. 91% agree that knowing their organisation is taking climate action would improve their job satisfaction.

Ad Net Zero was established to provide focus for this necessary collaboration. Working together, the supporters will drive carbon-curbing policies throughout the advertising eco-system and will strengthen and extend the sector’s response to a shared challenge.


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