Zero Waste Trainer Curriculum


Increasingly, regional and national governments are outlining ambitious targets that set the framework for Europe’s transition towards a net-zero,  circular economy. Yet the reality on the ground sadly does not often reflect this ambition. Implementation is slow and local authorities still have a lack of knowledge and resources that’s preventing them from designing and operating effective zero waste strategies in their communities.

It is within this context and the subsequent urgent need for change that the authors decided to create structured curricula for Zero Waste Ambassadors and Zero Waste Trainers, who could help municipalities in this process.

While the aim of the Zero Waste Ambassador curriculum is to provide competences needed to support and drive communities in Europe towards long term systemic change for zero waste, the Zero Waste Trainer curriculum gives insights on how to train Ambassadors. This curriculum provides educators with a framework and a set of principles to be able to teach the most important concepts and practical knowledge of how to educate different target groups on zero waste and other complex topics.

The curriculum was designed in a way so that educators who have familiarised themselves with the content of the Zero Waste Training Handbook, can use this framework and resources provided within this document to create their own training activities. The authors believe that by making this curriculum and supporting material publicly available, they will help to enable the scaling up of zero waste knowledge and practical ability to apply such thinking across Europe. And since these teaching principles are universal and especially suitable for teaching complex topics, this curriculum can be used in a modified way to teach Trainers on any other complex topic, which includes most environmental and sustainability issues.

This training video gives an example of how a Zero Waste Trainer could tackle misconceptions in a training setting. It can be used as a training tool for practising teaching similar kinds of topics.

The skills and competencies gained through this training program are certified with a Zero Waste Trainer Certificate. It is a separate process where you will be supported, either through training or via the verification of your competencies independently. You can apply to become certified and receive the Certificate through the Zero Waste Cities programme. 

Certified Ambassadors and Trainers from all across Europe are listed on our expert page, which you could be added to. An expert certification will give you confidence in carrying out your mission, as well as helping you advance in your career. Qualified knowledge in implementing a circular economy is increasingly sought after in all sectors and various positions.

If you want to learn more about getting the Certificate, please contact us at [email protected]

This document is the result of the BEZWA project (Building a European Zero Waste Academy) – an Erasmus+ funded collaboration between five organisations with the main aim to create a strong educational framework in support of the zero waste cities movement in Europe. The project partners were Zero Waste Europe, Ekologi brez meja, Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University, with Let’s Do It Foundation as the project coordinator.


Supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union. This website does not necessarily reflect the views of the donors.