Bureau Veritas UK Limited (Bureau Veritas) has been engaged by WPP Ltd. (WPP) to provide limited assurance of selected sustainability data for 2016. This Assurance Statement applies to the related information included within the scope of work described below.
Scope of verification
The scope of our work was limited to assurance over the accuracy of the sustainability data listed below and included in WPP’s Sustainability Report (the report). Our work includes all global operations under WPP’s control for the period of 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 for the following indicators (Selected Information):
GHG emissions & associated activity data
Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from WPP’s global operations
Scope 3 emissions from business air travel
- Age and gender data
Ethnicity data (UK and USA operations only)
Health and safety data
Waste management data
Waste to recycling
- Non-recycled waste
We performed our work in accordance with a comprehensive internal protocol that guides our verification activities. Our methodology is based on international best practice and incorporates the requirements of the most widely used assurance international standards including AA1000 Assurance Standard, ISAE3000, and ISO14064-3. Our conclusions are for ‘limited’ assurance as set out in ISAE 3000.
As part of the independent verification, Bureau Veritas undertook:
- interviews with relevant personnel of WPP responsible for GHG emissions accounting, waste data and employment data;
- a review of WPP information systems and methodology for data collection, aggregation, and analysis;
- a review of information and calculations used to determine GHG emissions;
- a remote review of a sample of the Selected Information against the corresponding source documentation from 10 of WPP’s operations worldwide, the sample was selected based on air travel, energy consumption, geographical location and head count;
- audit visits to five of WPP’s operation: MediaCom Dusseldorf, H+K Strategies London, Westbourne Terrace Management Services Ltd. London, WPP Group USA Inc., Y&R Paris; and
- a review of the consolidated 2016 data to check end of year accounting and reliable transposition.
Based on the verification conducted by Bureau Veritas, there is no evidence to suggest that the GHG emissions assertions shown below, and the age, gender, ethnicity, health and safety and waste KPIs as stated by WPP in its 2016/2017 Sustainability Report:
are not prepared in accordance with WPP’s relevant internal methodologies; and
are not materially correct and a fair representation of the GHG emissions and employment data for WPP.
Reported GHG emissions
Reported GHG emissions
7,851 tonnes of CO2e
116,905 tonnes of CO2e (net, including the carbon reduction of green-tariff electricity & Renewable Energy Certificates)
146,846 tonnes of CO2e (gross, excluding the carbon reduction of green-tariff electricity & Renewable Energy Certificates)
92,445 tonnes CO2e (air travel)
Such opinion is based on work undertaken and the limitations and exclusions defined in this statement.
Limitations and exclusions
Excluded from the scope of our work is any verification of information relating to:
- activities outside the defined reporting period;
- WPP estimates its other scope 3 emissions, including from leased cars, taxis and couriers, as an additional 15% of its total GHG emissions figure, added to the carbon footprint and reported as ‘other estimated scope 3 emissions’. These scope 3 GHG emissions were not subject to verification; and
- one of the 10 of WPP’s locations selected for remote data verification could not provide the relevant back-ups for waste and sickness days in due time and hence was not subject to verification.
Observations and recommendations
- WPP has demonstrated a consistent and structured approach towards sustainability data reporting across operations and parameters.
- Several sites are not currently reporting all of the waste that they generate, due to a lack of available source information. In these instances, applying a consistent estimation would help to avoid gaps in the waste data.
Statement of independence, integrity and competence
Bureau Veritas is an independent professional services company that specialises in quality, environmental, health, safety and social accountability with over 185 years’ history. Its assurance team has extensive experience in conducting verification over environmental, social, ethical and health and safety information, systems and processes.
Bureau Veritas operates a certified Quality Management System which complies with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Bureau Veritas has implemented a code of ethics across its business which ensures that all our staff members maintain high standards of integrity and independence. Bureau Veritas believes this assignment did not raise any conflicts of interest.