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WPP's carbon footprint

CO2 emissions (tonnes)
  2006 2007
Office energy use 144,354 120,032
Air travel 81,733 92,269
Other 33,913 31,845
Total 260,000 244,146
Average headcount 77,686 84,848

Office energy efficiency

The energy we use in our buildings for heating, cooling, lighting and IT accounts for 49% of our emissions. In early 2007 WPP completed a detailed energy review on three buildings in the UK. These studies monitored sources of energy use and identified opportunities for reductions.

Using this initial energy review as a model, WPP commissioned eight pilot studies spread across the global property portfolio, two in Europe, three in Asia Pacific and three in the Americas.

Energy audits have now been completed on all seven sites and the results have been evaluated to find cost-effective measures to reduce the carbon footprint of our offices. We will use the results of these studies to make recommendations to all of our operating companies on how to achieve the most significant and cost-effective energy reductions.

Sustainable IT

WPP's personal and network IT equipment accounts for a large proportion of our office energy use. We aim to cut the energy used by our computers by up to 30% and have already begun introducing requirements to improve IT energy efficiency when we purchase new equipment and in use.

In the next two to three years we expect to achieve significant energy savings by reducing the number of servers we operate from 7,000 currently to 3,000. The new servers are also more energy efficient.


Employee business air travel has a significant climate impact. We aim to provide alternatives to make it easier for our people to meet with clients and colleagues without having to fly. Video-conferencing facilities are now available at most of our major offices.

Buying renewable energy

We purchase renewable energy where we can and regularly review energy sourcing across the Group to identify new opportunities. During 2007 major green energy contracts were agreed in the UK and Italy providing approximately 70% of the total WPP electricity consumption in both countries. In November 2007, Ogilvy New York, one of WPP's largest offices, took a green electricity contract for 12 months. Together our renewable electricity contracts will save approximately 20,600 tonnes of CO2 (8% of the Group total) each year.

Carbon offset

We are reducing our CO2 emissions as much as possible and offsetting the rest. Our operating companies meet the cost of offsetting their emissions. This provides an incentive to cut their climate impact as the more they reduce their emissions the less they will have to pay in offset costs.

We work with the CarbonNeutral Company, an offset provider, to source sufficient carbon offset agreements to neutralise the Group's footprint. All carbon offset projects supported by WPP are renewable energy projects (eg wind, hydro and solar). We do not support forestry offset. We currently fund seven projects including wind farm and hydroelectric projects in China, and wind and solar generation in India.