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In our Corporate Responsibility Policy we commit to minimising our impact on the environment. Climate change is our most significant environmental issue and we have set a target to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010. In 2007 WPP was carbon neutral.

Climate change is also important to our key stakeholders including investors who are asking us to disclose our carbon footprint. Many of the companies we work for are taking action on climate change and increasingly request information on our environmental credentials during pitches. Having a clear climate strategy provides an additional credential for our businesses advising clients on their response to climate change.

Our climate change strategy commits us to:

  • Reduce our energy consumption by 20% by 2010.
  • Achieve efficiency gains in our buildings and IT.
  • Purchase renewable electricity where available.
  • Offset the balance of our emissions.

The program involves changes to office design, IT purchasing, electricity sourcing and intra-office flights that collectively will enable us to achieve our target over four years.

To implement our climate change strategy we have established Energy Action Teams in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. These include members of our IT, property and procurement functions. Their job is to measure and identify energy-saving initiatives, run pilot projects and provide technical guidance on energy reduction.

Energy efficiency and climate change

During 2007 we fulfilled our commitment to go carbon neutral.

Our carbon footprint in 2007 was equivalent to 244,146 tonnes of CO2 compared to an estimated 260,000 tonnes in 2006. This has been calculated using data from our office energy use and business air travel reported by our major operating companies. The data collection covered over 95% of Group operating companies and we extrapolated data for the balance. We add an additional 15% to our CO2 footprint to account for unmeasured impacts such as couriers and taxis.