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Seven Suckers

oil on canvas
22 x 20 in

Penny Machines
oil on canvas
23¾ x 29¾ in

Stack of Books
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in

Seven Suckers
oil on canvas
19 x 23 in

Twin Jackpots
oil on canvas
30 x 46 in

oil on canvas
20 x 26 in

Cake Slices
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in


Reducing our impact on the environment is a priority. We are focusing on reducing our carbon footprint – mainly from office energy consumption and business flights – and are starting to co-ordinate plans for waste reduction and water management in regions of water scarcity.

Carbon footprint

WPP’s carbon footprint in 2009 was 252,111 tonnes of CO2, (rating renewable energy as zero emissions), an increase of 4% over 2008.

For the first time in 2009 we included data for TNS, a major acquisition at the end of 2008, in our carbon footprint. When adjusted for acquisitions and disposals, the change from 2008 represents a 3% reduction.

When calculated with renewable energy rated as normal grid electricity, as required in the UK, our total carbon footprint in 2009 was 279,184 tonnes of CO2.

The main contributors to our carbon footprint are office energy use (57%) and business air travel (30%).

We report our greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a collaboration of institutional investors and participate in the CDP’s Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration.

WPP’s carbon footprint (rating renewable energy as zero emissions)
  CO2 emissions (tonnes)
  2006 2007 2008 2009
Office energy use 144,354 124,335 121,572 143,154
Air travel 81,733 92,269 89,500 76,073
Other (includes unmeasured impacts, e.g. couriers and taxis) 33,913 32,491 31,661 32,884
Total 260,000 249,095 242,733 252,111
WPP’s carbon footprint (renewable energy rated as normal grid electricity)
  CO2 emissions (tonnes)
  2006 2007 2008 2009
Total 260,000 254,888 265,760 279,184
WPP’s office energy use (megawatt hours)
  2006 2007 2008 2009
Energy use 297,406 272,545 284,930 340,647
Data from 2007 and 2008 has been revised upwards as a result of improvements to our data collection system and analysis.

Carbon footprint targets

Our current target is to cut absolute carbon emissions by 20% by the end of 2010 from a 2006 baseline. We adjust the baseline to account for acquisitions and disposals. We do not adjust the baseline for organic growth. The carbon footprint we use for our target includes renewable energy rated at zero emissions.

At the end of 2009, we had achieved an 10% reduction over our 2006 baseline, adjusted for acquisitions (281,471 tonnes CO2).

From 2010 we will extend our carbon footprint target to a 40% reduction by 2020. This is informed by the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that developed countries must cut their CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020.

We are also introducing a secondary measure of carbon footprint per head. In 2009 the carbon footprint per head was 2.6 tonnes. We aim to cut this to 1.2 tonnes by 2020. We have set interim targets for 2012 and 2015 for our carbon footprint and carbon intensity, to help us track progress.

Carbon footprint targets
  CO2 emissions (tonnes)
  2010 2012 2015 2020
Absolute CO2 reduction from a 2006 baseline 20% 25% 30% 40%
Carbon intensity (per head CO2 emissions) 2 tonnes 1.8 tonnes 1.6 tonnes 1.2 tonnes

Buying renewable energy

We purchase renewable energy where we can, and regularly review energy sourcing across all markets to identify new opportunities.

We estimate that around 15% of the total energy we purchase is from renewable sources. The table below shows the main countries in which we source green electricity and the percentage purchased. When rated at zero emissions, our renewable electricity purchases reduce out total carbon footprint by 27,073 tonnes of CO2.

Green electricity contracts are usually for a fixed period and may not be available at competitive prices in future.

Green electricity sources
Country % renewable
Brazil 21%
Israel 55%
Italy 33%
Norway 27%
Peru 21%
Portugal 25%
Thailand 39%
UK 57%

Carbon offset

In 2009, we offset 130,000 tonnes of CO2 through support for renewable energy projects. All carbon offset projects supported by WPP are renewable energy projects arranged by the CarbonNeutral Company. We currently fund seven projects, including wind farm and hydroelectric projects in China and wind and solar generation in India. We do not support forestry offset.

From 2010, we will offset only the equivalent of our emissions from flights, concentrating our investment in making energy efficiency savings in buildings and IT. Our operating companies will continue to meet the cost of offset.

Office energy efficiency

We have established Energy Action Teams in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. These include members of our IT, real estate and procurement functions. Their job is to identify energy-saving measures and provide technical guidance to our agencies on energy reduction. They are supported by a network of on-the-ground Climate Champions, who help to implement energy-saving measures in our companies.

In 2009, we continued to implement our global metering project to bring energy savings by cutting waste. We are investing £600,000 to install meters in our top 100 ‘strategic locations’ that are both large and have long leases. These represent about 40% of our total floorspace. By the end of 2009 we had installed meters at 55 sites.

We have identified preferred suppliers in all regions, which our operating companies can use to buy and install low-energy light fittings. We began an installation program for low-energy fittings in 2009. We have set up procurement contracts with furniture and carpet suppliers to ensure the products we purchase come from sustainable sources and can be disposed of in a responsible manner.

Where possible, we aim to ensure that any properties we purchase meet advanced environmental standards such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and BRE Environment Assessment Method (BREEAM). For example, major new locations for Grey and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in New York are LEED certified. A new purpose-built facility for nine of our companies in Singapore has been designed to the Green Mark Scheme Gold Standard, equivalent to LEED.

Sustainable IT

WPP’s personal and network IT equipment accounts for a large proportion of our energy use. We aim to cut the energy used by our computers by up to 30%, and have introduced requirements to improve the energy efficiency of our IT equipment. Through our server virtualisation program and the use of new energy-efficient blade-based server technology we aim to achieve up to 40% reduction in power consumption for key IT applications. We successfully piloted this approach in 2009 with the Group financial reporting IT systems and are adopting the approach as standard for future server installations and upgrades.

Following pilot projects at three London companies we agreed a program of printer rationalisation for major locations in key markets that we expect to reduce paper, toner and energy consumption by 20% to 30%.



We encourage our people to meet via videoconferencing, avoiding the environmental impacts of travelling to meetings. We have successfully trialled high-definition videoconferencing in London and New York, and we are investing to set up facilities in key cities around the world.

By the end of 2009, we had installed 65 high-definition videoconferencing units around the world, including 40 shared units which can be used by any WPP company. In 2010 we will install another 35 shared units, bringing the total to 75 shared sites.

Videoconferencing rooms can be booked by any WPP company via the WPP intranet. We are also experimenting with one-to-one videoconferencing technology for senior executives and operating companies.

Waste and recycling

In 2009 we developed a strategy to reduce waste and increase reuse and recycling at our top 100 strategic locations (representing 40% of our property portfolio by floor space). The strategy will be launched in 2010 and we will track reuse and recycling rates at participating sites quarterly. Key commitments include:

  • Paper
    • Use post-consumer recycled office paper.
    • Set printers to double-sided as default.
  • Electronic waste (e.g. IT and mobile phones)
    • Establish electronic equipment recycling contracts.
    • Encourage local arrangements for computer re-use.
  • Office consumables (e.g. paper, card, cans, plastic bottles, toner cartridges)
    • Establish recycling contracts at all locations for standard office consumable items.
  • Kitchen waste
    • Phase out disposable crockery and drinking cups.

Water use

As an office-based company, WPP is not a major water user. However, we recognise the importance of water conservation, particularly in water-stressed areas. We have endorsed the UN CEO Water Mandate, an initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices.

In 2009 we launched a water conservation strategy that targets our largest locations in water-stressed regions. This will ensure that our investment in water management produces the most environmental benefit. At these locations we will:

  • Measure and report water consumption in 2009/10.
  • Establish programs for water conservation in 2010/11.

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