By managing our own sustainability performance and developing our knowledge on social and environmental
trends we can access this business and respond to the growing number of client procurement processes which
include sustainability criteria. Our work on sustainability also increases access to talent, improves efficiency and
reduces risks to our business.
Enabling our strategy today
Our business strategy is focused on four strategic priorities: horizontality; new markets; new media;
and technology, data and content. Our work on sustainability enables our business strategy and supports our
growth in three main ways:
Gaining access to skills – our employment practices and reputation for sustainability help us to recruit, retain
and engage the best creative talent in our industry. By recruiting from a diverse talent pool and investing in
training and development we can ensure we have the right people to serve our clients in all disciplines across
our locations, including new markets where our industry is less well-established.
Enabling new business wins – clients who engaged with us on sustainability were worth at least £1.29 billion
to the Group in 2015, equivalent to 11% of revenues. Our leading privacy and data security standards enable
us to meet client expectations and to grow our digital and data investment management businesses.
Improving efficiency, reducing risk and protecting our reputation – managing social and environmental
performance and selecting suppliers who meet standards consistent with our own, helps us to operate more
efficiently, to reduce costs and risks and to enhance our reputation with clients, employees and stakeholders.
Fit for the long term
The next decades present unprecedented opportunities and risks for brands. On the one hand, technological
development and the rise of the global middle-class create huge commercial opportunities. On the other, climate
change, ecosystem decline, water scarcity, obesity and a growing global population present major challenges.
These changes will disrupt old business models, alter supply chains and give rise to new products, services and
businesses. Successful companies will find opportunity in this change, identifying new ways to do more with less,
adopting circular and sharing economy models to avoid resource scarcity, rising prices and disruption to supply
chains. They will look to generate shared value through their products and services, helping to improve quality
of life as they grow their businesses.
Expectations of what business should contribute to society are also rising. Increasingly, business is expected to
play a significant role in tackling the world’s challenges, while technology and social media enable people to hold
brands to account for their social and environmental performance, from anywhere in the world.
In this environment, brands will need the best insight, research and communications services and they will seek
a marketing services provider who understands the changing landscape and shares their values.
Our companies are already working with many pioneers of sustainable business. As our clients increasingly feel the
impact of these longer-term trends, their significance will grow for WPP too. Our work on sustainability today will
help ensure our business is fit for the future.
Our 4 strategic priorities
Our goal remains to be the world’s most admired and
respected communications services advisor to global,
multinational, regional and local companies. To that
end we have four strategic priorities:
Advance ‘horizontality’ by ensuring our people work together for the benefit of clients
Increase the share of revenues from faster-developing markets to 40-45%
Maintain the share of more measurable marketing services at 50% of revenues
Efficiency, risk and reputation:
Operating responsibly and ethically and
selecting suppliers who do the same, reduces
legal and financial risks and protects our
reputation with clients, employees, investors,
governments and other stakeholders. Improving
our sustainability performance improves
efficiency, reducing operating costs and
enabling us to focus more on what matters most.
Access to skills:
Leading employment practices give us access
to the people and skills we need to grow in new
and established markets, across disciplines and
to work with horizontality. Investing in skills and
education, especially in our growth markets,
widens our talent pool and helps us to grow.
Access to new business:
Leading privacy practices are essential to
grow our new media and data investment
management businesses. A significant number
of client tender processes include sustainability
requirements that we must meet to access this
business. More global clients are prioritising
sustainable business practices. This is a
growing source of revenue for our businesses
who are able to provide insight on social and
environmental issues and longer-term business
risks and opportunities.