As an office-based company, our resource use and waste generation are relatively low. We aim to reduce this further by:

tonnes of waste recycled in 2013
(2012: 4,886)

  • Using resources efficiently and reducing unnecessary consumption.
  • Promoting the use of sustainable and renewable resources by encouraging our companies to use preferred suppliers selected by WPP.
  • Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Paper sourcing %

Paper Sourcing
  • Paper purchased with recycled content 24
  • Paper purchased without recycled content 76

Waste recycling %

Waste Recycling
  • Paper and cardboard 81
  • IT equipment 3
  • Other waste recycled 16

Paper sourcing and use

Our managed print program helps us to reduce paper use by up to 30% per location. It is challenging to collect data on paper usage, but we estimate that in 2013, our total paper usage was 6,584 tonnes.

Our target is to source 50% of paper for copying and printing from recycled sources by 2015. In 2013, 24% of the paper purchased by WPP companies contained at least 50% post-consumer recycled fibre. We have established preferred suppliers of recycled paper in all major markets. However, take-up among our companies is still relatively low and we are looking for ways to increase this.

Waste and recycling

Our key waste streams are electronic waste and office consumables (e.g. paper, card, cans, plastic bottles and toner cartridges).

We have established preferred suppliers of recycling services for waste paper, standard office consumables and mobile phones in all major markets, where appropriate. In 2013 we recycled 5,106 tonnes of waste, of which 81% was paper and cardboard.

Our goal is for obsolete IT equipment to be refurbished and sold for reuse, or if this is not possible, to be broken down for recycling. Disposal is a last resort, and must be done in compliance with local environmental regulations and data security best practice (see more on privacy).

We work with our global providers of IT waste disposal services to increase reuse and recycling and to dispose of our IT equipment safely.

reduction in water use per person since 2010 in our conservation pilot

Water use

As an office-based company, we are not a major water user but our companies take steps to reduce water use in their offices; this is particularly important for offices located in water-scarce areas.

We are running a water conservation pilot in our 11 largest locations in areas of water scarcity (which account for around 20% of floor space in these areas). Our target, at these locations, is to reduce water use per head by 20% by 2015 by:

  • identifying and repairing leaks;
  • upgrading water fixtures and fittings during renovations; and
  • reusing rainwater and wastewater where feasible.

In 2013, water use per head was 12.6 cubic metres, down 6% on 2012 and 14% lower than our 2010 baseline. Total water use was 72,503 cubic metres, a decrease of 9% over 2012.

Our companies are primarily based in urban areas and source their water from municipal water suppliers. We also include water conservation in our property environmental scorecard.

Profile: Y&R Group
3 Columbus Circle

Y&R Group’s new offices in New York achieve high environmental standards, and is aiming for LEED Gold certification. Features include low-flow water fixtures, energy efficient lighting and fewer printers, as well as more recycling to cut waste.

Y&R Group's move to its new offices at 3 Columbus Circle in New York provided the perfect opportunity to raise awareness on environmental issues and drive behavioural change. Prior to the move, an agency-wide campaign called "Culprits of 285" encouraged employees to leave behind their environmentally unfriendly work habits at the old 285 Madison Avenue building and embrace new behaviours, such as reducing paper use, recycling kitchen waste and turning off computers at the end of the day.

Y&R Group's new offices in New York Y&R Group's new offices in New York
Y&R Group's new offices in New York

Chapter 5 of 10