Stakeholder engagement

Our business relies on engagement with our people, clients, consumers, investors, the media and government representatives. These stakeholders have the greatest potential to influence our ability to operate efficiently and to generate a profit, and we prioritise engagement with them.

Our Code of Business Conduct states our commitment to respect human rights. Our most senior managers and all our business partners and suppliers are asked to sign a copy to confirm they will abide by its principles.

WPP's research businesses are expert in tracking and analysing social trends on a global basis. These same skills help us to communicate our approach to sustainability and obtain feedback and insights from external stakeholders. Periodically, we hold focus groups bringing together sustainability thought leaders from socially responsible investment organisations, leading client companies, business sustainability groups and non-governmental organisations. The discussion topics raised in the most recent meeting informed the focus of our program and provided input to the materiality assessment.

Clients and potential clients regularly request information on our approach to sustainability, particularly during tender processes and we willingly partner with our clients on issues of mutual interest.

We see value in communicating with our investors on sustainability, and submit the sustainability section of our Annual Report for share owner voting at our AGM. In 2013, we engaged with investors and rating agencies including Amundi, Chevreux, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Ethibel, FTSE4Good, Natixis, Oekom, Trucost and Vigeo on sustainability issues and performance. WPP is included in the DJSI World and Europe Indices and the FTSE4Good Index.

We communicate with our people through regular meetings, employee surveys (conducted at operating company level, usually on an annual basis), the Group intranet and regular newsletters and publications. We distribute our Sustainability Report to over 2,000 senior managers and employees.

Stakeholder feedback is shared with the executive team where relevant, via our Group finance director, who has responsibility for sustainability, and through our risk management processes.

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