Independent Verification Statement

Bureau Veritas UK Limited (Bureau Veritas) was engaged by WPP to conduct limited assurance for scope 1, 2 and certain scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and certain indicators of WPP’s employment data reported by WPP subsidiaries for the period 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. Stated emissions and employment data was included for all global operations under WPP’s control.

Scope of verification

GHG emissions

Bureau Veritas was asked to verify the accuracy of:

  • Scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from WPP’s global operations; and
  • Scope 3 emissions from business air travel.

Employment data

Bureau Veritas was asked to verify the accuracy of:

  • Age and gender data;
  • Ethnicity data (UK and US); and
  • Health and safety data.

Excluded from the scope of assurance are associate companies of WPP, GHG emissions outside the defined reporting period and scope 3 GHG emissions not stated above.


Bureau Veritas conducted the verification against the main requirements of ISO 14064-3: Greenhouse gases – Part 3: Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions.

WPP’s GHG emissions were calculated by WPP using its own internal methodology that applies the criteria of the WBCSD/WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol1.

As part of the assurance, Bureau Veritas undertook:

  • Interviews with relevant personnel of WPP responsible for employment data and GHG emissions accounting;
  • A review of WPP data and information systems and methodology for collection, aggregation, and analysis;
  • A review of information and calculations used to determine GHG emissions;
  • Sampling of source data from 15 of WPP’s locations Worldwide. The sample was selected based on air travel, energy consumption, geographical location and head count;
  • Audit visits to four of WPP’s locations: WPP head office in London, JWT London, Grey New York and Ogilvy & Mather India, to review underlying systems for collecting and reporting employment and emissions data; and
  • A review of the consolidated 2013 data to check end of year accounting and reliable transposition.


Based on the verification conducted by Bureau Veritas, there is no evidence to suggest that the GHG emissions assertions shown below, and the age, gender, ethnicity and health and safety employment KPIs as stated by WPP in its 2013/2014 Sustainability Report:

  • Are not prepared in accordance with WPP’s relevant internal methodologies; and
  • Are not materially correct and a fair representation of the GHG emissions and employment data for WPP.
Scope 1: 11,305 tonnes of CO2e
Scope 2: 136,172 tonnes of CO2e (net of green-tariff electricity)
Scope 2: 157,471 tonnes of CO2e (gross, including green-tariff electricity)
Scope 3: 95,879 tonnes CO2e (air travel)

A full analysis is set out in the management report provided to WPP.

Limitations and exclusions

  • A proportion of reported energy data is estimated due in part to the occupation by WPP of business premises where consumption is paid for via a service charge and is not directly metered or billed.
  • Two of the 15 of WPP’s locations selected for data sampling and review were omitted from the sample during the verification process due to lack of availability of data relevant to the reporting period.
  • WPP estimates its other scope 3 emissions, including from leased cars, taxis and couriers, as an additional 15% of its total emissions figure, added to the carbon footprint and reported as ‘other estimated scope 3 emissions’. This estimation was not subject to verification.

Statement of independence, impartiality and competence

Bureau Veritas is an independent professional services company that specialises in Quality, Health, Safety, Social and Environmental management with over 180 years’ history in providing independent assurance services. No member of the verification team has a business relationship with WPP, its directors or managers beyond that required of this assignment. We conducted this verification independently and to our knowledge there has been no conflict of interest. Bureau Veritas has implemented a Code of Ethics across the business to maintain high ethical standards among staff in its day-to-day business activities. The verification team has over 20 years’ combined experience in conducting assurance over environmental, social, ethical and health and safety information, systems and processes, including the verification of greenhouse gas emissions data.

Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas UK Limited

March 2014

1 A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Revised Edition).

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