We purchase goods and services from thousands of suppliers around the world. Over 30% of our procurement is made on behalf of clients. Sustainability is one of the five priorities in our supply chain management strategy.

Fast read

  • £6 billion spend with over 180,000 suppliers.
  • Sustainability included in global Procurement
    Leadership Team objectives.
  • Simplified supplier selection process fully aligned with the WPP Code of Business Conduct and the Group’s anti-bribery and corruption policies.
  • Pilot project run with Sedex to assess supply chain sustainability risks.

spend with over 180,000 suppliers

We aim to select suppliers that protect the environment, meet high standards on employment practices and commit to acting ethically in all aspects of their business. Managing environmental, social and governance risks in our supply chain is important both for ourselves and for our clients.

Management approach

Managing sustainability in our supply chain is the responsibility of our global Procurement Leadership Team (PLT). Sustainability is included in the personal objectives for all PLT members.

The PLT communicates our sustainability requirements to local Group and operating company procurement teams. We raise awareness through quarterly reporting and our regular cross-Group sourcing team activities and newsletters.

We have implemented a spend analytics system that enables us to monitor around £3.8 billion out of £6 billion of external procurement across our nine largest markets. This provides greater visibility of spend with individual suppliers, enabling us to reduce costs, consolidate our supply base and better integrate sustainability.

At a Group level we focus our sustainability efforts on WPP preferred suppliers that provide goods and services to our companies such as IT, travel, telecommunications, professional services (e.g. consultancy and recruitment) and facilities management. These represent half of our external spend and many contracts are negotiated centrally by WPP.

Tom Kinnaird

Our approach to assessing and managing risk in our supply chain is of growing interest to WPP clients and investors. We reviewed and strengthened our approach in 2013, including updating our policy and Supplier Code of Conduct to clarify our expectations, both internally, and of our suppliers.

Tom Kinnaird, Chief procurement officer, WPP

For goods and services used in client work, contracts are usually smaller and negotiated by budget holders within our companies. Our companies are expected to apply the approach and principles for sustainability laid out in the WPP Code of Business Conduct and Group Procurement Policy.

In 2014, we are launching The Bridge Advantaged Production Buying (APB), a new WPP initiative in advertising production procurement and the first of its kind in our business sector, see next page for details.

Chapter 6 of 10