Our sustainability priorities

We focus on six priority sustainability themes that are important for WPP and support our stakeholder relationships. These bullet points indicate how issues on our materiality matrix relate to these themes and where they can found in this report.

Our key Priorities: Governance and management, Our client work, Employment, Environment, Supply chain, Social investment, Governance and management

Our client work

How we work with clients on sustainability and implement consistent ethical standards, including:

  • Sustainability services
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Client work ethics (including public affairs advocacy)
  • Business ethics and anti-corruption
  • Partners and associates
  • Marketing compliance
  • Privacy and data security


How we recruit, retain and develop our people, including:

  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Training and development
  • Internships and apprenticeships
  • Skills and education
  • Employee well-being


How we are cutting our environmental footprint, including:

  • Climate change
  • Environmental impact of campaigns
  • Paper and resource use
  • Waste and recycling

Supply chain

How we integrate sustainability into our procurement decisions, including:

  • Supplier standards, including human rights

Social investment

Our support for charities, including:

  • Pro bono work
  • Charity donations
  • Volunteering

Governance and management

How we manage sustainability risks and opportunities, including:

  • Acquisitions
  • Sensitive countries
  • Tax policy
  • Human rights
  • Lobbying and political contributions

Prioritising our material issues

In establishing our sustainability priorities we seek the views of our clients, investors and other stakeholders, as well as considering how sustainability relates to our own business priorities. In addition to informal dialogue and discussion, we have a structured materiality process that incorporates both internal and external stakeholder feedback. We updated our materiality assessment in December 2014. This process included interviews with clients, investors, NGOs and sustainable business experts and also gathered views from senior executives in our Group functions and our operating companies.

The process looked at the significance for WPP of a range of issues, and took into account both the positive and negative impacts of our business, and the risks and opportunities created by sustainability issues for WPP. In the chart below, importance to external stakeholders is shown on the vertical axis and materiality to WPP is plotted on the horizontal axis. The issues of high importance are all addressed within our reporting.

WPP materiality assessment

WPP materiality assessment diagram

  • Our client work
  • Employment
  • Environment
  • Supply chain
  • Social investment
  • Governance and management