Environment

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges and
all governments, businesses and individuals have a role to play in
tackling it. At WPP we have been working to reduce our carbon
emissions and environmental footprint since 2006.

Fast read

Our Goal

We aim for WPP to be a low-carbon and resource-efficient Group. We focus on:

  • Energy use and climate change: building and IT energy use, business air travel and carbon offsetting.
  • Resource use: paper, water and waste management.
  • Clients: environmental campaigns and work to reduce carbon emissions in our value chain.

Our Group targets are:

  • 1.8 tonnes of CO2e per employee by 2020 – a 47% reduction from 2006.
  • 25% of global floor space certified to advanced green building standards by 2020.
  • 80% of paper from recycled and/or certified sources by 2020.

Business value

Our work on environmental issues improves operational efficiency and reduces utility and travel costs, enhances our credibility as advisors to clients, enables us to meet environmental requirements in client tender processes and supports employee engagement.

Sustainability impact

Our most significant environmental impact is the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our energy use and business air travel. We can reduce this in our operations and have a positive impact beyond our business by working with clients on these topics.

Challenges and dilemmas

We have over 3,000 offices, and decisions regarding energy contracts and waste management are often made at local level, making it harder to implement a consistent approach. Most offices are leased properties and we need to work with hundreds of different landlords to achieve our goals.

As marketing becomes more data driven there is the potential for our carbon footprint associated with servers and data centres to grow.

Management approach

Our strategy is set at Group level and implemented by our regional Environmental Action Teams with representatives from IT, real estate and procurement, in partnership with our companies. Progress is regularly reviewed by our Group finance director.

Our companies implement environmental management systems, of which a small percentage are certified to standards such as ISO 14001.

We issue annual performance reports and scorecards to over 200 senior decisionmakers in our businesses, enabling them to compare performance with others in the Group and to identify lower-performing offices. We conducted in-depth performance reviews with financial controllers from operating companies representing over 80% of emissions in 2015. We hold regular workshops to help facilities managers use energy and carbon data to reduce their footprint. Our environmental toolkit summarises WPP policies and provides case studies and information on best practices.

External frameworks

GRI indicators in this section: G4-14, G4-36, G4-EC2, G4-EN3, G4-EN4, G4-EN6, G4-EN7, G4-EN8, G4-EN15, G4-EN16, G4-EN17, G4-EN18, G4-EN19, G4-EN23, G4-EN27, G4-EN30, G4-EN33

Global Compact Principles: 7, 8, 9

 

Progress on our KPIs in 2015 Performance in 2015
2.07 tonnes of CO2e per employee (target 1.8) increase
16% of floor space certified to advanced green building standards (target 25%) increase
21% of electricity from renewable sources (target 25%) increase
31% of paper from recycled and/or certified sources (target 80%) new

Key:

increase   Performance improved

new   New KPI 

Our carbon strategy

By 2020, we aim to reduce carbon emissions to 1.8 tonnes of CO2e per employee, a 47% reduction from 2006. We use a carbon intensity target per employee, as headcount

is closely linked to levels of business activity and this allows us to reflect the impact of acquisitions and disposals without needing to adjust our baseline.

Our annual reduction target is 4% and each of our operating companies has its own individual reduction target.

Our strategy focuses on:

  • Office energy use: Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and IT systems. We estimate that 13% of our total floor space is now certified to advanced green building standards.
  • Air travel: Reducing non-essential flights by promoting videoconferencing and offsetting 100% of carbon emissions from our business air travel. Our videoconferencing network now incorporates over 700 units in 160 cities.
  • Renewable energy: Purchasing renewable electricity for our offices where available. Around 13% of the total electricity we purchase is generated from renewable sources.

We have identified the savings we need to achieve to reach our target by 2020 across all the priority areas of our strategy:

Carbon strategy 2012-2020
tonnes of CO2e per employee

Carbon strategy 2012-2020 (tonnes of CO<sub>2</sub>e per employee)
Carbon strategy 2012-2020, tonnes of CO2e per employee
    Tonnes per employee %
  2015 carbon intensity 2.07  
Building energy efficiency -0.06 -21%
  Investing in technology at new and existing buildings
Office space consolidation -0.06 -22%
  Reducing space requirements in key cities
IT consolidation -0.06 -23%
  Moving servers to best-in-class data centres
Renewable electricity -0.17 -26%
  Increasing supply from 16% to 25% of total electricity use
Other reductions -0.02 -7%
  From additional carbon reduction measures to be identified
  2020 carbon intensity target 1.80 -100%

Performance in 2015

We are on track towards our targets making steady progress in 2015:

  • Our footprint per employee was 2.07 tonnes of CO2e, down 9% on 2014 and 39% lower than 2006. We hit our 4% annual reduction target and are on track for our 2020 target.
  • Our footprint per £million of revenue was 21.64 tonnes of CO2e, down 11% on 2014 and 53% lower than 2006.
  • Our absolute carbon footprint was also down on the previous year at 264,774 tonnes CO2e (2014: 281,389 tonnes CO2e).

We participate in the CDP Climate Change program, a collaboration of institutional investors encouraging companies to disclose climate change risks and opportunities. Their assessment showed we were the leading company in our sector for our climate change strategy and reporting with a score of 97B (2014: 98B). We also take part, as a responding company, in the CDP Supply Chain program.

Carbon footprint in 2015
%

Carbon footprint in 2014 (%) - Stationary fuel combustion: 3, Purchased electricity: 49, Business air travel: 35, Other estimated impacts: 13
  • Stationary fuel combustion 3
  • Purchased electricity 49
  • Business air travel 37
  • Other estimated impacts 13

Carbon intensity 2006-2015
tonnes of CO2e

Carbon intensity 2006-2014 (tonnes of CO<sub>2</sub>eTonnes): Headcount intensity - 2006: 3.39, 2014: 2.26; Target headcount intensity - 2020: 1.80; Revenue intensity - 2006: 45.56, 2014: 24.23
  • Headcount intensity
  • Target headcount intensity
  • Revenue intensity

In 2015, total energy use fell by 2% year-on-year and energy use per employee by 5%, largely due to investments in energy efficiency and office space consolidation. Total air travel increased by 5% year-on-year and air travel per employee by 1%, in line with revenue growth.

Since 2006, our total energy consumption increased by 15%. However, energy use per employee decreased by 29%. As a result, we have avoided £5.9 million in annual utility costs and 84,000 tonnes of CO2e. Total air miles increased by 41% since 2006, but air miles per employee decreased by 12%, avoiding over 83 million air miles and 33,000 tonnes of CO2e annually.

Our absolute carbon footprint in 2015 was 264,774 tonnes of CO2e (rating renewable electricity as zero emissions), a 6% decrease over 2014 compared with a 4% growth in headcount. If the renewable electricity we purchase globally is rated using the same emissions factors as standard grid electricity, our total carbon footprint in 2015 was 295,354 tonnes of CO2e.

Carbon intensity 2014 vs 2015
tonnes of CO2e per employee

Since 2006, our absolute carbon footprint has decreased by 2%, compared to a growth in reported headcount of 61% and revenue growth of 107%, demonstrating some success at decoupling emissions from business growth.

Decoupling emissions from business growth
index (2006 = 100)

Decoupling emissions from business growth (index 2006 = 100) - Revenue: 195, Headcount: 156, Emissions: 104
  • Revenue
  • Headcount
  • Emissions

Building energy use

We aim to improve the energy performance of our buildings and use space more efficiently so we can reduce the amount of space we occupy, and therefore reduce the total amount of energy we consume.

When we lease, purchase, fit out or renovate a building larger than 50,000 square feet, we require it to be certified to an internationally-recognised green building standard. This includes the US standard LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the UK standard BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

Over 3.7 million square feet, 16% of our total floor space, is now certified to recognised standards (2014: 13%) against our target of 25%. Moves to certified buildings have reduced our energy use by an average of 21% at each location.

Offices below 50,000 square feet must either be certified to recognised green building standards or assessed against our own scorecard. This covers five criteria: energy and carbon; water; materials and waste; travel; and health & safety.

Detailed energy use data can help us improve efficiency and reduce energy use. When acquiring or retrofitting buildings, access to energy and other environmental data is one of the factors considered. We aim to integrate this into lease agreements with landlords and/or to install sub-metering.

Office space consolidation includes redesigning offices to use space more efficiently and encouraging flexible working to reduce the overall number of desks needed.

IT energy use

As part of a major transformation program to improve the efficiency of our IT infrastructure across WPP companies, we have signed a partnership with IBM. This will accelerate the move of our IT infrastructure into best-in-class external data centre services by the end of 2016. The contract was signed at the end of 2014 and includes energy and environmental targets to ensure we realise the potential carbon reduction opportunities from improving IT efficiency.

Our managed print program will cut energy, paper and cartridges used at each location by up to 40%. We aim to have up to 80% of our global printing fleet under management by the end of 2016.

Sea Containers, London, UK

A better space for our people and the environment

Sea Containers, the new London headquarters for Ogilvy and MEC, is a state-of-the-art development with a lower carbon footprint designed to help our companies attract the best talent in the industry.

The longest commercial frontage on the River Thames and one of our 10 largest locations, Sea Containers provides 230,000 square feet of space over 11 floors. The interior, designed by BDG architecture + design, a WPP company, makes use of a diverse range of spaces to accommodate all types of working styles from open to private, formal to normal, small to large, bookable to non-bookable. There are no traditional ‘cellular’ offices. The site accommodates 2,300 people at only 1,700 traditional workstations, with Ogilvy and MEC encouraging use of flexible working options for their people.

Sea Containers is certified to green building standard BREEAM Excellent, and sustainability features include use of LED lighting throughout (over 1,700 fixtures). This will reduce electricity consumption by 31% compared with traditional fluorescent office lighting and reduce maintenance costs.

Renewable energy

We aim to increase our use of electricity generated from renewable sources, including green-tariff electricity contracts, to 25% of total supply by 2020, achieving 21% in 2015. Our use of renewable electricity reduces our carbon footprint by 30,580 tonnes of CO2e.

We reviewed green-tariff uptake at our 100 largest locations and found that, in many locations, suitable contracts aren’t available or electricity purchasing is controlled by the landlord. As an alternative, and to help us reach our target of 25% renewable energy, we have begun to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) in the US. Each REC purchased is equivalent to purchasing 1MWh of renewable energy and promotes investment in renewable energy generation. We purchased 14,422 Green-e Energy certified RECs for 2015, working with Renewable Choice Energy, a US-based business providing clean energy products and services.

Total renewable electricity purchased
% breakdown by country 2015

Total green-tariff electricity purchased (% breakdown by country 2014) - UK: 49, US: 19, Germany: 14, Italy: 7, Other: 11
  • UK 42
  • US 34
  • Germany 9
  • Italy 3
  • All other countries 12

Air travel, videoconferencing and offsetting

Our companies work closely with clients and rely on face-to-face meetings to build relationships and deliver on projects. But while we cannot eliminate air travel, we can reduce unnecessary flights and use audio and videoconferencing as a replacement for some face-to-face meetings.

We have invested in a videoconferencing network that now incorporates over 700 units in 160 cities worldwide. 43 additional units were added in 2015 and usage increased by 6% on the previous year. Our 24-hour, five-day-a-week helpdesk supports our people to use the service effectively. We are integrating this service into other online collaboration platforms, enabling us to extend video services to all users within the Group.

Worldwide videoconferencing network
Key cities

Worldwide video conferencing network (Key cities) - Los Angeles, São Paulo, San Francisco, New York, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Sydney, Singapore, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Beijing, Delhi, Detroit, Chicago, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Mumbai, Melbourne
  • VC units supported by WPP’s videoconferencing program
  • Major air routes

We offset 100% of our air travel emissions by purchasing high-quality carbon credits. We work with South Pole Group, a company that develops emission-reduction projects. In 2015, we invested £150,000 to support four renewable energy-generation projects in faster-growing economies. Together these projects generate over 200m kWh of renewable electricity a year and support almost 600 direct jobs. Our operating companies cover the cost of the carbon credits, based on their air travel mileage, which encourages initiatives to reduce air travel.

Since 2007, we have purchased and permanently retired over 1.1 million carbon credits and supported 15 projects. We focus on projects that provide both environmental benefits and support local socio-economic development, above for our current projects.

Carbon offsetting projects 2015

Brazil
Renewable biomass
Ituiutaba

10,000

tonnes of CO2e offset

Project

Ceramic factory running on thermal energy from agricultural waste instead of native forest timber in south-eastern Brazil 

Standards

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

Social Carbon

WPP coverage

91% of annual credit issuance

Benefits

40 workers with improved working conditions
1,100 students involved in environmental activities
20,500 cubic metres of native forest timber saved per year (over 10,000 trees)

China
Small hydropower
Hezhou III

7,500

tonnes of CO2e offset

Project

Three small run-of-river hydropower plants in southern China generating 6m kWh of renewable electricity annually

Standards

Gold Standard

WPP coverage

100% of annual credit issuance

Benefits

30 direct jobs created
Decrease in open fireplaces in households (switch from burning wood for energy to hydroelectricity)

India
Wind power
Mitcon

61,385

tonnes of CO2e offset

Project

111 wind turbines across five regions in western India generating 143m kWh of renewable electricity annually

Standards

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

WPP coverage

50% of annual credit issuance

Benefits

450 direct jobs created
9,700 indirect jobs created
4,200 students with improved educational facilities

Turkey
Geothermal power
Dora II

20,000

tonnes of CO2e offset

Project

Geothermal plant in western Turkey generating 70m kWh of renewable electricity annually

Standards

Gold Standard

WPP coverage

44% of annual credit issuance

Benefits

117 direct jobs created
732 students with improved educational facilities

About carbon offsetting standards:

Gold Standard – Established in 2003 and endorsed by over 80 NGOs. Used in voluntary and CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects. Aims to ensure that projects are both reducing emissions and providing sustainable benefits to local populations.

Social Carbon – Created in 2008 by the Ecologica Institute in Brazil. Assesses the social, environmental and economic performance of projects. Works in conjunction with carbon accounting standards that measure emissions reductions, such as VCS. 

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) – Launched in 2006 and the most widely-used carbon accounting standard for the voluntary carbon offsetting market. Ensures that emissions reductions meet accepted quality standards and are independently verified, uniquely numbered and transparently listed in a central database.

Our wider carbon impact

As well as managing our direct greenhouse gas emissions, we can also have an influence on indirect emissions associated with our business activities – our value chain emissions.

We analysed these emissions in 2014 to identify opportunities for WPP to work with clients and suppliers to reduce emissions connected with client media plans and other parts of our supply chain.

Carbon emissions across our value chain

Carbon emissions across our value chain
  • Goods and services we buy 15
  • Advertising we place for clients 81
  • Day-to-day activities 4

Our analysis of our value chain footprint is based on data from our UK business, WPP’s home country and second-largest market. It shows a value chain footprint in the UK of 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e. Our main sources of emissions are:

  • Advertising we place for clients – emissions from the physical dissemination of advertising through press, TV, radio, internet and outdoor channels. See chart above.
  • Goods and services we buy – emissions associated with the goods and services we buy from suppliers to create marketing campaigns for clients and to run our business. For example, emissions from travel to an advertising shoot or emissions associated with manufacturing the ICT equipment used in our offices.
  • Day-to-day activities (direct emissions) – emissions associated with running our business including office energy use, business air travel, employee commuting and waste. With the exception of employee commuting, these emissions are covered by our current carbon strategy and target.

We are developing a carbon metric for GroupM, our media investment management business, to use in its media plans, and exploring how we can work with clients to reduce the carbon footprint of media campaigns. We are also using the analysis to help procurement teams consider carbon impacts. This will include adding a carbon dashboard to our procurement spend analytics system that will identify more carbon-intensive suppliers and categories of spend.

The carbon impact of the advertising we place for clients

Diagram showing the carbon impact of the advertisements we place for clients

What we’ve included in our analysis:

  • Emissions from the manufacturing and printing of paper used for newspaper and billboards advertisements.
  • Emissions from the energy used to transmit TV and radio advertisements, to transfer advertisement data over the internet, and to deliver newspaper and billboard advertisements.
  • Emissions from the energy used to view and/or listen to the advertisement on a TV/radio, smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Emissions from the disposal of newspaper and billboard advertisements.

Carbon emissions statement 2015

This data covers the year ended 31 December 2015 in line with the Group’s financial reporting period.

CO2e emissions breakdown (in tonnes)

CO2e emissions breakdown (in tonnes)
Emission source Base year
2015 2014 2013 2012 2006
Scope 1 Natural gas combustion 6,677 7,203 8,757 7,584 1,946
Heating oil combustion 1,458 2,546 2,548 2,256 682
Total scope 1 emissions 8,135 9,748 11,305 9,840 2,628
Scope 2 Total purchased electricity at grid average intensity (gross) 153,798 159,540 157,471 164,212 149,728
Less purchases of renewable electricity (see note 6) (30,580) (21,192) (21,299) (23,765)
Total scope 2 emissions (net) 123,218 138,348 136,172 140,447 149,728
Scope 3 Business air travel 98,885 96,590 95,879 96,079 81,714
Other estimated scope 3 emissions (see note 4) 34,536 36,703 36,503 36,955 35,111
Total scope 3 emissions 133,421 133,293 132,382 133,034 116,825
  Total CO2e emissions (net) 264,774 281,389 279,859 283,321 269,181
  Total CO2e emissions (gross) 295,354 302,581 301,158 307,086 269,181

WPP's Carbon intensity (in tonnes of CO2e)

Carbon intensity (in tonnes of CO2e)
Intensity metric Base year
2015 2014 2013 2012 2006
Tonnes per employee (net) 2.07 2.28 2.35 2.45 3.39
Percentage change from 2006 (39%) (33%) (31%) (28%)
Tonnes per £m of revenue (net) 21.64 24.41 25.40 27.31 45.56
Percentage change from 2006 (53%) (46%) (44%) (40%)

Office energy use (in megawatt hours)

Office energy use (in megawatt hours)
Energy type Base year
2015 2014 2013 2012 2006
Direct energy use (natural gas and heating oil) 38,287 44,847 52,532 45,673 12,099
Indirect energy use (purchased electricity) 315,731 314,773 328,374 323,582 295,396
Total energy use 354,018 354,018 359,620 369,255 307,495
% of electricity from renewable sources 21% 14% 15% 16%

Notes to carbon emissions statement 2015

1. Reporting standard
Our carbon emissions statement 2015 has been prepared in accordance with the World Resource Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, Revised Edition (the GHG Protocol).

2. Greenhouse gases
All greenhouse gases emissions figures are in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). They include three of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions have been omitted from our reporting as they are not a material source of greenhouse gases for WPP.

3. Organisational boundary
Emissions data is included for all operations for which WPP and its subsidiaries have operational control. This covers 128,000 employees. Associate companies are excluded.

4. Operational boundary
We include the following emissions in our reporting:

  • Direct emissions (scope 1):
    • Fuel used to heat WPP premises (combustion of natural gas and heating oil).
  • Indirect emissions (scope 2):
    • All purchased electricity, including electricity purchased at grid average carbon intensity and renewable electricity purchased under specific contractual instruments, such as green-tariff contracts with suppliers and energy attribute certificates (e.g. renewable energy certificates in the US or guarantees of origin in the EU).
  • Other indirect emissions (scope 3):
    • Employee business air travel.
    • An estimate for other scope 3 emissions that we do not currently measure on a global basis, including emissions from leased cars, taxis and couriers. This estimate is an additional 15% that we add to our carbon footprint and is shown under ‘other estimated scope 3 emissions’.

5. Geographic scope
Our CO2e emissions data covers our worldwide operations.

6. Emission factors
CO2e emissions have been calculated on the basis of measured or estimated energy use, fuel use and miles travelled, multiplied by the relevant carbon emission factors. In 2014, we updated our emissions factors for scope 2 and scope 3 emissions, and our data is based on the following emissions factors:

Emission factors
Emission scope Emission factors used
Scope 1
(fuel used to heat WPP premises)
IPCC 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (using global warming potentials from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report).
Scope 2
(purchased electricity)
  • For the US: US Environmental Protection Agency eGRID 2012 (released in August 2015)
  • For the UK: UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting (2015)
  • For all other countries: International Energy Agency, CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2015 Edition
Scope 3
(business air travel)
UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting (2015).

When calculating our carbon footprint, we rate purchased renewable electricity as zero emissions to account for WPP’s use of renewable electricity. We follow the market-based method of the revised version of the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. For full transparency, we also disclose total electricity purchased at grid average carbon intensity according to the location-based method of the Guidance mentioned above. In our 2014 reporting, we trialled the use of local and sub-national emission factors to calculate emissions from electricity use in several countries, including Australia and the US. Following a review of these emission factors in 2015, we decided to revert back to country-level emission factors to ensure consistency and comparability over the years. We also identified a number of business units which misstated their greenhouse gas emissions in 2014. As a consequence, we restated our 2014 Scope 2 emissions. This restatement is reflected in the tables above and throughout this report.

7. Data collection methodology
Data used to calculate CO2e emissions is collected quarterly through WPP’s financial reporting system, and includes some estimated data (e.g. in some locations electricity usage is estimated based on headcount or floor space). In 2015, our data covered 96% of our operations by employee headcount. The remaining 4% was extrapolated based on the Group’s total headcount at year-end.

8. External assurance
Our carbon data is reviewed by Bureau Veritas, an independent assurance provider. Following its review of our 2014 data, Bureau Veritas made a number of recommendations for improving our approach. We have implemented many of these in our 2015 reporting process. This includes enhancements to our sustainability data collection system to facilitate the ease and accuracy of data submission for our companies. See the Independent Verification Statement.

Resource use and waste

We aim to use resources efficiently, reduce waste and reuse and recycle where possible. Many procurement and waste management decisions are made at operating company level and we encourage our companies to use preferred suppliers selected by WPP who offer products and services with improved environmental credentials.

Paper

As an office-based business, paper use is one of our most significant resource impacts. Previously we have focused on increasing recycled content in our paper used for printing and copying.

In 2015, we took a broader approach to sustainable paper sourcing, looking not just at paper with recycled content but also paper sourced from sustainably-managed forests. We have updated our target and now aim to reach 80% sustainably-sourced paper by 2020. This includes paper with recycled content and paper certified to recognised sustainability standards such as FSC and PEFC. We reached 31% in 2015.

During 2016, we will be working with our largest paper users, including companies purchasing paper on behalf of clients, to implement our new approach.

Our total paper usage in 2015 was 4,897 tonnes (2014: 5,101 tonnes). Our managed print program (see IT energy use) helps us to reduce paper use by up to 40% per location.

Paper purchased
%

Paper sourcing (%) - Paper purchased with recycled content: 28, Paper purchased without recycled content: 72
  • Paper with recycled and/or certified content 31
  • other paper 69

Water

Water scarcity is a major challenge in some regions of the world. While we do not use large volumes of water in our business we do aim to use water carefully.

We ran a pilot project (2010-2014) to measure and reduce water use in our 11 largest locations in areas of water scarcity (which account for around 20% of our floor space in these areas). This focused on: identifying and repairing leaks; upgrading water fixtures and fittings during renovations; and reusing rainwater and wastewater where feasible. We reduced water use per person at these locations by 21%, exceeding our 20% target. We are sharing what we have learned by providing guidance for our offices, available on our intranet, and by integrating water conservation into our property acquisition and refurbishment process (see Building energy).

Using the data from our pilot and external benchmarks we have estimated our total water use at 1.9 million cubic metres, equivalent to 14.8 cubic metres per employee per year.

Waste

Our main types of waste are electronic waste and office consumables such as paper, card, cans, plastic bottles and toner cartridges. We look for opportunities to reduce waste and increase recycling, working with landlords in our leased properties. To make it easier for our operating companies to recycle their waste we have identified preferred suppliers of recycling services for paper, standard office consumables and mobile phones in all major markets.

We are working to improve our data collection on waste and recycling but have further to go to improve data quality. In 2015, we estimate the Group generated 8,772 tonnes of waste of which 65% was recycled. The remaining 35% was disposed via landfill or incineration.

We recycled 5,713 tonnes of waste in 2015 (2014: 5,416 tonnes), of which 71% was paper and cardboard.

Management of electronic waste is a particular priority for WPP. Our policy is that obsolete IT equipment should be refurbished and sold for reuse, or if this is not possible, 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. As part of our IT transformation program, IBM our main contractor is working to increase reuse and safe recycling of old IT equipment.

Waste recycled
%

Waste recycling (%) - Paper and cardboard: 73, IT equipment: 3, Other waste recycled: 24
  • Paper and cardboard 71
  • IT equipment 2
  • Other waste recycled 27