Reducing our energy consumption: procurement

The carbon footprint of our suppliers' products and services contributes to our impact. If we choose suppliers that meet high environmental standards and manage their carbon emissions efficiently we can influence the whole supply chain.

What WPP has done so far?

We take account of ethical and environmental factors when selecting preferred suppliers (those with Group contracts). All existing and new suppliers in our two largest markets (the US and UK) have completed our corporate responsibility (CR) questionnaire, which helps us assess how well they manage CR issues.

Icon - Light bulbIn 2006, we launched a UK pilot working with eight key suppliers to improve their CR management.

We have identified preferred suppliers in major markets that stock paper and stationery with recycled content. We encourage agencies to take advantage of the offer. Only 8% of paper purchased from our preferred supplier in the US has recycled content, so there is room for improvement.

In the UK, to make it easier for agencies to set up recycling programmes, we have also identified a preferred recycling partner. This initiative is being extended to other key markets.

What WPP will do next

  • Develop a system to make it easier to consider energy consumption when buying electrical equipment.
  • Launch a second CR supplier improvement programme in the UK in 2007 and encourage other major markets to consider a similar approach.
  • Where appropriate, identify approved recycling partners to work with us in our main markets.
  • Extend the use of our CR questionnaire to all major markets during 2007.
  • In the UK and US, our real estate and procurement teams are working together to set up supplier networks that will ensure the elements used in creating our work environments are from an environmentally responsible source.

What you can do

At work:

  • Ensure that you are using WPP-approved suppliers where they exist because they will have been assessed against our CR criteria.
  • Where approved suppliers don't already exist, ask suppliers for their environmental policy. Select those that meet high standards, especially for print jobs with a high environmental impact.
  • Consider the environmental impact of anything bought for the office that may be outside the main supplier contracts.
  • Call your local WPP procurement team who will be pleased to assist with any queries.

At home:

  • Shop at those stores with the best environmental reputation - check their websites for corporate responsibility information.
  • Use reusable shopping bags and choose products that come with little packaging. This helps reduce the unnecessary production of packaging, as well as waste.
  • Buy energy-saving light bulbs. They are four times as energy efficient and last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.

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