What does climate change mean for WPP?
After looking carefully at the amount of energy used by air conditioning, IT systems, lighting and business travel, we are convinced that we should take action to cut our energy consumption.
This is important for two key reasons. First, we must reduce our own footprint as part of our contribution to tackling climate change. Second, this action will put us in a good position to help our clients communicate their climate change actions.
WPP works with major global and national businesses in every sector. Almost without exception, they will be severely impacted by climate change, and will be rigorously reviewing the products and services they offer and how these are marketed - if they have not done so already.
Many new products and services are being developed with greatly reduced climate impact. If they are to succeed, they will need to be skilfully marketed - so that they are seen to be more desirable than conventional energy-wasting products. We intend to be at the centre of this communications challenge.
Almost everything that consumers currently purchase will have to change. Fashion, food, electronic products, housing, heating, cooling, lighting, holidays, cars, public transport, banking, even insurance - all will be different.
WPP is already seeing how retailers such as M&S and Wal-Mart are taking action to ensure they are seen to be green. Industrial giants, such as GE with its Ecomagination brand, are looking to boost earnings from demand for energy-efficient technologies. And carbon labels are emerging. These indicate the amount of carbon emitted in the production of everyday items such as potato crisps.
This is just the beginning of what is clearly a market trend towards a greener world. At the heart of this shift lies the need for good communications.
To take advantage of this opportunity, we must fully understand the myriad issues that surround the topic and to establish credibility, we have to show that our own house is in order.
The following pages describe why and how we intend to reduce our impact - and how you can help us improve.