Risks and Opportunity

Risk/Opportunity Materiality rating Reason Our response
Damage to WPP's reputation from undertaking controversial client work. High Significant potential impact on the reputation of the Group and/or our companies. Upward referral process established and communicated via the WPP Policy Book and ethics training. WPP's Ethics Committee discusses cases of concern and identifies new risk areas.
Compliance with privacy and data protection regulations and best practices. High. Increasingly important issue as we pursue our business strategy to expand our digital and insight (research) businesses. Associated with contractual, financial, legal and reputational risks to the Group, as well as opportunities to work with clients on these issues. To guide Group companies and ensure a consistent approach the Group has published principles on data protection and privacy, a data health tracker to measure progress against best practice, training and a privacy network. These issues are also managed and monitored at operating company level.
Marketing ethics, compliance with marketing standards, and increasing transparency about our marketing practices High. Failure to comply with marketing standards could impact the Group's reputation or its relationship with clients. Managed by our opearing companies with referral to WPP Code of Conduct and WPP directors as necessary.
Employment including diversity and equal opportunities, business ethics, employee development, remuneration, communication and health and safety. High. Our approach to diversity, remuneration and training affects our ability to recruit and retain talented employees in key markets. Failing to meet standards on diversity and gender could impact the perception of the Group and quality of work. Human resources policies are set by our operating companies. WPP’s chief talent officer assists our companies in attracting, developing and retaining our talent and sharing best practice on issues such as recruitment, remuneration, engagement, diversity and training.

Health and Safety Low Health and safety is relatively low risk for WPP as an office-based company.  
The social and environmental impact of our work for clients Medium Already an important opportunity for WPP companies and we anticipate its significance will increase as environmental regulation and consumer interest continue to grow. Opportunities to advise clients on marketing with a social or environmental dimension are identified by our companies.
Climate change, including the emissions from energy used in our offices and during business travel. Medium. Our climate strategy enables us to comply with regulation, reduce costs and adds credibility to our work with clients on sustainability issues. Climate change is likely to become a more significant risk over time. Potential negative reputation and cost impact if we fail to meet our climate target. Cross-functional, Group-wide Environmental Action Teams and a network of agency Climate Champions help implement our climate change strategy. Some companies have appointed environmental managers.
Other environmental impacts including the resources we use (e.g. paper and water) and the waste we create. Low As an office-based company our resource use is relatively low. Group strategies in place to manage paper sourcing and use, waste management, and water use at key locations. Other impacts managed by our companies.
Social investment, including pro bono work, donations to charity amd employee volunteering. Low-medium Pro bono work supports employee development and retention, and the Group’s reputation. Significant beneficial impact on charities we support. Pro bono projects are agreed directly between WPP companies and charities. WPP, the parent company, helps to co-ordinate pro bono projects involving multiple WPP companies or cross-Group collaborations.
Supply chain, including supplier standards and sustainable sourcing. Low  A relatively low risk to WPP as a service company. WPP’s Group procurement team use ethical and environmental criteria in the selection of preferred suppliers. Other suppliers are managed at operating company level.

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For more information see our latest Sustainability report