How we manage CR risk and opportunity

We focus our efforts on the issues that are most material (relevant and significant) to WPP. These are:

Issue How it is managed Aims
The social and environmental impact of our work for clients. Opportunities to advise clients on marketing with a social or environmental dimension are identified by our companies. Be a centre of excellence for environmental and social communication.
Marketing ethics, compliance with marketing standards, protection of personal, consumer and corporate data and increasing transparency about our marketing practices. Currently managed by our operating companies with referral to Group directors as necessary. In 2009 we are introducing quarterly review meetings for senior Group managers to discuss potential ethical issues in our client work and identify risk areas (see here). Comply with all laws and industry codes governing marketing material. Improve standards and measurement in marketing practices.
Employment, including diversity and equal opportunities, business ethics, employee development, remuneration, communication and health and safety. Human resources policies are set and implemented at operating company level. WPP’s chief talent officer has overall responsibility for attracting, developing and retaining our talent. Improve standards and measurement in employment.
Social investment, including pro bono work, donations to charity and employee volunteering. Pro bono projects are agreed between WPP companies and the charities concerned. Many of our companies have long-standing relationships with their pro bono partners. WPP the parent company helps to coordinate pro bono projects involving multiple WPP companies or cross-Group collaborations. To make a significant contribution to good causes through pro bono application of our marketing skills and direct donations to charity.
Climate change, including the emissions from energy used in our offices and during business travel. We have appointed cross-functional Group-wide Energy Action Teams and a network of agency climate champions to help implement our climate change strategy. Measure and reduce our CO2 emissions and continue to purchase high quality carbon offset. Our goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010.

CR issues in our supply chain and our environmental impacts beyond climate change are also important for WPP.

There are more than 150 companies within the WPP Group – each a distinct brand in its own right. A great deal of management responsibility and discretion is devolved to our operating companies. Our approach to CR reflects this decentralised structure, with many CR issues managed at operating company level.

WPP the parent company complements this activity. Our Group CR function determines CR policy, monitors risks and opportunities and coordinates data collection. It helps raise awareness within our companies and provides advice and guidance on CR issues.

Paul Richardson is the Board director responsible for CR and chair of our Corporate Responsibility Committee, see next page. He provides an annual assessment of corporate responsibility risks and performance to the Audit Committee.