Supply Chain


WPP spends around $9 billion with suppliers each year, related to both our own business as well as the work we do for our clients. We aim to do business with suppliers that protect the environment and meet high standards on employment practices. We are committed to managing sustainability risks in our supply chain, both for ourselves and for our clients. We also look for opportunities to increase the proportion of environmentally-preferable products and services we buy and/or reduce demand. For more information see sustainable sourcing.

Our approach
We currently focus most of our sustainability efforts on WPP preferred suppliers that provide goods and services to our operating companies such as IT, travel, telecommunication, professional services (for example, consultancy and recruitment) and facilities management. WE spend $4billion with these suppliers each year and many contracts are negotiated centrally by WPP Commercial & Procurement Services.

For goods and services used in client work, contracts are usually smaller and negotiated by budget holders within our individual operating companies. Suppliers of these goods and services are generally not directly included in our Group sustainability program, although individual operating companies are encouraged to apply sustainability approaches which are consistent with Group best practice. Where WPP Procurement lead projects to select preferred suppliers for client work, sustainability selection criteria is applied.

Selecting preferred suppliers
WPP’s Global Procurement Policy contains ethical and environmental criteria which our Group procurement teams use in supplier selection and management. We evaluate companies against a set of business requirements before they can become a preferred supplier. These include assurance of supply, quality, service, cost, innovation and sustainability. We do not have a standard weighting for each criteria and they may vary from project to project. As part of this process we ask potential suppliers to complete a simple five-point sustainability questionnaire to raise awareness and make our requirements clear.

Monitoring and awareness
Sustainability is included in the personal objectives for our regional heads of procurement and purchasing managers in our major markets. Objectives are aligned with our three main themes of supplier selection, managing supply chain risk and helping operating companies to integrate sustainability into their local procurement. We raise awareness of sustainability through quarterly reporting, our regular cross-Group sourcing team activities and newsletters.

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