VMLY&R is one of the largest companies within WPP to commit to the bold goal of reaching net zero in our value chain by 2030.
We, along with WPP, have set targets that increase the rate of reduction to go beyond the required carbon reductions outlined in the Paris Agreement.
We are also broadening our commitment to include the emissions produced in our supply chain as well as those from our direct operations.
In addition to what we are doing internally to help the planet, VMLY&R is working every day with our clients to help them on their sustainability journeys and to promote change among consumers. From product innovation to creative communications highlighting the ways they’re changing their operations to educational campaigns, here are a few examples of how we're helping make a difference together.
Our own operational emissions are those we have most direct control over, including our company cars, natural gas usage and the electricity we use in our buildings. We have committed to purchasing 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Since 2018, VMLY&R has been moving our people into WPP campuses, which are not only world-class workspaces, but are also more environmentally sustainable. All the larger buildings (over 50,000 square feet) are required to be certified to an internationally recognized standard such as the US LEED standard or the UK BREEAM standard. By moving into such buildings, our energy use is cut by around 20% per location.
Our supply chain makes up the most significant part of our total emissions. We will reach net zero on these emissions by 2030.
To reduce emissions, we will focus on improving data to understand emissions from each piece of content placed and ask media partners to share carbon data — focusing on top 20 markets and partners first so as not to disadvantage emerging markets or minority media. We will factor carbon into investment decisions and create education programs and resources.
The pandemic has accelerated innovation in virtual production technology and highlighted its ability to reduce the need for expensive and carbon-intensive location shoots. Taking the lessons from this experience, VMLY&R will increase the use of virtual technology, accelerating the shift towards net zero production.
The technology we use — from data centers to emails — generate carbon emissions. As we increase our use of cloud infrastructure, powered by renewable electricity, we will reduce our energy consumption and our carbon emissions, as well as driving down waste.
Travel restrictions due to the pandemic have forced us to innovate. Virtual meetings can help us to stay connected and maintain the highest quality of work. Even as travel restrictions lift, we will aim to keep our travel below 2019 levels. We will continue to use digital meetings — and our in-person meetings will increasingly focused, efficient, and effective.
We are actively working on logging better data on our suppliers, allowing us to work with those who meet our emissions standards. We will also be better able to work with our small and medium suppliers to set emission reduction targets and strategies, that will contribute to our reduction.