Global Reporting Initiative Reports
Note this response is cross-referenced for 302-1, 302-3, 302-4, 302-5, 305-1, 305-2, 305-4, and 305-5.
See GRI 305-3 for additional details on IPG’s Scope 3 emissions.
Interpublic Group (IPG) is committed to taking concrete actions to support the global effort to protect our climate, and we are proud to support our many clients who are making admirable progress in reducing their own emissions, while driving public consensus around the urgency of achieving a carbon-neutral world.
At IPG, climate-related issues are integrated into multi-disciplinary company-wide risk management processes, including monitoring, and overseeing progress against related goals and targets.
IPG has a robust framework for evaluating a wide range of risks and opportunities, including risks and opportunities related to sustainability, and whether they have a substantive financial impact. This process is overseen by IPG’s senior management, including the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel. These individuals are responsible for the identification and remediation of the principle risks facing IPG and its agencies, including the operational and regulatory risks that may be posed by climate change.
IPG has a Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility and Communications who is tasked with reviewing, coordinating, and promoting IPG’s efforts on climate change and other sustainability issues at the consolidated corporate level. The Director works directly with representatives from IPG’s Sustainability Working Group and reports to the Vice President of Corporate Communications. They meet regularly with IPG’s Board of Directors to report on these issues.
IPG’s Sustainability Steering Committee includes representatives from various departments and functions, including Communications, Human Resources, Procurement, Investor Relations, and Legal. This mix of individuals and departments enables IPG to monitor and identify climate-related risks across all areas of our operations. The Sustainability Working Group is tasked with reviewing, coordinating, and promoting IPG’s efforts in this area at the consolidated corporate level. The Sustainability Working Group reports to the Board of Directors and schedules appropriate meetings related to identified climate issues, risks, and/or opportunities.
Ultimately, the entire Board of Directors considers the implications and risk of climate change and other key issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as it impacts IPG, while the primary responsibility sits with the Board’s Corporate Governance Committee, and specifically with the Chairperson of the Committee. The responsibility of this committee is to oversee and make recommendations to the overall Board regarding the Company’s policies and practices with respect to issues of global corporate citizenship and social responsibility, including climate change, diversity and inclusion, charitable, and social matters.
It is the role of IPG management, in particular agency management, to identify and pursue the opportunities presented by clients’ responses to climate change-related challenges and their development and marketing of new products and services.
IPG incorporates the physical risks of climate change into its business continuity planning, focusing on the increasing likelihood of extreme weather events that have the potential to affect day-to-day operations at the company’s offices. Additionally, IPG considers transitional risks and opportunities, such as shifting market preferences and changing legal conditions associated with climate change.
GHG Emissions Target: In 2017, IPG set a Scope 2 relative intensity target for a 10% reduction by 2030 in metric tons CO2e per employee from a baseline of 2015. Our target is set on an intensity basis because IPG has continually been expanding our emissions boundary each year to include a larger percentage of our global square footage. Our intensity metric has allowed us to measure our performance in reducing year-over-year emissions against our target. In 2020, we have officially reached an emissions boundary of 100% and are currently exploring opportunities to set more comprehensive and science-based targets in the future.
Energy Efficiency: At IPG, we view sustainability as a business imperative for our company, our agencies, and our clients. As our talent innovates and works to drive sustainability efforts both within our operations and with our clients, we work to create and expand markets for sustainable products and services. IPG encourages its employees and agencies to implement policies and energy usage guidelines that meet or exceed local regulations, as well as, adhere to IPG’s sustainability and environmental impact policy.
To streamline our operations and reduce unnecessary usage of energy, water, and natural resources, IPG focuses on our real estate portfolio.
When relocating offices or building out new space, IPG’s real estate department includes assessments of climate-resilient and efficient technologies in the decision-making process. Our real estate department favors energy-efficient and sustainable office spaces, whenever possible, and encourages our agencies to do the same. For example, all new tenant buildouts since the beginning of 2016 have been and are required to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified or better whenever feasible. By moving our offices into more efficient buildings, we have the opportunity to save on operating costs such as electricity, heating, and air conditioning.
IPG’s Central IT location moved from New York City to Jersey City, NJ, and in doing so achieved Gold level LEED certification for its new IT headquarters.
Sharing facilities is another component to reducing our energy usage and carbon footprint. IPG has internal real estate policies for both domestic and international operations, that require all IPG agencies to look within the portfolio for shared real estate solutions before committing to leasing new office space. We encourage agencies to employ various “Green Designs” when designing offices.
To improve our information security (IT) operational efficiencies and reduce energy consumption, IPG has migrated its IT infrastructure and applications operations to the state-of-the-art Scott Technology Center facilities located on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This facility is the consolidation of four IPG Global IT Data Centers, utilizing energy- efficient technology and virtualization.
With even more migration to cloud solutions and increased utilization of improved technologies, we reduced power consumption in the primary data center by an additional 32% in 2019, as compared to 2018. In 2020, IPG was able to reduce its enterprise data center square footage by 60%, and is expecting additional energy reductions in the coming years.
IPG IT continues to adopt new energy-efficient technology as older servers and storage age out and need replacement. Over the years, we have been able to continue to reduce the number of server racks and power required to run IPG’s enterprise infrastructure and applications, while continually adding new feature functionality.
IPG Energy & Emissions Calculations
IPG has continued our efforts of calculating energy and emissions by expanding our boundary to now include all IPG and agency locations of every size around the world. This is IPG’s first year providing energy and emissions data for 100% of our worldwide square footage (up from 65% coverage last year). This boundary was expanded from last year’s calculations where we had included all offices over 50,000 square feet and all offices of every size in North America and the United Kingdom (UK). In this year’s disclosure, we have calculated both 2018 and 2019 energy and emissions data to provide comparable year-over-year data utilizing this expanded boundary.
Energy & Emissions Calculation Methodology
IPG’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission calculations were completed using primary data directly provided by the largest 85 office locations representing 70% of our total rented square footage. This primary data consisted of reported monthly energy consumption.
Specific IPG natural gas and electricity averages (by square footage) were determined based on data received from the largest 85 office locations, and these averages were then utilized to calculate emissions for the remaining 30% of our total rented square footage. Refrigerant losses were estimated for all offices based on their square footage using available industry averages.
Our calculations are in accordance with the GHG Protocol. The emission factors for fuel combustion come from US EPA and UK DEFRA 2019. The emission factors for electricity consumption vary by country and come from AIB, Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, Environment Canada, International Energy Agency (IEA), and eGrid2018.