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What is the CDP?

CDP is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2000 that runs the global environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, and governments. CDP has created an international standard for reporting on climate change, water, forests, and plastics.

As of 2023, 23,000 companies, accounting for two-thirds of global market capitalisation, report through CDP. This number continues to grow as consumers, investors, and other stakeholders increasingly expect companies to report on and manage their environmental impact.

How to report on CDP?

Companies can disclose in response to a request from an investor, a customer, or both. The disclosure takes place in a questionnaire, separate for each topic: climate change, water and forestry. 

In 2024, CDP will roll out a new integrated format for the complete corporate questionnaire, combining all three existing questionnaires across climate, forests, and water security into one integrated questionnaire. Each company's questionnaire is set up through an online response system (ORS) and happens annually. It starts in April, and submissions are due in July. 

In April 2024, CDP will roll out a dedicated CDP SME corporate questionnaire. The questions in this questionnaire will be aligned to the CDP complete corporate questionnaire but with fewer data points, simplified question formats and enhanced guidance to ease SMEs' reporting burden.

Scoring at CDP

Each year, CDP takes the information provided by companies in the questionnaires and scores companies based on disclosure and environmental performance to incentivise companies to disclose and improve their performance. The scores range from A-F and provide companies and stakeholders with feedback on where the companies are on the road to operating in line with a 1.5°C, deforestation-free and water-secure future.

CDP's scoring methodology assesses the level of detail and comprehensiveness in response, the company's awareness of environmental issues, its management methods and progress towards environmental stewardship.

Why should companies disclose? 

The demand for environmental disclosure is rapidly increasing in the market, with investors, governments and regulators urging thousands of companies to share their environmental data, including through CDP.

Responding to stakeholder requests for disclosure offers several tangible business advantages: 

  • Enhanced reputation: Transparent disclosure builds trust and addresses growing environmental concerns among the public, safeguarding and improving your company's reputation. 
  • Boost of competitive edge: By disclosing environmental data, companies can outperform peers in the stock market, access capital more efficiently, and win tenders, thus gaining a competitive advantage. 
  • Track progress in environmental performance: Benchmark your environmental performance against industry peers using CDP's internationally recognised sustainability score and receive feedback on progress toward climate targets. 
  • Identify risks and opportunities: Disclosure helps companies identify emerging environmental risks and opportunities, enabling data-driven strategic decision-making. 
  • Stay ahead of regulation: As mandatory disclosure increases globally, CDP enables companies to meet reporting requirements across various regions, aligning with several regulatory frameworks. 

CDP alignment with reporting frameworks and standards

CDP is collaborating with leading framework standard setters to achieve the most comprehensive application in the market. As of 2024, the following frameworks are aligned with the CDP questionnaires:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) - Aligned with the S2 Climate-related Disclosures issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)
  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) - Fully aligned.
  • Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) - Currently partially aligned.
  • European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) - Some alignment with CDP questionnaire, especially ESRS E1 and CDP questionnaire on climate change
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) climate disclosure rule - Alignment under review given the recent release of the final rule

CDP's corporate questionnaire also supports disclosures in line with the GHG Protocol, AFi and the CEO Water Mandate.

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