For 2018, CDP has made some significant changes to its questionnaires and scoring. This is all part of ‘Reimagining Disclosure’ - an initiative CDP launched last year with the aim of developing and improving its disclosure system.
The changes affect how companies should disclose their GHG emissions and have been made in response to the market need for improved data collection and more sector specific data requests related to climate change. They also encompass the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations related to risk management and the inclusion of more forward looking metrics.
In practice, the changes include revisions to the existing questionnaires, reporting guidance and scoring methodologies, and the introduction of new sector based questionnaires, minimum tier questionnaires for new respondents, a new online reporting platform and new online reporting guidance. Below is a summary of the changes.
Changes to the Climate Change questionnaire
The TCFD recommendations have predominantly been integrated into the Climate Change questionnaire, with changes to its structure to align more closely with the TCFD structure.
The existing Climate Change questionnaire includes 20 new questions, 36 modified questions and has removed 7 old questions. Most of the question modifications are changes to wording or how the questions are scored, but do not change the fundamental nature of the question. The new questions dig a bit deeper in certain areas, requesting more details.
New questions appear in the following sections: Governance, Risk & Opportunities, Business Strategy, Targets and Performance, Emissions Breakdown, Energy, Additional Metrics and Carbon Pricing.
For example, the new Governance questions are probing for more details on a company’s board's oversight of climate-related issues, while the Business Strategy section now includes questions on the use of climate-related scenario analysis to inform business strategies. There is a new section on Carbon Pricing, which includes new questions on carbon pricing schemes and has absorbed previous questions around emissions trading.
New sectoral questionnaires
2018 sees the introduction of sector specific questionnaires, across 12 sectors which are grouped into 4 Clusters:
- Energy: Oil & Gas / Electric Utilities / Coal
- Transport: Transport Vehicle Manufacturers / Transport Services
- Materials: Metals & Mining / Chemicals / Cement / Steel
- Agricultural: Agricultural Commodities / Paper & Forestry / Food, Beverage & Tobacco
These are particularly high impact sectors in terms of the 3 areas of focus of the CDP: Climate Change, Forests and Water. Therefore sector specific questionnaires have been developed to explore their impact on these themes in more detail. The sector specific questionnaires will be scored differently to the core CDP questionnaires. Taking this sectoral approach will allow for a fairer comparison between companies in specific sectors.
Companies that sit outside of these sectors will still receive invitations to complete the core Climate Change questionnaire.
Minimum Tier questionnaires for 1st time responders
For companies disclosing to the CDP for the 1st time (or companies who haven’t responded for 3 years), a Minimum Tier questionnaire will be available. This questionnaire will include less questions, with the intention that it is a smooth introduction to the CDP for new responders.
Minimum Tier questions will only be available for the general questionnaires, not the sectoral questionnaires. Companies responding for the 1st time can opt to complete the Full Tier questionnaires if they choose.
2018 CDP Timeline
February: Notifications will be sent out to companies requesting their disclosure.
February: Submission deadlines will be announced (the deadlines are likely to be later than in previous years to give people time to absorb the changes and get used to the new reporting platform).
March: Full guidance and scoring methodologies will be released.
April: Access will be granted for the new disclosure platform.
CDP reporting with Greenstone
As an accredited software partner, Greenstone is proud to support CDP and align with its mission to provide a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.
Greenstone’s software has been designed to meet the requirements of CDP reporting and enables companies to manage qualitative responses, calculate GHG emissions and monitor initiatives savings.
Using Greenstone’s software, companies can:
- Define bespoke question sets from a range of reporting frameworks, including CDP, GRI and SDGs, based on the relevance and materiality to their organisation
- Collect data and supporting information across a diverse organisation
- Consolidate data into internal and external reporting templates
Greenstone’s enterprise level software has been accredited by CDP and provides complementary modules for gathering, monitoring and reporting questions posed by CDP. In addition to functionality to gather, escalate and approve responses in preparation for responding, Greenstone provides clients with consultancy support to help them achieve their reporting goals.
CDP Supply Chain
Greenstone recognises that being a responsible business today means engaging with your suppliers on their outputs and impacts. Through CDP Supply Chain, companies provide a single response through CDP’s globally recognised data collection platform to meet all of their customer requests. Greenstone’s software provides the transparency and robustness to ensure that companies are able to set strategies based on these disclosures, define targets and have the confidence to engage with their buyers on initiatives.
For more information on CDP Reporting in 2018, please visit the CDP website.
CDP Webinar Wednesday 14th March
Greenstone is holding a free 30-minute webinar on Wednesday 14th March at 3.30pm GMT. With a guest speaker from CDP, Lennart Hermans, join this webinar for an overview of the 2018 changes and how best to prepare your data.