17 Oct 14

Who’s reading your CDP scores?

cdpThe primary focus of CDP is the reporting of environmental information, particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with CDP referring to themselves as a “global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information”. Over 750 investors (representing US$92 trillion in assets) work with CDP to assess the risks within their investment portfolios.

Originally set up as the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP now has broader reporting standards for water, forestry, cities and supply chain issues alongside its annual climate change program but is still focused on providing information for investors.

In all instances the reporting to CDP is a prescriptive process which involves organisations answering a series of transparently scored questions. In doing so, you receive separate scores for the Disclosure and Performance (out of 100) with the option as to whether you wish to publically divulge your score as part of the annual Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

In the investment community, CDP is the go-to standard for comparable sustainability ratings that focuses on potential asset opportunities and risks and is therefore a key reporting option for organisations conscious of this stakeholder group. Unlike less prescriptive frameworks, such as GRI and <IR>, CDP scores are more easily comparable because organisations are asked the same series of questions and given a quantitative score based on the response. 

By disclosing climate change information through CDP to investors and banks, organisations are easily able to answer shareholder requests to provide comparable and relevant climate data

CDP reporting is a fixed annual cycle so may not follow the same reporting timeframe as an organisation’s annual sustainability or financial reporting. The timeframe for the Climate Change Program is outlined below.

Action

Timeframe

CDP issues a request for information to the largest companies globally

Early February

Deadline for companies to respond to the questionnaire

Late May

Findings launched across the globe

September - December

Consultation phase for amendments to annual questions

September - November

CDP signatories review and sign the questionnaire

November - January


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