CDP … just another sustainability acronym, or worth my time?

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is currently publishing the 2016 results of its climate change, forest, water and supply chain surveys, having started with the UK results end of October. Soon, some Singaporean companies will get scores, some will be publicly named as not responding, others won’t be mentioned. Should you care?

CDP runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies and policy makers to manage their environmental impacts. They praise themselves to have built “the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world”, and many agree on that. Investor analysts draw a lot of their information from CDP’s database, with CDP’s network representing over US$100 trillion. CDP itself chooses the companies for its surveys; in addition, you can volunteer to participate for a fee.

Thus… next time your company receives a CDP questionnaire, you might want to consider responding to it, at least partially. Keep a lookout in May each year, to meet their deadline end of June for the Climate change, forests and water programs, end of July for the supply chain program.

If you are already participating, make sure you are familiar with the updated scoring approach for climate change. CDP has changed its methodology in 2016, putting more emphasis on materiality assessment, management (actions, policies and strategies to address environmental issues), governance and leadership. CDP also recognises your target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, provided it is aligned with global emissions budgets, i.e. for Singapore with the Government’s climate action plan – a criteria you should keep in mind while developing targets as required by SGX. Also, be prepared that CDP will introduce sector-based questionnaires in Q4 2017. CDP hopes to enable better peer-to-peer comparison and benchmarking.

If you want to learn more about CDP, read here, register for Paia’s Sustainability Reporting training, or contact us so that we can offer our customised help.