Preparing for CDP disclosure – Your top questions answered

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Preparing for CDP disclosure - Your top questions answered

CDP is recognised as the gold standard for environmental disclosure. In 2022, 18,700+ companies with over half of global market capitalisation disclosed environmental data through CDP across all three questionnaires. In our recent CDP webinar, EcoAct expert Caoimhe Costigan provided practical advice on how to maximise the benefits of disclosure this year and answers your top CDP questions below.

What is the timeline for CDP this year?

The Online Reporting System (ORS) opened 17th April 2023, with the deadline for submission into the ORS on 26th July 2023. We recommend that you start gathering relevant data now and submit in advance of the July deadline to prevent any unexpected delays. Learn more about the timeline and key dates in our factsheet and on the CDP website.


What advice would you give to first-time CDP responders?

For all responders, we recommend that you plan well in advance and start as early as possible to identify which stakeholders will provide key data. Ensure you allocate sufficient time to draft the qualitative sections of your response as these can take some time to complete.

We recommend that you make use of the reporting guidance provided by CDP as this provides detail on the definitions and requirements of the responses. Pay particular attention to the key words of the questions throughout the questionnaire and the scoring methodology.

When drafting your responses, always remember to focus on quality over quantity. Take the time to consider the information that is most relevant to the different questions and avoid putting ‘just in case’ for each response.


What is the link between TCFD and CDP ?

CDP redesigned its climate questionnaire in 2018 to align to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and CDP now has the largest TCFD-aligned environmental database in the world. The climate questionnaire has over 25 questions that are aligned to TCFD. The water security and deforestation questionnaires are also based upon the TCFD recommendations.

The links between CDP and the TCFD mean companies disclosing through CDP are doing so in a comparable and consistent way that is relevant and accessible to the global economy. However, while TCFD and CDP are aligned, it is worth noting that responding to CDP alone is not sufficient for TCFD reporting and information must also be reported in financial filings. Click here to understand the latest climate-related disclosure recommendations and how to align with TCFD.


Is the CDP biodiversity module still exploratory or will it be scored this year?

The biodiversity module is still exploratory this year. However, business impact on nature and biodiversity is becoming increasingly important. Take a look at our biodiversity footprinting and accounting factsheet to learn more about how you can address your organisation’s impact on biodiversity and nature.


What is the difference between using a tool to measure carbon a footprint and CDP disclosure – is it either/or complementary?

As a disclosure platform, CDP does not calculate an organisation’s carbon footprint, however asks for these to be disclosed as part of the reporting from an organisation. This means that you will need to calculate your carbon footprint and disclose this to CDP. EcoAct has extensive experience in helping organisations calculate their carbon footprint. Get in touch to learn how we can help you.


What is CDP’s view on hybrid working and carbon calculation and reporting for homeworking?

The categories of Scope 3 emissions in CDP (C6.5) have been taken from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, published in September 2011. Companies should refer to the standard for information on the emissions sources that each category comprises and additional information on how to calculate these emissions. The GHG Protocol states that emissions of teleworking from home are optional under Category 7 employee commuting.

EcoAct developed a homeworking emissions whitepaper during the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group and with special contribution from Bulb. This is the first ever open-source carbon calculation methodology for homeworking. It provides a working methodology to complement the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol for the following three areas: emissions from office equipment, emissions from heating and emissions from cooling (where geographically relevant).

We have also developed a tool to calculate homeworking and commuting emissions, which is referenced by DEFRA in their 2022 GHG conversion factors document. We would advise companies to follow this methodology when calculating homeworking emissions.


Can you explain the new plastics module and what are the requirements for filling in this new section?

The new plastics module in the water security questionnaire requires all companies that use, produce, or commercialise plastics, covering the entirety of their value chain, including plastics waste management, reprocessing, and disposal to provide information. CDP does not require information in this module from companies whose sole activity is plastic waste management, reprocessing and disposal.

The new Plastics module is informed and aligned to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme’s Global Commitment and driven by the goal of tackling plastic pollution at its source.

2023 is an exploratory year and the module will likely have only minor revisions in 2024. The plastic module questions are not scored this year but may well be in the future, so we would advise companies to respond to this module. More information on the plastics module can be found in the CDP technical note on plastics disclosure.


Is EcoAct a partner of CDP?

EcoAct has been a CDP partner since 2015 and became a Gold Accredited CDP provider in 2018. As a Gold Accredited Provider, EcoAct is invited to give thoughts on any consultation released to CDP and is provided access to changes to the CDP questionnaire and scoring methodology. Throughout the CDP disclosure period, EcoAct has a direct channel to CDP and we are a point of escalation for our clients. Get in contact to learn how we can help you with CDP. 


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As a gold accredited provider with CDP we can help you prepare a comprehensive submission and improve your score.

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With over 18,700 companies, cities, states and regions now disclosing to CDP, it is one of the most comprehensive and widely-used sustainability reporting platforms in the world

For all the 2023 updates, timelines and the future of CDP, download your copy of the 2023 CDP Factsheet today.

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