What is CDP? 

CDP is a not-for-profit organization that has become the global gold standard for sustainability disclosure. It requests information from companies and cities to help them measure and manage their environmental impacts.  


Why bother responding? 

In a word: oversight. CDP offers a comprehensive framework to assess the risks posed to your company by climate change, and the opportunities to overcome them 

And also because if you don’t, your rivals almost certainly will. Over 9,600 companies disclosed through CDP last year – representing over half of global market cap. The number is expected to grow. See it as a chance to benchmark against your peers with a quantifiable measure of performance from an objective third-party.   


How will CDP help my organization? 

Disclosure is the first step towards action. CDP will enable you to understand your exposure to climate risk, identify the measures needed to tackle it, and get a jump on any upcoming regulations. Not to mention that a spot on the coveted A-List is a major boost to any company’s reputation and climate credibility  

There is more information on how CDP can help your organization in our 2021 Guide to CDP.

A poor CDP score or no CDP score at all risks you facing difficult questions about lack of transparency and a real approach to sustainability. A good CDP score is becoming a minimum requirement for any reputable business. 


Which stakeholders want to see companies respond to CDP? 

Just about all of them.

CDP helps senior management get the full picture of their company’s environmental impacts and prepare for future mandatory disclosures. A good score can help secure buy-in from current employees and attract incoming talent. Clients and consumers now expect companies to fulfil their environmental obligations, and are more than happy to take their business to those that do. And, finally, investors are increasingly drawn to high-performance ESG metrics – with quantifiable targets and transparency around climate risk now a key part of investment analysis.


What are the key CDP deadlines in 2021? 

CDP FAQ timeline

What’s new in 2021? 

There are three new questions to look out for this year. Take a look at our CDP guide for all the details. 


Are there sector-specific questionnaires? 

Yes. CDP previously introduced sector-specific disclosures for high-impact industries – such Financial Services and Oil and Gas – to make it easier for companies to mark their progress against direct competitors and peers.  


Is CDP aligned to TCFD? 

The CDP climate change questionnaire is strongly aligned with the TCFD’s recommended disclosures and illustrative example metrics – though is considerably more stringent. Responding to CDP will stand your company in good stead for the upcoming mandatory TCFD disclosures. More information on TCFD can be seen here.


Do I have to publically disclose my score? 

If your investors have requested that you submit a CDP questionnaire then your score will be made publicly available regardless of result. You can choose to keep your score off the public-facing CDP website otherwise, but transparency is ultimately always in your best interest. In the first year of reporting to CDP, all companies can choose to keep their response private if they would like to have a practice run at it before going public in future.  


Can I dispute my CDP score if I don’t agree with it? 

Sure. You’re able to appeal your score if you feel your responses haven’t been evaluated correctly. Reach out to your local CDP contact with substantiated feedback and their scoring team will review.  


How do I get started if I haven’t disclosed before? 

Downloading our guide is a great place to start. It’ll help you get to grips with the process and offers a host of useful tips and information for those making their CDP debut.  


If I want an A Grade what needs to be included? 

The A List is a genuinely exclusive club. Only 313 companies achieved the highest grade last year –a fraction of the nearly 10,000 respondents. 

The A List acknowledges companies that show true climate leadership. To make the cut, your company will need to demonstrate comprehensive disclosure of its environmental impacts, a strong awareness of climate risk in relation to the running of the business, and evidence of action and best practice – all presented meticulously and in granular detail. Many companies opt to aim for a less ambitious, but still meaningful B or C grade.  


Can scores radically improve over consecutive years? 

Absolutely. Going up a full grade in a single year is achievable. A detailed knowledge of the marking methodology and implementing high-scoring climate initiatives (such as Science-based targets or conducting a Scope 3 footprint) can make a major difference.  


How can Avieco help me with my disclosure?  

We’ve been helping clients get in shape for CDP for a number of years – with a proven track record of maximising scoresLast year, we helped every single one of our clients maintain or improve their CDP score. 

Our experts will work with you to flag weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement. We can help collect your dataverify your emissions reporting, make strategic recommendations, set Science-Based Targets, and even draft questionnaire text – all with the end goal of improving transparency, sharpening your sustainability strategy, and boosting that all-important CDP score.  

Aim for the A-List. Download our guide and speak to our team today.

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