CDP is a global non-profit that operates the most widely adopted environmental disclosure system in the world. More than 18,000 companies, cities, states, and regions report environmental impact data to CDP every year through the organization’s extensive Climate Change, Water Security, and Forests questionnaires.

As a CDP accredited solutions provider with more than ten years of experience working with companies to develop and improve their disclosures, ADEC ESG provides unique tools and guidance for reporting to CDP. In February, we hosted a webinar that explained 2023 changes to the questionnaires, timelines for the upcoming season, and best practices for organizations looking to optimize their performance.

To hear the full details from our ESG experts—including a live Q&A with attendees—view the full webinar, Best Practices for CDP Responders in 2023. Keep reading for a brief summary of the highlights.

CDP Questionnaire changes and updates

Every year, CDP updates its questionnaires to better align with current climate science, popular frameworks, and the ongoing commitments of the organization and its partners. This year is no different. The 2023 questionnaires introduce new data points focused on transition plans, biodiversity, emissions per subsidiary, plastics, water pollution, and hazardous waste. The new questionnaires also raise the bar on low-carbon economy-related value chain engagement, influencing public policy, governance, industry collaboration, and demonstrating progress against set targets.

Climate Change

Changes to the Climate Change questionnaire direct a greater focus to how companies are preparing for and taking action on making a transition to a 1.5-degree world across their own operations as well as their value chain. This includes:

  • Updates to the Business Strategy section
  • New section on emissions breakdown by subsidiary (scope 1 and 2)
  • Updates to the Biodiversity module
  • Modified questions for RE100 members, aimed at aligning questions to low-carbon goals and updated technical RE100 criteria

See full details, including specific questions and explanations, by viewing the webinar on-demand.

Water Security

The Water Security questionnaire has been updated to follow in the footsteps of the Climate Change questionnaire, with a greater focus on set targets. How are companies managing water in their operations, and how are they managing water use in the supply chain? Changes include:

  • Updated questions on water pollution and hazardous substances (all sectors)
  • Major updates to the value chain engagement section, including new questions on classifying suppliers based on water impacts
  • Major updates to targets and goals questions, which are now reported in separate sections
  • New Plastics module

For a deeper dive into each section’s changes and more details on the new Plastics module, watch the full webinar on-demand.


The Forest questionnaire focuses on organizations’ transition to a forest-positive future. Changes focus on:

  • Risk assessment of sourcing areas and methodology for determining risk
  • Landscape approaches to commodities

Best practices for reporting

Looking for tips on how to optimize your response? In this section of the webinar, our experts discussed several recommendations for responders. This section also included multiple examples and compare-contrast instances to illustrate each recommendation.

  • Start early. An optimized response requires data from different stakeholders across your organization. Begin the collaborative process early to give yourself ample time to complete each section.
  • Complete all cells and avoid answering “no.” Offer as much detail as possible. If your answer to a question is “no,” provide an explanation.
  • Avoid referencing other cells, questions, and external sources. CDP will only consider answers provided within each cell.
  • Provide company-specific details and/or case studies and examples. Again, offer as much detail as possible to demonstrate a focus on your organization’s actions, awareness, and impacts in order to maximize your score potential. We recommend considering the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Results) as a starting point to help frame your narrative.
  • Have an external review. A third-party review can provide a new perspective on your disclosure. Accredited solutions providers like ADEC ESG offer disclosure assessments and specific recommendations to help maximize your CDP performance and can even complete the full disclosure for you.


With the 2023 CDP season quickly approaching, we encourage all responders to start the process early. Wherever your organization is on your Road to CDP Leadership, ADEC ESG has the tools and expertise to help guide you on the path to achieving your ESG goals.


Want more than the highlights? Watch the full webinar on-demand here to get all the details from our experts and view the live Q&A.

ADEC ESG Solutions works closely with global organizations to improve their ESG programs and reporting. In 2022, we helped 94% of our clients achieve CDP Management B or better. Browse select CDP services on the ADEC Marketplace, or click here for a more comprehensive list of how we can help.

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