On Tuesday, April 24th, ADEC Innovations hosted a webinar to update companies on the changes to CDP’s 2018 Climate Change Questionnaire. CDP, a non-profit initiative founded in 2000, has worked with corporate and government partners to build the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world. One fifth of global carbon emissions are managed through CDP, with over 5,500 companies responding to their questionnaire annually.
The CDP Climate Change Questionnaire is updated each year in response to developments in the business landscape and emissions accounting practices. These additions and modifications serve four main objectives: focusing the questionnaire on how businesses incorporate climate risk analysis into planning and strategy, examining the role of below-board level positions in businesses’ climate change strategy, evaluating businesses on their climate-related scenario analysis, and aligning the questionnaire more closely with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) metrics and reporting recommendations.
ADEC Innovations has identified the most significant questionnaire changes, and provided the following tips and advice on approaching them in the webinar:
- Risk and Opportunity Management – These questions ask you to identify climate-related risks and opportunities that have the potential to generate substantive change in your business. You must identify at least six total risks and opportunities to complete these questions. The points awarded for these questions have significantly increased.
- Emissions Management – These questions ask you to account for your Scope 3 emissions, and to disclose and explain any exclusion(s). These questions are now more strongly weighted. If your company is having difficulty assessing your Scope 3 emissions, ADEC Innovations recommends the Scope 3 Evaluator by Quantis, a free online resource.
- Governance and Strategy – These questions ask whether your company conducts climate-related scenario analysis and seek to establish some detail of your company’s specific methods. You should be sure to discuss the analytic methods you use, relevant time horizon details, company specific details such as the specific facilities, products and processes you use, and how your results inform your business strategy.
- Verification – These questions require that relevant verification statements are attached, so make sure to prepare those in advance of producing your response to these questions.
The deadline for submitting responses to CDP’s 2018 Climate Change Questionnaire is July 31st, and August 16th for the Investor and Supply Chain Programs respectively. The questions from the questionnaire, along with various CDP guidance and scoring documents, are already available on CDP’s website. It is worth taking advantage of these resources to begin drafting your responses early. One approach that many companies find useful is to draw on their responses to the 2017 questionnaire, to form a foundation that can be adapted for their 2018 responses. Once your responses are drafted, check them to make sure that they follow CDP’s scoring methodology. For qualitative responses, it is best to directly address the criteria of the question first, and introduce other relevant company-specific information in the latter part of each response.
CDP has provided the following resources to help you respond to the 2018 Climate Change Questionnaire:
- CDP’s 2018 Climate Change Guidance Document
- CDP’s 2018 Questionnaire Mapping Document
- CDP’s 2018 Climate Scoring Methodology
- CDP's 2018 Climate Change Questionnaire
ADEC Innovations is a leading provider of ESG solutions, and is CDP’s Gold Consultancy Partner, Silver Software Partner and Global Scoring and Outsourcing Partner. To watch a recording of our webinar, click here.