The Carbon Disclosure Project was established in 2000 with an intention to support companies disclosing their climate impact through a global environmental disclosure framework. In 2013, the name was shortened to ‘CDP’ as a reflection of the broad scope of environmental disclosures needed to comprehensively understand a company’s environmental impact. The scope of the CDP was further broadened in a new strategy launched in 2021, which expanded disclosures to include all planetary boundaries. For more information on the nine planetary boundaries, view the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s explainer here.

Companies that disclose through the voluntary CDP framework are given an annual score based on their disclosure and environmental performances. The scoring methodology is fully aligned with the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to ensure data comparability across the market.

View more information on CDP Scores here.

Transition Planning

Alongside environmental impact disclosure, the CDP also encourages organisations to implement and disclose an actionable transition plan to align its operations, assets and business model with a 1.5°C trajectory.  In their technical note on transition disclosure, CDP defines a credible climate transition plan as a time-bound action plan centred around five key characteristics:

  1. Contains near and medium-term science-aligned goals.
  2. Contains measurable and verifiable key performance indicators, and includes a plan for tracking progress against these.
  3. Provides an accountability mechanism for the company through integration with existing reporting requirements.
  4. Guided by the following principles: accountable, internally coherent, forward looking, time bound and quantitative, flexible and responsive, and complete.
  5. Contains the following TCFD-aligned characteristics: board-level governance, underpinned by scenario analysis, inclusive of financial planning, value chain engagement & low-carbon initiatives, aligned policy engagement, management of climate-related risks and opportunities, contains time-bound science-based targets, and has independently verified emissions accounting for scopes 1, 2 & 3.[1]

CDP is also a member of the UK Transition Plan Taskforce to ensure that their disclosure requirements remain in line with evolving best practice and regulatory shifts.

Find more information on CDP’s climate transition plan guidance here.

[1] CDP Technical Note: Reporting on Climate Transition Plans, 2023, pp. 7-9.

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