CDP climate change FAQs

What are the benefits of responding to CDP?
CDP is an international not-for-profit organization providing the only global environmental disclosure system. These insights enable investors, companies and governments to mitigate risks from the use of energy and natural resources and identify opportunities from taking a responsible approach to the environment. This provides a platform for a responding company to demonstrate their current actions and achievements and is also a means to spotlight any future plans.

To facilitate ease of reporting for companies, CDP provides one standardized request that enables one response to be delivered to numerous investors or customers. This minimizes effort and maximizes reach on the part of the respondent. Many companies who are new to the process particularly find value in the structure of the questionnaire. Whilst they may not yet have any measured emissions data to provide, working through each section can help a company create their own internal strategies and systems, providing a framework for their climate change policies and actions.

Even as a voluntary respondent, a company can benefit from being seen to be pro-active and forward thinking. As CDP expands the number of companies that receive a formal invitation, it is also good preparation. By starting down the path of calculation and reporting now, companies will be better placed in future years to provide the requested information.

What is the deadline for responding?
The deadline that applies depends on the program(s) you are participating in:
  • CDP climate change program: 29 May 2014;
  • CDP climate change and CDP supply chain programs: 29 May 2014 for the Climate change module (core and optional modules as appropriate) and 31 July 2014 for the Supply chain module.
My company has not been invited to disclose, is it still possible to provide a response?
Yes, we will welcome responses from any company. We will not include non-requested companies’ responses in the statistical analysis in our 2014 reports but we may quote it to illustrate leading practice. Email to get an account set up.
I’ve responded in previous years, why do I need to activate again?
While you have provided a response through CDP in previous years, this activation only applies to the questionnaire for the year you are responding. Our questionnaire undergoes a few changes from year to year, and it is necessary to activate annually to receive the most up-to-date version of the questionnaire.
Will companies be penalized in any way for declining to answer all or part of the questionnaire?
Companies are encouraged to provide as much information as possible and partial information is more useful to investors/members than none at all. Those companies whose response is being scored however, will lose points where no answer is given. Where a company answers "no" to a question, they should explain the reasoning they went through to arrive at that conclusion, or the information they are working to provide in future years, in order to get full credit for the response.
What is the reporting period for the 2014 questionnaire?
Companies should report on the most recent 12-month period for which data is available.
How do I participate in CDP?
New users must register using the activation link in the invitation email sent by CDP, you cannot register for a company response on our website. If you already have an account, you can sign in using your existing username and password.

Your user portal will present you with the programs to which your company has been asked to respond. You can activate each questionnaire using the relevant link on this page. If you have not received an invitation please contact us at

Does the inventory year need to align with the fiscal year?
Question CC0.2 of the 2014 information request asks companies to state the reporting year that applies to their response. Please see CDP’s 2014 climate change guidance document for information on this question. At this point CDP does not require companies to align their reporting year with their fiscal year. When organizations are reporting emissions intensity using a financial metric, however, the emissions information and the financial information provided should align with the reporting year defined in CC0.2.
What is CDP’s approach to verification/assurance of GHG inventories in 2014?
The growing demand for reliable data drives the importance of verification. Whilst verification is not currently a requirement, it is encouraged through the CDP scoring methodology with a noteworthy percentage of the scores allocated to verification.

Details on CDP’s verification requirements, guidance and resources in form of papers and recorded webinars, can be found at our verification standards page. For further support on the topic, please contact or get in touch one of our verification partners.

Why is the "copy from last year" button missing?
The "copy from last year" button is only available on pages of the ORS where there are questions that can have responses imported from last year. This is not always the case as some questions are specific to the reporting year. Further detail on the copy from last year functionality for each of CDP’s questionnaires is available in the guidance for reporting companies for the relevant information request.
Why is my sector module (Oil & Gas/Electric/Automotive/ICT/FBT) tick box missing in question CC0.6?
If you are in a sector which automatically receives one of the sector modules (see page 12 of the guidance document) then you will get the module after saving the Introduction page, but it will not appear as a tick box in CC0.6.
My response exceeds the character limit; can I continue in Further information?
If your response is being scored then you should note that, unless specifically stated otherwise, this will be on the basis of the answer that is included in the response box for a particular question. This means that any information referenced in Further Information, attachments or another question will not be taken into account. You may provide further information if you wish to and this will be available to readers, however this should be additional to your response and it will not be taken into account in scoring.
My questionnaire is only showing the introduction page, how can I access the other questions?
When you first access your response, you will initially only see the introduction page. The information entered on this page determines key aspects of the questionnaire, therefore, until you have successfully saved the introduction, you cannot access the entire set of questions. If you responded to CDP last year, selected questions on this page are eligible for pre-population (see specific question guidance). To take advantage of this function, click ‘copy from last year’ prior to entering any data on the page.
Why is my "Submit" button missing?
This can occur if you change a Registered User after the response has been started. If this is the case, please contact so that it can be reset.
When will responses be available to view?
Public responses to CDP climate change for 2014 will be released in September to coincide with our Global Climate Forum. These will be available to view from our website at that point. If applicable, scores will be released as the relevant report is launched.

CDP supply chain responses will be published when scores are released to responding companies, in November. Only public responses will be listed. Non public and non responding companies will not be identified on the website and scores will not be released for any respondents to this program. Please note that CDP supply chain responses are available to the specific requesting members immediately on submission.

Does CDP score data provided for previous years?
For the sake of transparency CDP asks that first-time responders report four years of emissions data. As noted on page 10 of the guidance document: “We request data for more than one reporting period for the emission accounting questions on pages CC8, CC9 and CC10 of the questionnaire. Please provide data for the three years prior to the current reporting year if you have not provided this information before, or if this is the first time you have answered a CDP information request.”

In addition, companies that have reported emissions data to CDP in the past may restate their emissions for previous reporting years as an addition to the emissions information provided for the most recent reporting year.

With regard to scoring, only the information applying to the most recent reporting year is scored. Therefore, if a company is only able to provide information for the most recent year it will not be penalized in the scoring. Similarly, if a company restates emissions figures provided it the past, its score will not be impacted.

Can a parent company report on behalf of a subsidiary?
The extent to which the Subsidiary should be included in the Parent’s response depends on the Parent’s organizational boundary, defined by the approach chosen to consolidate emissions- equity share, financial control or operational control. The GHG Protocol gives an explanation of the concept of boundaries and offers extensive guidance on the first three approaches. Please note that the approach used, and identified in answer to question CC8.1, should be used consistently to respond to all questions in the CDP information request.
What do I do if I want to expand my organization’s reporting boundary to include previously excluded sites?
Your entire response should apply to all your operations that fall within the reporting boundary (CC8.1) that have not been reported as an exclusion in CC8.4. Therefore the correct route to take depends on these questions:
  • Are the (proposed new facilities/plants/sites etc.) within your reporting boundaries already? (question CC8.1) If Yes, you may include it normally in the same response for 2014;
  • Are there any (facilities/plants/sites etc.) that were also missing that should also be reported as exclusions? If Yes, then you should report all these as exclusions in CC8.4 in your response.
Can my consultant have access to my online response system account?
The Registered User for a responding company must always be a representative of that company, they cannot be a consultant. However there are two options to give a consultant access to your company response:
  • The Registered User can share their sign in details with the consultant. They should be aware that if they select this option they are still responsible for the content of the response, even if the consultant makes the actual submission;
  • The consultant can be set up as an additional user, which will give them editing rights but not submission rights. Therefore the Registered User will need to make the actual submission themselves. We will also need written (email is fine) confirmation from the company that the consultant can be added.
I responded to CDP supply chain program in 2013; can I use the ‘Copy from last year’ button for CDP climate change in 2014?
A disclosing company who responded to CDP supply chain program in 2013 is able to use the ‘copy from last year’ function in the 2014 CDP climate change ORS only if it also responded to the climate change program in 2013. If it did not, it will not be able to use the 'Copy from last year' button because the pre-population functionality is configured to search for 2013 responses for the same program and will not look for responses to a different program.
Can CDP provide advice on emissions factors?
Identifying the most appropriate and accurate emissions factors is one of the more challenging issues in GHG accounting as emissions factors vary with the precise nature of the material involved. Therefore, it is beyond the scope of CDP's work to provide advice on specific factors and how they should be applied.

The GHG Protocol encourages companies to calculate their own emissions factors based on specific materials used and processes adopted. When this is not possible, companies should refer to emissions factors published by governmental and other bodies such as the EPA in the US, DEFRA in the UK and the IEA. Companies may also find it useful to refer to emissions factor databases compiled by organizations offering carbon calculation services. In this case, for additional advice on emissions factors, companies could speak to one of CDP’s carbon calculation partners.

Where can I report carbon sequestration as a result of planting trees?
According to the GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 standard (page 62): "Scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 inventories include only emissions, not removals. Any removals (e.g., biological GHG sequestration) may be reported separately from the scopes". In accordance with this approach, we ask that in your CDP response you report emissions as gross figures, without reductions or sequestration taken into account. This applies whether the CO2 remains within the consolidation boundary or has been transferred outside it. This information can be included in the "Further information" fields in the questionnaire. Please note that this information will not be scored, but it will be made visible to investors and other data users viewing the response.

Equally, removals should not be reported as emissions reduction activities because question CC3.3 refers to activities that reduce the company’s scope 1, scope 2 or scope 3 emissions which, again, do not account for removals.

However, if the sequestration has lead to the origination of offset credits, these can be reported in answer to CC13.2 and may be eligible for points.

I am already responding to CDP climate change and have now been asked to respond to the CDP supply chain program - what else is required?
Companies already responding to an Investor led CDP program (climate change, water or forests) that subsequently receive a supply chain request do not have to complete again any elements they have already answered.

The supply chain module for climate change does contain additional questions, but on submission your answers to CC1-14 will automatically be copied over into the response you submit to the supply chain program.

CDP supply chain now also contains a water element. However, if this has already been completed, there will be no additional questions for the supply chain request. You will be required to save the Introduction for supply chain, which is prepopulated with your existing response and cannot be edited, and then proceed to submit.

Please do note the earlier deadlines for the investor led program, though your supply chain response may be submitted up to 31 July 2014.

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