CDP's approach to verification


 Importance of verification


CDP puts relevant climate information at the heart of business, policy and investment decisions. As GHG emissions become increasingly material to a number of sectors, climate data collected by CDP is of growing importance for decision making. Data quality is therefore paramount for data users such as investors, business customers and governments.

The growing demand for reliable data drives the importance of verification. Verification provides an independent assessment of the systems and processes used to monitor and report an organization’s climate information, together with the data that is included within a company’s GHG assertion or a CDP response.

The verification process reviews both the climate data provided and the systems, models and controls in place for collecting and managing it. As such, independent verifiers are able to bring objectivity and experience to the data review, enabling inefficiencies and errors to be identified. Ultimately this assists in the continual improvement of the processes used and the accuracy and usefulness of the data to feed into internal development and cost saving programs.


 What is CDP’s current approach to verification?


CDP encourages companies to verify data that is submitted. Whilst verification is not currently a requirement, it is encouraged through the CDP scoring methodology. The methodology allocates a noteworthy percentage of the scores to verification:

  • 6% - 11% of total points under the disclosure score and
  • 15% - 17% of total possible points under the performance score

In addition, companies must gain full points on the Scope 1 and 2 verification questions (8.6 and 8.7) to qualify for entry to the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI).


 What are the verification requirements to gain full points now and going forward?


To gain full points on verification, companies should attach a third party verification/assurance statement (e.g. PDF, letter from verifier, CDP verification template). This can also be part of a larger document such as a CSR report. Note: website links will NOT be taken into account (in certain circumstances screenshots will be accepted – e.g. EU ETS database)

This documentation needs to:

  1. clearly relate to GHG emissions;
  2. relate to the relevant scope;
  3. relate to the correct reporting year;
  4. state the verification standard used**
  5. contain a verification opinion or finding.

** Standard used needs to comply with CDP criteria – see list of accepted standards.

If a company has had verification of a report (e.g. a CSR report, or ESG data contained within an annual report), they should attach the report itself alongside the verification statement, so that scorers and data users can identify what data has been verified. It is also acceptable to attach the whole report if it includes the statement from the verifier.

As companies’ verification procedures are not necessarily linked to the CDP reporting cycle, ‘verification under way’ is accepted under the scoring methodology, with full points available as long as the previous verification/assurance statement is attached as proof of process.

In addition, companies that are required to use CEMS (continuous emissions monitoring systems) for regulatory purposes can also achieve full points where they can provide appropriate evidence. Companies for whom this is relevant should select “no third party verification – regulatory CEMS required” and complete the necessary details in accordance with the guidance.

CDP is planning to raise the bar for full points for verification rewarding those who are doing more and incentivising companies to verify more data. In order to do this CDP will introduce a threshold of 70% of both Scope 1 and 2 emissions verified for full points to be awarded and for inclusion in the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) in 2015.

Questionnaire changes have been made in 2014 to give the responding companies an opportunity to get familiar with the new structure before implementing the scoring changes in 2015.

For full points for verification a company will have to have reported no relevant exclusions in question CC8.4 (2014 question reference).

No changes will be made to Scope 3 emissions verification requirements. CDP will monitor the situation and will be looking at increasing the threshold in the coming years but will consult and inform companies at least 1 year in advance.

For further details on scoring and reporting requirements, please consult the CDP guidance and scoring methodology or watch a webinar on changes in the verification and scoring approach in 2015.

CDP has produced a list of standards that have been assessed and deemed suitable for CDP reporting and those that have been evaluated and are not considered appropriate. Find out which standards will be accepted under the CDP scoring methodology for 2013.


 Where will companies find support around verification?


CDP is working with its verification partners to produce and publish supporting resources on this webpage. If these do not address your queries, please direct questions to Alternatively, companies can contact CDP verification partners here.


“The analysis of companies for Socially Responsible Investment purposes is getting more and more fact-based, as reporting of environmental social and governance data has become increasingly common. In the near future, verification of such data will gain importance, as the requirements regarding data reliability continue to increase.”

- Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd.

“Increasingly, verification will become an important factor in our assessment of supplier responses to future CDP requests.”

- PepsiCo Inc.

Want to know more?

> Contact one of our partners

Email to ask a question or give us your thoughts on verification. We will respond or send it to our expert working group.

Webinar recordings

1) Verification of Climate Data: benefits and importance of verification.

> Watch the webinar
> Download the accompanying notes

3) Verbessern Sie die Glaubwürdigkeit Ihrer Daten - durch Verifizierung: Was ist ein typischer Verifizierungsprozess? Was ist die Bedeutung für Firmen und welche Hilfeleistung stellt das CDP? Ist es zu spät um für 2012 eine Verifizierung vorzunehmen und dafür Punkte zu erhalten?

> Watch the webinar
> Download the accompanying notes

CDP white paper

Want to find out more about verification? Read the CDP paper, Verification of climate data. This paper provides an insight into verification and assurance, why third party verification is important and how it can benefit companies, along with practical guidance on the topic.

Verification working group

CDP has formed a verification working group, in which we collaborate closely with selected verification partners in order to support reporting companies with helpful resources and further develop CDP’s approach to verification.

CDP verification partners

Bureau Veritas LRQA

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