CDP 2010 performance scores


 Introduction to carbon performance scores


In the 10 years that CDP has monitored disclosure practices, corporate activity has advanced to a stage where analysis of performance can aid investors who want to identify leading companies in carbon management. In 2009, CDP piloted a performance component in an effort to respond to investor requests for this analysis.

In 2010 the performance scoring process was rolled out to cover more CDP samples – groups of companies based on market capitalization.

Within these samples, all companies with a sufficient level of disclosure in their response received a performance score. The qualifying threshold to receive a carbon performance score was a minimum Carbon Disclosure Score of 50. Disclosure scores lower than 50 do not necessarily indicate poor performance; rather, they indicate insufficient information to evaluate performance.


 The CDP 2010 carbon performance bands


The carbon performance score is given as a banded score. Indicative descriptions of the bands follow and are for guidance only. The drivers of any individual company score may vary across a number of different indicators. As such, data-users should read individual company responses to understand the context for each business. Care should be taken when comparing performance across companies.

Band A (Leading): Companies with scores greater than 80
Companies in this band excel for overall performance—relative to those in other bands—indicating both higher degrees of maturity in their climate change initiatives and achievement of their objectives. Companies in this band demonstrate the following characteristics.

  • Strategy: With the highest number of significant risks and opportunities identified, companies in this group were the most likely to demonstrate integration of their climate-related priorities into their overall business strategy. They frequently disclose targets aligned with those ambitions and emission reduction initiatives.
  • Governance: These companies demonstrate the most structured and most defined climate change management mechanisms by frequently reporting formalized accountability, incentives and oversight from the board or executive level.
  • Stakeholder communications: These companies also recognize the importance of providing transparent and quality disclosure for their stakeholders by taking steps to verify data and report climate-related information in their external communications.
  • Achievements: In support of their commitment to reduce emissions, these companies disclose the highest number of actions taken to reduce their emissions, and most report success in achieving emissions reductions.

Band B (Fast following): Companies with scores of 51 to 80
Companies in band B also recognize the importance of climate change and are quickly following in the footsteps of the leading companies. While the majority of companies in band B note climate change as a priority, their responses indicate that actions and initiatives may not be as established or as well integrated into the companies’ overall structures and strategies compared with those in band A. However, there may be a broad spectrum of performance maturity within this tier, because some seemingly higher-performing companies in this band may have provided limited information for certain key performance areas, thereby constraining the ability to fully evaluate them.

Band C (On the journey): Companies with scores of 21 to 50
Companies in band C indicate some activity on climate change. Most companies in this group identify at least one risk from climate change and accordingly exercise some degree of oversight to monitor the progress of their climate change initiatives. The levels of integration and maturity of those initiatives tend to vary according to disclosure of emissions reduction targets, implementation of emissions reduction activities, employee incentives and verification of emissions information. This group represents a variety of companies, including those that are new to taking action on climate change, those that do not have climate change objectives as strategic actions for the organization, and those that do not believe the agenda to be a shorter-term priority.

Band D (Just starting): Companies with scores of 20 or below
Companies in this band recognize the importance of participating in CDP, and they have therefore achieved reasonable levels of disclosure (i.e., a disclosure score 50). However, they have disclosed limited evidence of actions taken on mitigation or adaptation. Companies in this band may include (1) those that believe that issues regarding climate change are not relevant to them and (2) those that are beginning to take action on climate change. As such, no further assertions can be made about their performance.

Important to note:

While clear indicators of good performance emerge from the results, there are several factors to consider when evaluating where a company is ranked in comparison to its peers.

  • The carbon performance ranking is based solely on information disclosed in a company’s CDP response. Any additional negative or positive actions that are not disclosed in a company’s CDP response are not considered in the application of the performance score methodology.
  • CDP performance results should be considered in conjunction with other carbon metrics to provide a more comprehensive picture of a company’s performance on mitigating climate change.
  • The relative weighting of performance indicators within the scoring methodology does not take into consideration certain sector-specific issues and challenges, such as customer expectations, regulatory requirements, or cost of doing business.

It’s important for data-users to keep in mind that the CDP carbon performance score is not:

  • An assessment of the extent to which a company’s actions have reduced carbon intensity relative to other companies in its sector.
  • An assessment of how material a company’s actions are relative to the business or to climate mitigation; the score simply recognizes evidence of forward action.
  • A comprehensive measure of how green or low carbon a company is but, rather, an indicator of the extent to which a company is taking action to manage its impacts on, and from, climate change.

Not all company responses are scored. Some samples – which are groups of companies based on market capitalization – are not scored.




 Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI)


To qualify for inclusion in the CPLI for their sample, companies must:

  • Receive an A according to the performance bands.
  • Respond to CDP using the Online Response System prior to the deadline
  • Make their response publicly available

2010 Global 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index

Companies in both CDLI and CPLI are represented by the ✓ symbol

Sector Company Also in the CDLI?
Consumer Discretionary BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke  
Johnson Controls
News Corporation
Toyota Motor  
Consumer Staples Nestlé
Reckitt Benckiser
Energy Eni  
Repsol YPF
Royal Dutch Shell
Financials Ace  
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group  
Bank of America Merrill Lynch  
Bank of Montreal  
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
HSBC Holdings
Munich Re  
National Australia Bank
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Swiss Re  
Westpac Banking
Health Care Bayer
Novo Nordisk
Industrials CSX
Deutsche Post
Philips Electronics
Information Technology Cisco Systems
Nokia Group
Samsung Electronics
Materials BASF
Telecommunications BT Group
Deutsche Telekom  
Royal KPN  
Utilities E.ON AG  
National Grid
Public Service Enterprise Group  
Scottish & Southern Energy




2010 S&P 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index

Sector Company  
Consumer Discretionary Johnson Controls
News Corporation
Consumer Staples Dean Foods
Energy Spectra Energy
Financials Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Industrials CSX
Information Technology Cisco Systems
Materials MeadWestvaco
Utilities Consolidated Edison
Public Service Enterprise Group  
Xcel Energy


2010 FTSE 350 Carbon Performance Leadership Index

Sector Company  
Consumer Discretionary Kingfisher
Consumer Staples Reckitt Benckiser
Energy Royal Dutch Shell
Financials Barclays
  HSBC Holdings
  Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Industrials Atkins
Telecommunications BT Group
Utilities National Grid
Scottish & Southern Energy



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