The information below covers some of the common questions we receive from disclosing companies. If you need further assistance, you can find this year’s questionnaires, reporting guidance, scoring methodologies and more on our Guidance for companies page.
Stakeholders are increasingly requesting environmental information through CDP, including Investors, large purchasing organizations (“customers”), Banks (“lenders”), and membership/initiatives such as RE100 and NZAM. This data is used by these stakeholders to inform decisions and drive environmental action.
Companies may receive requests to provide information from any or all of the following ‘requesting authorities’:
When the ORS is open you can view which authorities are requesting you to respond to CDP’s corporate questionnaires via your dashboard.
To read more about the stakeholders who request company disclosure, how they use data, or for more information on how to become a requesting authority, please view our CDP investor signatories and CDP supply chain members pages or contact your other stakeholders from your dashboard.
Yes, companies can disclose environmental data through CDP’s climate change, forests and water security questionnaires as a self-selected company (SSC). To disclose as a SSC, please complete this form and share it with us via our Help Center.
SSC responses are available to all CDP investor signatories. They are not automatically available to CDP’s supply chain members, banks and other stakeholders such as RE100 and NZAM. If you choose to submit a public response, this will be displayed publicly on the CDP website.
SSCs will receive a score as long as they respond to the full version of the questionnaire before the deadline and meet all other scoring availability criteria. Learn more about scoring in our Scoring Introduction.
SSCs follow the same rules as companies requested by CDP’s investor signatories including being subject to paying the administrative fee to disclose.
CDP has three corporate questionnaires; climate change, forests and water security. You may be requested to respond to all, or a combination, of these. The questionnaires provide a framework for companies to provide environmental information to their stakeholders covering governance and policy, risks and opportunity management, environmental targets and strategy, and scenario analysis. The full questionnaires can be viewed here.
The questionnaires are the same for companies responding to requests from all requesting authorities*allowing companies to provide data to multiple data users at the same time. If you are requested to respond to customers you will be presented with additional questions in the supply chain module where you can report on information specific to your relationship with your customer. RE100 members will also be required to fill-in specific questions to report on their RE100 commitments.
Companies in high-impact sectors (sectors that are deemed by CDP to have a significant environmental impact), in addition to the general questions, will be presented with questions specific to that sector.
The allocation of sector-specific questions to companies are determined by CDP's Activity Classification System (CDP-ACS). For more information, please see below “What is the CDP Activity Classification System (CDP-ACS) and how is it used to allocate sector-specific questions?”
Note that companies will only be scored on their primary questionnaire sector. This means that if more than one set of sector questions applies to a company, not all questions will be scored. Sector specific questions are labelled to indicate which sector(s) they apply to. However, we encourage companies to respond to all questions that apply to them.
Financial services companies should refer to the Disclosing as a Financial Services Company section.
CDP provides a platform for companies to disclose environmental information at the request of their stakeholders. In addition to responding to this request, companies disclosing to their requesting authorities through CDP can gain tangible business benefits:
Disclosing also allows companies to identify opportunities for action. You can find out more via our Organizational Guide for Environmental Action.
To discover more, including how disclosing can boost your competitive advantage, please download our Benefits of Disclosure PowerPoint slide-deck and read case studies on our Why disclose as a company page.
CDP’s Activity Classification System (CDP-ACS) was developed to allocate sector-specific questions to companies from 2018. The CDP-ACS framework categorizes companies by focusing on the activities from which they derive revenue and associating these with the impacts across a company’s value chain from climate change, water security and deforestation.
The CDP Activities are mapped to the questionnaires. A company must earn at least 20% of its revenue in an Activity to be mapped to the relevant sector questionnaire. If no sector questionnaire exists, the company will only be required to respond to the general questions for that theme (Climate Change, Forests and Water Security).
CDP-ACS is a three-tiered system comprised of (from bottom-up) Activity, Activity Group and Industry. See the full list of CDP-ACS.
The sector-based approach allows CDP to make more meaningful assessments of companies' responses, incorporating each sector's characteristics and nuances, resulting in a score that reflects the company's progress in environmental stewardship and enabling better benchmarking against other companies.
Note that companies will only be scored on their primary questionnaire sector. This means that if more than one set of sector questions applies to a company, not all questions will be scored. Sector specific questions are labelled to indicate which sector(s) they apply to. However, we encourage companies to respond to all questions that apply to them. If you believe your ACS allocation needs to be changed please contact us via our Help Center using the Questionnaire Response category.
Companies must disclose their environmental information via CDP’s Online Response System (ORS). The ORS is set up with each company’s questionnaire(s).
Each company has a dashboard, through which they can access the ORS. The dashboard also contains information regarding which questionnaires an organization is being requested to respond to, and which stakeholders are requesting their information.
If your organization is being requested to respond, CDP will notify you by email and will send you your access link to your company’s dashboard and the ORS. You will need to register for a CDP account to access the system. If you already have an account for our website, you can sign in using your existing password.
Using the CDP systems
For further information on the dashboard, and activating, completing and submitting questionnaires in the ORS, please view our guide to Using the disclosure platform. This guide contains details of the features of the ORS including:
If your organization has not been requested to respond, please see I have not been requested to respond. Can I disclose through CDP?
Note that contacts identified by Customers and Banks may be asked to complete a “Join an Organization” form to ensure they are added to the right organization. If you require further support, please visit our Help Center and contact us via My Support. You will need to be signed in to access this. Once you are signed in please return to the Help Center via the link at the top of the page. If you are a new user, you can register here.
CDP provides a variety of support materials to help organizations disclosing through our platform. Our company guidance page hosts key resources, which you can use whilst preparing your response:
CDP’s questionnaires, guidance and scoring methodology provide a guide towards best practices in environmental management for companies. Our Organizational Guide for Environmental Action roadmap provides a snapshot of actions companies are taking at each stage of this journey towards environmental excellence.
We also host live webinars and workshops designed to aid you with environmental reporting. See our events page
If you require expert guidance on any of your environment initiatives, you can contact one of our Accredited Solutions Providers (ASPs) for help. ASPs offer external support on reporting, emissions inventory, software, renewable energy procurement, and much more. Please visit the webpage or contact the CDP Partnerships team.
In addition to providing information on our website, CDP provides updates to company contacts via email, dashboard announcements, newsletters and webinars.
For the latest updates and announcements related to disclosure, companies should regularly check their dashboard, please sign in.
Our newsletter, including the latest guidance and webinars, is sent to disclosing companies on a monthly basis. We also produce a newsletter highlighting our latest blogs and research which you can subscribe to online.
The admin fee is the fee that companies must pay to disclose their environmental impacts through CDP. It applies to companies responding to an investor request for disclosure on one or more of CDP's themes (climate change, forests or water security) although some companies may be exempt from paying this.
Find out more about the admin fee including exemptions and fee options in your area.
To add additional users to your account and update permissions, you will need to become the Main User. There are three user types, the different permissions of which are outlined below.
There is no limit to the number of users that can be added to your account.
For more information on the different user roles and how to become the Main User for your organization, please view our Guide to using the disclosure platform.
For more information on how to access your organization’s account please see above How do I disclose through CDP?
|Main User||Contributor||View Only|
|Responsible for organization’s response(s). Only one contact can be the Main User.||Contributors can collaborate with multiple colleagues, who can all directly access the Online Response System.||This type of user role can be used for sharing the response(s) with colleagues for review or sign off purposes.|
|Can access response|
|Can enter, save, edit data|
|Submits questionnaire on behalf of organization:
|Controls access rights on behalf of the organization to organization’s response(s) via the system, or authorizes CDP to make these changes:
|Key contact point for CDP relating to the disclosure period(s) and organization’s response(s):
Note that there is also a Subsidiary contact role - which is only relevant where a parent company is responding on behalf of a subsidiary company who has also been requested to respond to CDP. Contacts from the subsidiary organization will have this user role and will not have access to the ORS and cannot contribute to the company’s response(s). If a subsidiary contact requires access to the ORS, they can send a request to the Main User to become a contributor.
As the Main User, your contact details (name and email) will be stored in CDP’s systems for record management. Your contact details may also be, and shared with requesting authorities/stakeholders, to ensure open exchange on disclosure related topics between all relevant parties.
If you are no longer the Main User and wish to remove your details from CDP’s systems, please contact [email protected].
Yes. To give a consultant access to your current questionnaire(s), the Main User can set them up as a Contributor on behalf of their organization via their dashboard. This will give them the ability to edit but not to submit the questionnaire. The Main User will need to make the actual submission themselves.
Please note that the Main User for a questionnaire must be from the requested company and not from another organization, such as a consultancy.
For more information on the different user roles and how to become the Main User for your organization, please see above How do I add another user to my account? What type of user permissions exist? and view our guide to Using the disclosure platform.
The preferred approach is for parent companies to submit a consolidated response to CDP that includes all subsidiary data.
We recommend that subsidiaries contact their parent organization to confirm whether its CDP response(s) will include data from the subsidiary organization. If a subsidiary organization falls outside this parent reporting boundary, it may disclose to CDP separately.
In addition to this, a parent and subsidiary may submit separate responses where:
For more information, please refer to the questionnaire reporting guidance documents.
When submitting your response to the questionnaire(s) in the Online Response System (ORS), you may choose to make your response public or non-public. This choice determines how CDP will handle the data in your response. Your response may also be scored (for more information on scoring see below Will I receive a score for my questionnaire(s)?).
Please note that the below is a summary only and companies should refer to the relevant Terms for Responding. The Terms can be found via the questionnaires and reporting guidance available on the guidance pages. The Terms are also available through the ‘Submit your response’ page of the questionnaire in the ORS.
Any data submitted in the supply chain module (i.e. the additional questions visible to companies responding to requests from Supply Chain Members/their customers) is always private between the responding company and the customer(s) requesting the data, regardless of whether the response as a whole is public or non-public.
|Public response||Non-public response|
|Shared with stakeholders requesting your response|
Made available via CDP websiteNote that data shared via the supply chain module is never shared publicly
|Shared with CDP scoring partners for scoring purposes|
|Response/information in response published by CDP or third parties in reports||Only in CDP reports if data has been anonymized|
Eligible companies must submit their questionnaire(s) before the scoring deadline to receive a score. In 2023, the scoring deadline is 26 July 2023 (23:59 International Date Line West).
Companies responding to the full version of the questionnaire are eligible to receive a score.
Companies responding to the minimum version of the questionnaire will receive a score based on the minimum version of the scoring methodology if:
Companies responding to the minimum version of the questionnaire are not be eligible for the A list as scores obtained from the full and minimum versions of the scoring methodology are not comparable.
If you received an investor request and you do not submit a response, you will receive an ‘F’. ‘F’ indicates a failure to provide CDP with sufficient information to be evaluated. It is not a reflection of your environmental stewardship.
Each of CDP’s corporate questionnaires (climate change, forests and water security) has an individual scoring methodology. These can be found here.
CDP provides score reports following score releases and there are various score feedback call options available to provide companies with insights so they can improve their reporting. You can also contact your local CDP Office or My Support via the CDP Help Center to learn more about score feedback calls.
Before completing any of CDP’s corporate questionnaires, we strongly recommend that you read our Scoring Introduction which explains more about CDP’s scoring eligibility, as well as the scoring methodology and reporting guidance relevant to your questionnaire(s). You can learn more about the publication of scores for companies too.
For more information about Financial Services scores, please see our section below Disclosing as a Financial Services Company.
Organizations are encouraged to provide as much information as possible and are incentivized to do so in the scoring methodology at Disclosure level (the first of four levels of the scoring methodology that is focused on completeness – for more information about the different scoring levels please see the Scoring introduction). Providing partial information is better than not responding at all and any response will be useful for the stakeholders requesting and using your response.
Using the questionnaire(s) as a framework to guide internal data collection and strategies will allow you to build your response year-on-year and assist in setting goals.
CDP offers a minimum version of the questionnaires for smaller companies and those who have an annual revenue of less than $/EUR 250 million. Please see above Will I receive a score for my questionnaire? for more details.
If you recieved an investor request and do not submit a response, you will be noted as “No Response” or “’Declined to Participate’ to your requesting authorities and receive an ‘F’. ‘F’ indicates a failure to provide us with sufficient information to be evaluated and is not a reflection of your environmental stewardship. This may also be communicated to investors, customers and other stakeholders through our reports, digital platforms and data products. See below How will my organization be listed on CDP’s website?
For more information on CDP scoring, please refer to the Scoring Introduction (PDF) and scoring methodologies for your questionnaire(s) and Will I receive a score for my questionnaire(s)?
Companies requested to submit by investors
Companies who did not receive an investor request:
Responses that have been submitted publicly will be published on the CDP website on the search and view responses page, after the ORS closes.
Note that your response, regardless of submission status, will be made available to your requesting investors and customers within 48hrs of submission.
See below How do I view public responses? for more information.
Please note that 2023 scores will be released separately. See below When will my score be available? for more information.
If a response has been submitted publicly, the response will be clickable e.g. “Climate Change 2022”.
Please note that if you are signed into your CDP account, your organization’s response will be visible to you in the search and responses function even if you have submitted a non-public response.
Please note that users will only be able to access 20 responses per year. To increase the amount of response you can see please contact [email protected].
Previous scores are available via the scores page of the CDP website. Note that not all CDP scores are public. See above How will my organization be listed on the CDP website? for more information.
It is possible to amend a previously submitted questionnaire(s) before the scoring deadline. You can do this via the self service amendments feature on your response dashboard. This option is available up to 48 hours before the scoring deadline. You must re-submit any questionnaires you have amended before the scoring deadline.
If you wish to amend a questionnaire(s) after the self service amendments window has closed, you can request this to be reopened for amendments via the Help Center.
For full terms and conditions regarding amendments, please read the 2023 CDP Corporate Amendments Policy.
CDP operates in a number of locations globally. Please find the Disclosure contact details of your local office on your dashboard, or if you require further support, please visit our Help Center and contact us via My Support. You will need to be signed in to access this. Once you are signed in please return to the Help Center via the link at the top of the page. If you are a new user, you can register here.
CDP welcomes feedback from companies disclosing via our platform.
To provide feedback on the content of our questionnaires and supporting materials please use our general feedback form. Note that from time to time CDP holds public consultations on our questionnaires, details of which are made available to stakeholders via our consultation page.
You will not receive a reply to your feedback, but please be assured that all form submissions are reviewed to allow for continuous improvement. However, if you represent a responding organization and would like to request a response, please get in touch with your local CDP contact.
Visit our consultation page for more information on our most recent questionnaire consultation.
Financial Services should respond to the Financial Services (FS) version of our climate change questionnaire. FS companies will have the opportunity to disclose environmental data in additional forests and water security modules within their climate change questionnaire.
When responding to the FS version of the climate change questionnaire, you can make your full response either public or non-public by choosing a single permission status. Please note, your score is separate from your response.
In 2023, Financial Services companies can disclose environmental data for the three CDP themes (climate change, forests and water security) through the climate change questionnaire. Although disclosers will only submit one questionnaire (climate change), the themes will be scored separately, as outlined below.
Climate change responses will be scored independently. Climate change scores will be made available in line with Scoring Introduction guidance.
Forests responses will be scored independently. Forests responses will be scored privately and will only be shared with the disclosing organization directly.
Water security responses will not be scored in 2023.
Climate change scores will not be impacted by Forests responses or scores.
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