Each of CDP’s questionnaires, on climate change, water and forests, has an individual methodology that scores responses across four levels: disclosure, awareness, management and leadership. Each level is translated into a single letter, representing a company’s overall score and ensuring it is on its journey to environmental stewardship.
The forests score seeks to grade companies on their efforts to remove commodity-driven deforestation from their value chain. Scores are awarded separately for each of the four commodities responsible for most global deforestation: timber, palm oil, cattle and soy. It allows companies to improve their understanding of the risks related to deforestation, while identifying and engaging with other companies in their value chain that are not currently taking action. This may include carrying out audits, running workshops and training, or offering them technical support.
The scoring methodology is based on the steps required by a company to progress towards leadership in deforestation risk management. The survey progressively assesses companies on their willingness to disclose information, on their own assessment of deforestation-related issues, on the extent to which they have addressed deforestation-related risk, and finally on their actions to manage that risk. The score indicates how much a company is committed to transparency and action regarding deforestation risk for each commodity. Companies eligible for an A are those that achieve 80% of the points available in the leadership band and have submitted a public response.
Deforestation issues are frequently linked to specific local contexts, meaning the methodology in its current form does not attempt to assess the impact of a company’s disclosed deforestation risk, nor does it attempt to compare measures of impact across individual companies.