A CDP score is a snapshot of a company’s environmental disclosure and performance. Our scoring methodology is fully aligned with regulatory boards and standards, and provides comparability in the market.
A CDP score provides a snapshot of a company’s disclosure and environmental performance. Bold environmental action must begin with an accurate, transparent assessment of environmental impact and progress, which CDP scoring makes possible. Our scores show organizations and their stakeholders where they are on the road towards operating in line with a 1.5-degree, deforestation-free and water-secure future. By disclosing over consecutive years, they can understand the trajectory of their environmental journey.
We use our scoring methodology to incentivize companies to measure and manage environmental impacts through one or more of our climate change, forests and water security questionnaires. Disclosure drives action and by scoring companies from D- to A, we take them on a journey from disclosure through awareness and management, and finally to leadership. It is important to note that companies that achieve an A score are not at the end of their environmental journey - they are among the most transparent when it comes to disclosure and performance on climate change, deforestation or water security.
Our scoring methodology is fully aligned with the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and with major environmental standards, and therefore provides a comparable dataset across the market
Responding companies are assessed and scored across four consecutive levels which represent the steps a company moves through as it progresses towards environmental stewardship:
Score weighting and calculations
Questionnaires are scored in categories for each sector across the three themes. Each scoring category at Management and Leadership levels is weighted according to its relative importance to the overall score. For more information on how our scores are calculated, read our full scoring guidance brochure here.
CDP has been scoring cities since 2018, to help them improve climate planning, encourage adoption of best practices, allow them to benchmark their performance and drive climate action.
CDP scoring focuses on the completeness of a city’s response and its performance on climate action. CDP awards scores across the same bands as for companies (Disclosure (D/D-), Awareness (C/C-), Management (B/B-) and Leadership (A/A-). However, the process for scoring cities differs in some areas from companies. To find out more about disclosing as a city, click here.
Cities are provided with personalised feedback, from written communication to phone calls, to help them understand and act on their scores. Only cities who get an A are made public, and featured on our annual Cities A List.
CDP’s scoring methodology assesses the level of detail and comprehensiveness in a response, as well as the company's awareness of environmental issues, its management methods and progress towards environmental stewardship.
Questionnaire scoring is conducted by accredited scoring partners trained by CDP. Our internal scoring team then collates all scores, running data quality checks to ensure that scoring standards are accurate and consistent.
CDP is continually ratcheting up the requirements of what qualifies as leadership, so there is no guarantee that a company will remain on the A List year-on-year if they do not also evolve their environmental journey alongside the science and market needs.
At CDP, we're continually iterating to ensure that our questions help companies strive for excellence in an evolving world. Whereas once, we only scored companies for disclosing their climate impacts, this is now only the first step. A large portion of our questionnaires now measures companies on environmental action – the strategies and changes they implement following disclosure. The aim is that, by continuously evolving our methodology, we can ensure that our questions always cover the most important metrics companies need to measure to understand and improve their performance.
In order to receive an A or B score, companies must demonstrate both awareness of their impacts on the environment, deforestation and water security, and appropriate actions taken to reduce these in line with the 1.5-degree trajectory laid out in the Paris Agreement.
The CDP score is based solely on activities and positions disclosed in the CDP response. It therefore does not consider actions or activities not mentioned in the CDP response.
CDP scores alone are not a comprehensive metric of a company’s level of sustainability or 'green-ness', but indicate the level of action reported by the company to assess and manage its environmental impacts during the reporting year.
Download our full guidance brochure to find out more about how CDP scoring works. To find out more about why getting a CDP score through disclosure is so vital to businesses, take a look at the resources below.