Public authorities and crown corporations run critical systems used by millions of people each day, such as water, power, transportation, housing and waste management. They have a profound environmental and social impact. And as storms, wildfires and other climate change impacts become more severe and frequent, these vital systems are increasingly under threat.
Public authorities and Crown corporations are already taking environmental action. How do they know they are managing what matters most? And how do they let their investors, regulators and customers know of their progress?
In 2022, CDP launched a new environmental disclosure model tailored specifically for public authorities, including an annual questionnaire. Disclosure helps public authorities manage environmental impacts and risks, uncover opportunities and benchmark against peers.
Investors, regulators and customers seek to understand authorities’ environmental risk exposure and direct and indirect contributions to the climate crisis. Through data transparency, public authorities can meet stakeholder expectations and align with best practices to mitigate risk and increase resiliency.
CDP provides the platform for public authorities to disclose environmental information at the request of their investors and other stakeholders. In addition to responding to this request, public authorities disclosing to their requesting stakeholders through CDP can gain tangible benefits:
Demand for climate-related disclosure has increased significantly since the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) released its recommendations. Public sector leaders have noted the importance of transparency on climate-related issues with several national governments and public sector organizations formally supporting the TCFD.
Disclosure demonstrates responsiveness to the expectations of capital markets and signals sustainability leadership to potential investors. In some cases, disclosure and transparency can help lead to a lower cost of capital when borrowing.
Reporting your pipeline of infrastructure and environmental projects through CDP’s questionnaire can help your organization attract climate finance. Public authorities are already making use of CDP’s Matchmaker program, showcasing climate and resiliency projects to the capital markets. Explore CDP’s resources to support sustainable infrastructure projects.
“CDP disclosure helps us align our climate change mitigation practices with global best practices, as well as understand the internal processes needed to strengthen and institutionalize the Agency’s long-term success in responding to climate change.”Christine Weydig, Director of the Office of Environmental and Energy Programs at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Watch this webinar for an introduction to CDP reporting for Public Authorities in 2023:
What is included in the Public Authorities questionnaire?
The Public Authorities questionnaire offers a framework for public authorities to provide environmental information to their stakeholders and investors. The questionnaire covers governance, policy, risks, opportunity management, environmental targets, strategy and scenario analysis. Preview the questionnaire and reporting guidance before signing up:
What is the timeline?
CDP works on an annual disclosure cycle. If you are interested in reporting through CDP in 2023, please contact [email protected],
The annual questionnaire is designed so you can add to your responses over time, with no minimum reporting requirements. To learn more about how your organization can become a leader in utilizing environmental data disclosure to reduce emissions and attract investment, check out our Next Steps Guide for public authorities.
Watch this presentation from Eric Wilson, Vice President, Climate Resilience & Sustainability Planning at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on the MTA's work with CDP on the risks, opportunities and impacts of climate change in New York.
Public authorities are increasingly striving to manage environmental risks. Many are seeking financing for capital-intensive sustainability projects which, when implemented with an intentional equity focus, often directly benefit and empower historically marginalized communities and have immediate and long-term social impacts, such as reducing air pollution in majority-BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) neighborhoods.
But we must move faster and be bolder.
Fortifying our critical infrastructure systems can help cities and states withstand extreme weather caused by climate change, as well as create jobs, enhance social equity and drive economic development in their regions.
CDP’s public authorities disclosure initiative will create engagement and transfer of information between investors and public agencies seeking capital. The overall goal is to enhance transparency that will promote effective and efficient flows of capital and equitable community investment – allowing the resilient, green cities and states of tomorrow to take shape today.