CDP 2024 Questionnaire Update: What You Need to Know

How to prepare for the CDP 2024 Questionnaire

CDP 2024 Questionnaire Update: What You Need to Know

Written in collaboration with Cesar Carreño-Chasin and Varsha Ram Balapa

This 2024 CDP disclosure season brings a significant update for reporting entities. The CDP Questionnaire has been subject to important changes. In this article, we summarise the key updates and illustrate how your organisation can effectively navigate them.

Understanding CDP

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is a global non-profit organisation providing an environmental disclosure platform.

By submitting to CDP, reporting companies can:

  1. Communicate with investors and stakeholders;
  2. Manage internal risks;
  3. Anticipate future regulations;
  4. Protect and improve their reputation;
  5. Benchmark against industry peers.

In 2023, over 23,000 companies across 130+ countries disclosed through CDP.

The benefits of disclosing according to CDP summarised in some key statistics

What Has Changed?

The CDP, like many other reporting instruments, are evolving towards better align with international standards. These updates aim to simplify the reporting process for organisations.

CDP worked to align the 2024 questionnaire with various reporting standards and frameworks, including:
  • The ISSB S2 Climate Standard
  • The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)
  • The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

Overall, we can summarise the 2024 CDP changes as follows:

Integrated Questionnaire Structure

The 2024 CDP Questionnaire combines the Climate Change, Forests, and Water Security sections into a single framework. This integration reduces redundancy and allows for a more streamlined disclosure process.

The 2024 questionnaire is divided into several modules. Each one focuses on different aspects of environmental impact and sustainability:

  • Module 1: Introduction
  • Module 2: Identification, assessment, and management of dependencies, impacts, risks, and opportunities
  • Module 3: Disclosure of Risks & Opportunities
  • Module 4: Governance
  • Module 5: Business Strategy
  • Module 6: (Environmental Performance) Overview
  • Module 7: (Environmental Performance) Climate Change
  • Module 8: (Environmental Performance) Forests
  • Module 9: (Environmental Performance) Water Security
  • Module 10: (Environmental Performance) Plastics
  • Module 11: (Environmental Performance) Biodiversity
  • Module 12: (Environmental Performance) Financial Services Approach
  • Module 13: Further information & sign-off

The new CDP questionnaire Modules

Simplified User Interface

CDP revamped the Online Response System (ORS) to enhance user experience.

Introduction of the SME Questionnaire

CDP created a dedicated questionnaire for small and medium-sized businesses. The questionnaire encourages disclosure across SMEs by meeting their specific needs.

Sector-Specific Focus

The updated questionnaire includes sector-specific questions for various industries, ensuring that disclosures are relevant and comprehensive.

 

What is the CDP 2024 scoring methodology?

Understanding the scoring methodology is crucial for maximising your CDP score.

The 2024 CDP scoring methodology aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of your environmental performance. The key elements of scoring are the following:

Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 13.23.20

Disclosure

This pillar assesses the completeness and transparency of the information provided. This includes Scope 1&2 measurement, Tracking forest commodities & business impact​, Water Accounting & business impact. Doing this alone could get you a score of D- to D.

When you submit, make sure to include all required data and report it accurately.

Awareness

This evaluates the company’s understanding of environmental issues. It includes the identification and assessment of risks and opportunities such as; climate and water risk assessment, supplier codes of conduct, FSC/FSI/RSPO certification, tracking forest commodities and business impacts etc. Reporting on this pillar could give you a score of C- to C.

Management

This pillar looks at the actions and strategies implemented to manage and mitigate environmental impacts. It includes policies, governance structures, and operational practices. 

Leadership

This assesses the extent to which the company is demonstrating leadership in environmental stewardship through innovation, collaboration, and setting ambitious targets. A leadership score ranges from A- to A.

Despite the integrated questionnaire, CDP provides separate scores for Climate Change, Forests, and Water Security. The score is based on the questionnaire for the organisation's primary sector. This way, CDP ensures that the evaluation is relevant to the entity-specific industry.

How to Fill the Updated CDP Questionnaire

Submitting the CDP questionnaire can be a daunting task. However, understanding the structure and requirements can make the process more manageable. You can watch our last webinar where our experts go into full detail on methodology and how to answer your questionnaire:

WHITE

Here are some high-level steps to help you complete the 2024 CDP Questionnaire effectively:

  1. Start Early

Begin gathering the necessary data and information as soon as possible. Early preparation helps in identifying gaps and addressing them in time.

  1. Set Internal Deadlines

Establish internal milestones to keep the process on track. Assign dedicated personnel or teams to handle specific sections of the questionnaire.

  1. Organise Your Documentation

Keep your environmental data organised by module. This will make it easier to reference and complete each section accurately.

  1. Engage Collaborators

Utilise the collaboration feature in the ORS to involve team members and external experts in the process. However, remember that only the primary user can submit the final response.

  1. Seek Expert Guidance

If needed, consult with sustainability experts who can provide insights and help you formulate your responses.

Conclusion

The new CDP Questionnaire updates make it easier to disclose information. By understanding these updates and preparing accordingly, your organisation can effectively manage its environmental impacts and enhance its sustainability reporting.

For more detailed guidance and support on your CDP submission, you can get in touch with our climate experts.

Speak with Cesar