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5 Things Businesses Should Consider Now for Successful CDP Reporting

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In an era of heightened awareness surrounding environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility, businesses are under increasing pressure to accurately report their carbon emissions and sustainability efforts. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is a vital platform for organizations to transparently share their environmental data, strategies, and commitments. However, successful CDP reporting requires a year-round strategic approach that goes beyond simply meeting July disclosure deadlines.

This article delves into five crucial practices that sustainable businesses should adopt now to ensure successful CDP reporting while fostering long-term environmental stewardship.

1. Don’t Lose Momentum

Many organizations only start their CDP reporting shortly prior to the deadline and treat the disclosure as a project, but CDP reporting is an integral component of a company’s sustainability strategy. Embedding CDP reporting as part of an ongoing program will ensure that you are checking in on post-CDP actions and laying the foundations for next year’s reporting.

This approach not only bolsters the credibility of your reporting but also cultivates an internal “culture of sustainability” within the organization. By consistently addressing environmental concerns throughout the year, companies can seamlessly integrate sustainability practices into their operations and prepare for subsequent reporting cycles with enhanced readiness and accuracy.

2. Assurance Needs

As the importance of verified greenhouse gas (GHG) data continues to rise, third-party assurance of reported data becomes a key priority. Planning for assurance well in advance is critical. Aligning with third-party auditors’ schedules and incorporating verification into the annual reporting cycle ensures a smoother process and minimizes the risk of last-minute inconsistencies.

This proactive approach boosts transparency, instills investor confidence, and reinforces your commitment to accurate reporting, meeting both regulatory requirements and stakeholder expectations.

3. Allocating Approvals

Establishing a clear approval and sign-off process at the outset of your sustainability program is crucial. Defining stakeholders responsible for providing approvals ensures they understand the time required to align with the CDP reporting deadline. Transparent communication regarding timelines and necessary inputs minimizes delays and misunderstandings.

By facilitating a well-structured approval process, organizations can streamline reporting procedures, allowing for more efficient data aggregation, and ensuring that the final submission accurately represents their sustainability endeavors.

4. Coverage Review

Understanding your data coverage, particularly concerning Scope 3 emissions, is paramount for comprehensive CDP reporting. Conducting an in-depth analysis post-CDP submission can reveal potential gaps in material categories where data might be lacking. Identifying these gaps ahead of time enables engagement with relevant departments to gather essential information.

This approach ensures a complete representation of sustainability efforts, highlighting accomplishments in emissions reduction and resource conservation across all relevant areas.

5. Recognize the Time to Agree on Commitments

Making significant commitments, such as science-based targets and carbon transition plans, demands thorough planning and alignment. These commitments often need months of defining, stakeholder engagement, and internal approval processes. Identifying the support required, both internally and externally in advance, assists the clear definition and approval of commitments well before the CDP reporting deadline. This proactive strategy ensures that commitments reflect your organization’s sustainability strategy.

By incorporating these five practices into their sustainability strategies, businesses can go beyond meeting the CDP reporting requirements. Proactive planning, ongoing momentum, data assurance, streamlined approval processes, and comprehensive data coverage all contribute to a holistic and accurate representation of an organization’s commitment to sustainability.

Cority and CDP

Cority’s Sustainability Cloud solutions and advisory services are designed to help organizations meet the requirements of CDP reporting. As a Gold accredited solution partner, Cority is proud to support CDP and align with its mission to provide a global disclosure system for investors, companies, and cities, to manage their environmental impacts. Cority’s Sustainability Cloud has a suite of dedicated tools and functionality to automate and streamline the CDP reporting process, including data collection aligned with the GHG Protocol, covering Scopes 1-3, alongside climate change risks and opportunities, forecasting and initiatives functionality for analyzing savings against targets.

Cority’s software tools have been under the CDP accredited solution provider program for over 10 years and since 2023 has facilitated automated reporting to CDP via an API. Through the solution, companies can:

  • Streamline data collection, approvals and information gathering across the organization
  • Automate GHG calculations across the organization and align with CDP questions. Align CDP
    question sets from a range of other standards and frameworks to repurpose responses – including
    SASB, GRI and rating agencies
  • Gather and manage CDP data points including alignment with TCFD climate change risks,
    initiatives and science-based targets

 

With in-depth knowledge of the CDP reporting system, our team of industry experts work closely with our customers providing different channels of support. Professional services including mock scoring, gap analyses, guided strategy consultancy and project management.