CDP updates platform in bid to streamline corporate environmental disclosures

CDP is the world’s only independent environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions, with more than 24,000 entities having disclosed last year.

This week, the non-profit has launched a new platform intended to streamline the disclosure process for sustainability professionals.

The platform includes a new corporate questionnaire through which businesses can disclose on forests, water, biodiversity and plastics issues together. Previously, firms would have needed to complete separate questionnaires.

There is still a separate questionnaire on climate. Changes have been made to better align CDP’s climate questionnaire with the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) IFRS S2 standard. Launched last June, the standard aims to internationally standardise corporate reporting on climate-related risks and opportunities across value chains.

CDP claims that the changes have aligned the questionnaire with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which were formally adopted by the European Comission last July.

The CDP team is reassuring organisations that use its platform that the changes should lighten the sustainability reporting burden rather than adding to it. Nearly six in ten listed companies already report most datapoints aligned with the IFRS S2 standard through CDP.

“There are compelling business reasons to disclose environmental data: securing access to capital, driving business efficiency and responding to growing compliance requirements,” said CDP chief executive Sherry Madera.

But Madera also noted that organisations often grapple with spending time and money on sustainability reporting when these resources could be used to drive action.

She added: “These demands for disclosure affect core business success both at home and abroad. CDP is proud of our partnerships with the ISSB, TNFD and other global frameworks to fulfil our role in the ecosystem, answering market demand for efficiency and enabling faster environmental action through the power of data. Our new platform launching today ensures that data disclosed once can be used by many investors, lenders, and procurement teams across the globe.”

A recent poll of 500 sustainability decision-makers within UK-based organisations found that most are currently overwhelmed with reporting. The majority (70%) said that the fact that time and money are going towards reporting is directly impacting their ability to deliver impactful programmes to cut carbon and achieve other environmental targets. Four in ten said they were actively looking to outsource disclosure work to gain back more time.

Related feature: Are sustainability professionals stuck in reporting mode?

Related news: Expert taskforce convened to oversee UK’s adoption of ISSB standards

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