Understanding the Carbon Disclosure Project

Posted on May 5, 2011 by

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an effective way to encourage companies to voluntarily disclose their GHG emissions and to highlight the risk and opportunities of climate change. With a backing of 551 institutional investors and US$71 trillion in assets under management, CDP’s effort in collecting Carbon related data is taken very seriously in both the private and public sector. A total of 3,000 respondents from 60 countries around the world have disclosed their GHG emission and their climate change strategy for moving towards a low carbon economy, making CDP one of the largest carbon accounting and sustainability database in the world. 82% of Fortune’s Magazine Global 500 had already disclosed their emissions and climate change strategies to CDP in order to set reduction targets and reduce their environmental impacts.
Lately, CDP has expanded its programs to the collection of data for investors and the collection of data related to supply chain and water. With this expansion, CDP hopes to address the carbon generation through the supply chains as well as to drive investments towards a more sustainable use of water.


The CDP has five programs and two initiatives under its wings.


Investor’s CDP

CDP collects data on behalf of the institutional investors to be used by financial decision makers in their investment, lending and insurance analysis.

CDP Public Procurement

This program is designed to enable national and local governments to ascertain the impact of climate change in their supply chains.

CDP Water Disclosure

This is to provide water-related data from a subset of the world’s largest water intensive corporations to inform the global market place on the investment risk and commercial opportunity.

CDP Supply Chain

This program extends carbon management across the supply chain and the data is incorporated into the companies’ purchasing decisions.

CDP Cities

CDP cities will provide standardized reporting of emission data, analysis of climate risk and opportunities and adaptation plans for sities around the world.


Carbon Action

A vanguard group of 35 investors with US$7.6 trillion assets under management are asking the world’s largest companies to demonstrate that they are managing their carbon effectively.

CDP MittleIstand Initiative

Aimed at German SMEs and unlisted companies, CDP Mittlestand provides member companies a number of benefits that include account management and support, as well as detailed analysis and benchmarking.

Apart from these programs, CDP also carries out several research studies to further explore particular topics within the climate change industry.


CDP and India

CDP has received a progressive positive response India since its inception in 2007 through its partners, WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry- ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII CES).

The number of respondents have increased from 37 companies to 51 companies. In the latest report (CDP 2010 India Report), 51 out of the top 200 companies (Identified based on their market capitalization as per the National Stock Exchange (NSE), December 15, 2009) in India responded to the CDP questionnaire. The highlight of this report is that 97% of the respondents reported seeing opportunities in addressing climate change, in comparison to 80% who identified risks, as a result of regulatory, physical or commercial drivers. Another noticeable trend noticed in the report is that the percentage of companies sharing their emission data has increased to 85% as compared to 62% in 2009 and 33% in 2008. This is a healthy trend which indicates a growing understanding and acceptance of CDP as an integral variable that is important for the future growth of the businesses. The total GHG emission reported in CDP 2010 has increased to 114 million tonnes, compared to 68.9 million tonnes in CDP 2009 and 36.3 million tones in CDP 2008. The percentage of reporting companies reporting scope 1 emissions has increased from 33% in CDP 2008, 63% in CDP 2009 to 85% in CDP 2010. The most important change however, is the increase in scope reporting which has doubled from 26% in CDP 2008 to 46% in CDP 2010.

India has not mandated any GHG emission reduction targets for the industrial sector yet, interestingly, 33% of the responding companies have proactively set their own targets while 24% are in the process of creating one. Out of the disclosed monetary savings, the reported amount stands at Rs. 3,933 million (US$85 million) and the achieved emissions reductions come to 6.2 million metric tonnes of CO2-e per year.

The CDP India Reports can be accessed through the following link: (https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/WhatWeDo/Pages/India.aspx)

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