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VIDEO: Key updates to the 2024 CDP Questionnaire

June 6, 2024

The Week in Sustainability – June 3–7, 2024


The 2024 CDP reporting season is here, and the new questionnaire brings pivotal updates designed to streamline the reporting process and align with evolving environmental standards. Here’s a closer look at the main changes and their implications:

Integrated Questionnaire

One of the most transformative shifts is the integration of separate questionnaires into a single comprehensive document. This unified questionnaire now covers climate, water, and forest disclosures. The benefits include:

  • Simplified data submission: Reduces repetitive data entry, making reporting more efficient.
  • Holistic understanding: Enhances the interconnected knowledge of environmental impacts.
  • Focus on quality: Allows companies to improve the coherence and quality of their reports.

Focus on SMEs

The new questionnaire places significant emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

  • Tailored sections: SMEs now have a dedicated section focusing only on climate change, making the reporting process less overwhelming.
  • Inclusivity: Reflects CDP's commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes in their sustainability journeys.
  • Empowerment: Helps SMEs highlight their unique sustainability challenges and contributions.

Alignment with standards and regulatory frameworks

The questionnaire aligns more closely with emerging standards like the Task Force for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), SEC rulings, and CSRD in Europe. This alignment includes:

  • Global practices: Ensures that environmental data meets international standards.
  • Investor confidence: Positions companies favorably with investors demanding high-quality disclosures.
  • Clear pathways: Simplifies compliance with various regulatory requirements.

Enhanced risk management and new topics

  • Risk management: Now includes greater detail on dependencies and impacts on nature, derived from TNFD recommendations.
  • New topics: Adds sections on biodiversity and plastics, recognizing the interconnectedness of environmental challenges.

Activity Classification System (ACS)

The ACS categorizes companies based on primary revenue-generating activities, ensuring tailored questionnaires that reflect specific environmental impacts and business models. This system includes:

  • Relevant data collection: Tailors questionnaires to be relevant to each company’s primary activities.
  • Improved scoring: Shapes how companies are evaluated within the CDP system.

Steps for a successful CDP submission

  1. Preparation and planning: Start early, familiarize yourself with new requirements, and form a team for the submission.
  2. Data collection: Gather high-quality data from both bottom-up (utility bills, travel data) and top-down (risk management, governance).
  3. Internal engagement: Identify stakeholders across the organization and provide CDP training to ensure everyone understands their role in the reporting process.
  4. Implementation: Align responses with overall sustainability goals and integrate them into the company’s broader environmental strategies.

The new CDP questionnaire represents a significant step towards more streamlined, comprehensive, and strategic environmental reporting, making it easier for companies of all sizes to contribute to global sustainability efforts.

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  1. CDP, "CDP full corporate questionnaire."
  2. CDP, "CDP Key 2024 changes."
  3. Sustain.Life, " Decoding CDP: The global standard in sustainability reporting."
Editorial statement
At Sustain.Life, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Written by practitioners and experts, articles are grounded in research and experience-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by our team of sustainability professionals to ensure content is accurate and aligns with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Mitch Voss
Mitch Voss isa senior director of sustainability at Sustain.Life with 10+ years of experience in the sustainability space.
Sustain.Life Team
Sustain.Life’s teams of sustainability practitioners and experts often collaborate on articles, videos, and other content.
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