It’s summer, and thousands of companies are busy completing the now-familiar annual report submittals about their carbon emissions and sustainability plans to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
Included in this reporting is the CDP Supply Chain Program, where companies such as Accenture, Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson & Johnson and Philips Electronics ask their suppliers to disclose carbon emissions and climate risk data.
More suppliers this year are participating in the survey than ever before, which suggests an increased importance of sustainability along corporate supply chains. Fifty-four companies asked an unprecedented 6,000-plus number of suppliers to respond to the questionnaire. (Last year 4,232 suppliers were invited to participate, and 1,864 replied, which resulted in a 44 percent participation rate). The five-year-old program works with the suppliers of the large companies to track and improve the operations of suppliers as it relates to sustainability and climate change.
How does it work? Suppliers to these companies complete the CDP Supply Chain questionnaire and submit it by July 31. Each supplier has the option of whether to allow this submittal to be public or not. Companies can then access the submitted information online by individual responses or aggregated statistics.
Last year was also the first year that supplier submittals were scored for performance. Previously, suppliers only received disclosure scores. CDP worked with FirstCarbon Solutions to score suppliers on their carbon performance (letter grades A–E) and disclosure completeness (scored 1–100). This scoring methodology is consistent with the scoring programs of other CDP programs.
CDP has several disclosure programs. Its original climate change program involving the world’s largest companies now has 3,700 corporations that disclose their carbon emissions and climate risk data to their shareholders. The project’s database is the largest global collection of self-reported emission data and is used by investors, nonprofits, and researchers. This database has become the de facto global standard for voluntary reporting.
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