CDP provides a score based on reporting entities’ responses to their questionnaires. The score, ranging from D- to A (see figure 1), reflects the degree of detail of the content, as well as the company’s awareness of climate change issues, management methods, and environmental action.
Reporting companies are assessed across four consecutive levels. To access the next superior level, all the minimum requirements of the one that precedes it must be satisfied.
The first stage indicates a company’s willingness to report on its environmental impact and awards points according to the importance of the question and the level of detail of the response provided.
This level evaluates a company’s knowledge of environmental issues and how these intersect with business practices. A company’s evaluation should demonstrate an understanding of how its activities affect the environment and vice versa, contributing to the assessment of business risks.
Points are awarded for responses demonstrating actions that advance environmental stewardship. In other words, companies should show the steps they take to reduce environmental impact, such as mitigating risks, bolstering risk evaluations, and implementing environmental policies.
Companies that reach the leadership level in the climate change programme have established company-wide emission reduction targets and implemented actions to achieve them. They show a robust understanding of climate risks and opportunities and follow best practices defined by CDP and partners.