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CDP Questionnaire: What to Expect in 2021

By Katie Secrist, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Lead Consultant

The newest CDP questionnaire guidance was launched just last week for the 2021 reporting cycle. See below for key changes and what to expect for this year’s CDP reporting requirements.

Climate Change Questionnaire

While COVID certainly impacted the way that many of us reported climate data last year, it was also clear that expectations for reporting on climate and continuing to make progress have not wavered. The good news is that there are few changes to the CDP Climate Change questionnaire this year, so you can expect a relatively familiar reporting process.

Key changes to CDP Climate Change include:

  • 3 Additional questions on low-carbon transition plans and net zero targets. The new questions push the standard for low carbon strategies: Do you have a published plan? Is the plan discussed at annual meetings? What is included in your net zero targets?
  • 3 Slightly modified questions for emissions targets and low carbon energy sourcing. These modified questions enable more flexibility in indicating whether or not your target is a validated Science Based Target.
  • 12 total modifications to question guidance.

Water Security and Forests

While most companies only report to the CDP Climate Change questionnaire, changes to the Water and Forests questionnaires have been included here for reference.

Key changes to CDP Water Security and Forests include:

  • Water Security
    • 1 new question to provide further disclosure on the extent to which you treat water discharges.
  • Forests
    • 1 new question to help companies disclose the relevancy of palm oil in their supply chain.
    • 1 modified question to improve the user experience for reporting third-party certified commodities.

Important Dates

  • January 2021: 2021 questionnaire guidance available on CDP guidance page
  • April 2021: Online Response System opens in the week of April 12
  • July 2021: Companies must submit their response to investors and/or customers using the ORS by July 28 to be eligible for scoring and inclusion in report (where applicable)

For a full list of changes, see these documents published by CDP on their guidance page:

For support on filling out your CDP response, contact us here!