Reaching and Exceeding CDP Management Level Banner Image

In the 2018 CDP reporting season, did your company’s performance exceed expectations? Or have you yet to meet your targets? Either way, there is plenty of potential for improvement in 2019.

We explored this potential in our recent industry webinar ‘The Road to CDP Management (and Beyond)’, covering tools for success, reviewing best practices, and addressing some challenging CDP questions. Today, we want to focus in on key suggestions for improving your CDP performance to reach Management level—and items to consider when trying to reach the Leadership level.

Achieving Management

As a CDP accredited solutions service provider, ADEC Innovations have reviewed tens of thousands of CDP responses. As a result, we have identified two key pitfalls that prevent many submissions from achieving a Management level score:

  • Unclear reasoning: In order to grant a score of Management or higher, CDP needs enough information to fully understand the context of your submission. Your responses should give clear rationales and reasons for why you have specific processes, details of how your processes work, and what they are used for. Adding these details would not only improve your CDP performance, but would allow end users of CDP’s data to clearly understand your responses.
  • Blanks and ’No’ responses: Leaving a question blank, or answering with a simple ‘no’, limits your ability to respond to later questions that ask you to explain further, and puts a hard cap on the amount of contextual information you are able to pass on to CDP. Take some time to watch our most recent industry webinar ‘The Road to CDP Management (and Beyond)’ to see why addressing blank and ‘No’ responses is vital to improving your overall CDP score.

The Road to Leadership

If you are confident that your response provides clear reasoning for your processes and avoids answering questions with single-word responses wherever possible, you should be on track for a Management level score. But what about moving beyond that, to Leadership level? To join CDP’s top scoring companies, there are a number of proactive steps we recommend:

  • Ensure third party verification: 70% of your scope 1 and scope 2 emissions must be verified by an independent third party in order to achieve a Leadership score.
  • Include company-specific descriptions: Your response must include key specific data that applies to your company only, such as the names of any services you are using to help reduce emissions, or the exact percentages of reduction that you expect to achieve. Include methods, examples, and results wherever possible.
  • Include financial data: Explaining financial impacts in broad terms, such as ‘there is an expected decrease in revenue’, will score lower than providing actual or relational financial data and figures, accompanied by the methodology you used to calculate them.
  • Make your response public: A simple step to take, but an essential one—only public responses can achieve Leadership A.

The Support You Need

ADEC Innovations offers a number of services that can support you in your push to reach Management level or beyond: performance review calls analyzing last year’s response (available until May 31st), scoring assessments ahead of submission, and post-submission insights through gap analysis. However you choose to pursue your CDP goals in 2019, we hope that the above advice will help you keep climbing on the ladder towards Leadership.


With experience scoring over 21,000 CDP responses and conducting more than 1,600 Performance Review Calls since 2011, ADEC Innovations has the knowledge and expertise to help you maximize your CDP disclosure and improve overall performance. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.



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