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Nov 08, 2022

CDP questionnaire to add ISSB’s climate disclosure standard

Move should accelerate use of ISSB ‘global baseline’ for sustainability reporting

CDP, the environmental disclosure platform, has announced it will incorporate the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) climate-related disclosure standard into its annual questionnaire as collaboration between different reporting bodies gathers pace.

The change, which will come into effect for the 2024 reporting cycle, is likely to accelerate the adoption of ISSB standards. CDP says more than 18,000 companies have disclosed environmental information through its platform in 2022.

Man writing by computerIntegration between the ISSB and CDP should also relieve some of the reporting burden on companies, given that they can use the same information for two purposes.

The ISSB, which celebrates its first anniversary at the COP27 conference this week, is in the process of reviewing feedback on two draft standards. The first covers general sustainability-related disclosures and the second covers climate-related disclosures. Both are expected to be finalized before the end of 2022.

The partnership will boost ‘corporate action and accountability’ and provide ‘financial markets, governments and regulators with clear, comparable data to inform their decision-making,’ says Paul Dickinson, founder chair at CDP.

‘By aligning the CDP platform with the ISSB’s climate-related standard, we are reducing the burden on entities and moving a step closer to that common language for disclosures,’ comments Emmanuel Faber, chair of the ISSB.

Scope 3 inclusion

The news follows a series of announcements from the ISSB as it continues to develop its disclosure drafts. Last month, the reporting organization confirmed it will include Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions in its climate-related disclosures. Scope 3 emissions are not controlled by a company but generated in its value chain.

To support companies getting to grips with Scope 3 carbon reporting, the ISSB says it will create ‘relief provisions’ that could include a delayed introduction of the requirements and working with national regulators on ‘safe harbor’ clauses.

‘The feedback was supportive of Scope 3 as an important source of information,’ said Faber in a podcast last month. ‘We talked in detail about the need for flexibility and decided we would design a strong support package.’

SASB role

The ISSB has also confirmed that SASB will continue to play an important role following the launch of the ISSB ‘global baseline’ for sustainability reporting.

The SASB Standards, which identify relevant sustainability issues across 77 different industries, are now materials of the ISSB following a series of consolidations among reporting groups.

Earlier this month, the ISSB said its general disclosure standard would include a requirement to consider SASB Standards when identifying material topics and developing disclosures.

‘This is because SASB Standards provide disclosures across a range of sustainability matters that have been designed with an investor focus, and because industry-specific disclosures are fundamental to ISSB’s approach to meeting investors’ information needs,’ said the organization.