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Optimising Your CDP Response

7 June, 2021
Optimising Your CDP Response

Have you started, or about to start your CDP response?  Do you believe your company’s actions are befitting a higher score than you are receiving? Now is the time to act.

In 2020, CDP A list grew to over 300 companies receiving an ‘A’ score and hitting the highest leadership level. This was a growth of the A list of over 40%! The responses are improving year on year and this year - with the improvements across the board, it’s likely that the bar will need to be raised this year. What does this mean? Well, those high scoring responses provided in 2020 will need to be improved further, just to maintain the same score as the prior year, and significant improvements will be required to increase your score.

After 3 years of working at CDP leading the teams working on questionnaires, guidance and scoring methodologies, I understand that there are some areas of the scoring methodology that are clouded in subjectivity and some points that could be within your grasps without you even knowing it. Your company may be missing out on the recognition you already deserve.

There is also the potential for your score to go down if you don’t work towards optimising your disclosure this year.

Here are some key pointers

  1. Make sure that you provide an answer to every question asked in the questionnaire(s). Even if the response is just ‘zero’ or ‘not applicable'. Some questions are scored just on available information being provided, but if there is nothing written in the response, it will not be scored.
  2. Ensure you are able to make your response ‘public’ – i.e. publicly available, when accessed via the CDP website once responses go live in the Autumn. Private scores can only achieve a score up to an A- (A minus) and not higher, as a public response is a key criteria for getting into the A list leadership scoring.
  3. Check your responses against the scoring methodology. Scoring methodologies are publicly available on the CDP website, so you can review the full methodologies for each question and discover if you are meeting the criteria and for how many points.


At Rio ESG, we have an in-depth understanding of the CDP methodology and we have developed a quick method to check responses against the scoring methodologies. We can run a review in a couple of days, to highlight any areas for potential missing points before you submit your response.

If you would like to run a quick review or just have a quick chat about any frustrations or challenges you are having in completing/optimising your response, get in touch.

Make sure you aren’t missing out on the recognition you deserve.