Wednesday May 01, 2013

The Carbon Disclosure Project Spring Workshop

Guest author Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Director at Oracle, discusses her participation in the recent CDP Spring Workshop at the New York Stock Exchange

On April 5, 2013 the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent non-profit U.K. organization that collects Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data of major corporations, invited corporations and investor signatories to attend its annual spring workshop at the New York Stock Exchange. I was one of Oracle’s three attendees and was able to attend many informational sessions led by the CDP staff, including a review of the 2013 CDP questionnaire and scoring methodology, the technical changes from 2012 and an overview of disclosure best practices. I also attended several thought leadership sessions.

Several participating companies explained how they leverage CDP disclosure to work with their CFOs to identify cost savings, develop innovative sustainability initiatives, respond to other regulatory bodies (DJSI, GRI, UNGC) and respond promptly to investors’ inquiries. Several speakers highlighted how speaking the same language as their CFO is crucial to integrate CDP responses into an effective communication with investors. Every year investors are increasingly interested on companies’ ESG performance and integrate CDP data into investment processes. Asset management companies look at governance strategy and engage companies to understand if they are aligned to their long term interests. They also look at data in the context of financial information and narrative. CDP thus provides a detailed framework to talk about climate change and disclosure on carbon, water and supply chain management. The nature of these issues shed light on how the company is managed in the long term.

Particular focus was given to strategies for measuring, managing and reporting Scope3 emissions, whose weight is increasing in the CDP scoring process. Scope3 analysis requires a strong understanding of the upstream supply chain as well as the definition of a directional roadmap identifying raw materials, operations and products, procurement strategies, production strategies and logistics assessment. 

Finally, the CDP pushes companies to engage suppliers on climate change and water risks through disclosure to the CDP Supply Chain Module. This disclosure enables companies to understand how to score and benchmark suppliers’ responses and educate suppliers on climate change and costs reduction. Category managers can check CDP scorecards and verify the performance of the company. It was helpful for Oracle to participate in this conference as we continue to gather our data to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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