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CDP Supplier Information Request.
Certain large companies require their suppliers to complete a comprehensive and detailed questionnaire covering their climate change risk, greenhouse gas emissions and emissions reduction initiatives, the CDP Supplier Information Request. These questionnaires, are required to be completed each year and are scored. Failure to complete the questionnaire or failure to reach a certain minimum score may result in deterioration in the relationship with that customer.
Who has to comply?
75 major companies asked 7,000 of their suppliers to complete the CDP Supplier Information request in 2015.
They include: Microsoft, Coca Cola, Lego, Wal-mart, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Ford Motor Company, Nestle, BT Group, Vodafone, Sky, Diageo and Unilever.
What is required to be reported?
- Climate change risks – what climate change risks have been identified and how they are managed.
- Emissions reduction targets – How these are set and agreed
- Emissions reductions initiatives – what emissions reductions these are expected to deliver and what they actually deliver.
- Emissions reported – Scope1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions
Suppliers are required to complete the CDP Supplier Information questionnaire online, a copy of the responses can then be downloaded.
Suppliers are sent the request at the beginning of April each year and required to submit their response by the last working day of July.
When the questionnaire is submitted it is scored by the CDP based on Disclosure, Awareness, Management and Leadership in terms of climate change issues. Scores range from D- to A.
Issues to consider
Will your company be required to complete the CDP supply chain questionnaire?
If you are an important supplier to one of the major companies that have signed up to the CDP Supply Chain programme then it is likely that they will ask you to complete the questionnaire each year.
Is the data reliable?
Energy data is often not reliable, especially gas consumption. Procedures should be put in place to check meter readings at each site and compare with billing information. Even automated meter reading (AMR) data can be problematic when meters are changed and the AMR is not reconnected.
What are the consequences of not completing the questionnaire if requested to do so?
This depends on how important the requesting customer is to your business and the attitude that they take to your approach. Most requesting companies require their suppliers to complete it and also specify a minimum score to be achieved. The sanctions applied for not complying will vary in each case.
Advantages of completing the CDP Supply Chain Questionnaire
- The information can be used for answering questions from other stakeholders
The questionnaire is comprehensive and requires a lot of detailed information to be provided. The intention is to encourage companies to look seriously at climate change issues and begin to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment. It requires considerable detailed analysis to answer the questions properly. However once it is complete the information (or subsets of it) can be provided to any other stakeholders who ask questions about environmental issues.
- It demonstrates your commitment to reporting environmental information
By completing the questionnaire you are differentiating your company from some of your competitors on an issue that is becoming increasingly important in tendering submissions and becoming accredited as a supplier.
- It saves you money
Measuring your environmental performance requires you to measure your energy usage, the well known adage “what gets measured gets improved” applies and most emissions reduction initiatives are also energy saving initiatives which will save you money, often with a quick payback of less than 1 year.
It is worth starting to collect the information necessary to complete the questionnaire before you are faced with a tender document or required to complete it by a customer.
This information should include energy usage, the carbon emissions associated with expense claims, such as car mileage, train journeys and air travel.
GHG Insight can help with collecting the information above; also our consultants have 3 years experience of submitting these questionnaires and are currently advising clients on collecting data and helping them to submit the CDP Supplier Information Request on time.
Further detailed information on the questionnaire is available at
Author: Jean-Francois Lowes