Comprendre la note CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

Understanding the CDP rating (Carbon Disclosure Project)

The CDP rating is a rating system established by the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The aim of this organisation is to measure and assess the environmental performance of companies and local authorities. Each year, it asks thousands of organisations to reveal their environmental commitments and their strategies for achieving them. 

In 2022, more than 18,700 companies, representing half of the global market, reported their environmental policies through the CDP (This represents an increase of 38% compared to 2021.). A never-ending project that is destined to be constantly evolving, the CDP (launched in 2000) now includes forests and water as well as climate issues.

And there's no end in sight: the CDP's stated ambition is to extend their expertise to the fields of biodiversity, plastics and oceans, the interconnection of nature and terrestrial systems (biodiversity has already been included in the climate questionnaire since 2021 and plastic pollution of water in the Water questionnaire since 2023).

So how does this rating work? What and for whom is it useful? How can companies benefit from it? Where does DECATHLON stand on the subject? Find the answers here.

Comprendre la note CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

What is the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)?

Their website states that "CDP Worldwide (Europe) gGmbH is a charitable company with limited liability headquartered in Berlin, Germany, registered in the EU transparency register since 2012. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of CDP Europe AISBL, a charity based in Brussels, Belgium.

CDP has regional offices and local partners in 50 countries. Today, companies, cities, states and regions in more than 90 countries publish information through CDP every year".
(Updated Dec. 2023)

In short, the CDP has become a key player in environmental ratings.

How are scores established?

Each year, a questionnaire is sent out for each of the three themes (climate, forest, water).

The method is used to assess the level of detail of the responses, as well as the company's awareness of environmental issues, its methods, strategies and progress.

Companies that respond are assessed and graded with the grades ranging from A to D. Companies that do not respond are given an F by default.

To obtain an A grade, the company must demonstrate leadership (good practice in terms of strategy and action) in environmental matters.
It must also undertake other actions: creating a climate transition plan, auditing its value chain, validating SBTi commitments (in the shortterm and net zero in the longer term, developing water risk assessment strategies or reporting on the impact of deforestation for all operations, supply chains and commodities concerned, etc.).

The B grade corresponds to environmental management. In other words, companies take into account their impact on the environment and show signs of managing this impact. They are therefore taking action, without being leaders.

A C grade indicates a commitment to raising awareness.

A D grade is the starting point for organizations wishing to demonstrate that they have begun their environmental journey.

Why would a company share this type of data?

There are many reasons!
Firstly, to be as transparent as possible and to respond to growing environmental concerns.
But it also has other virtues: responding each year allows progress to be monitored. It's a bit like an annual report card. The score also allows us to compare ourselves with other companies.

The form also represents a great opportunity to stay as up to date as possible on these subjects. The new features for 2023, for example, include taxonomy. This is not yet a compulsory area of work, but it will become one in the future... The company can therefore also pick up a signal, a trend in a field that is not being worked on, or has not yet been worked on.

Last but not least, the CDP rating can also have an influence on the perception of stakeholders (investors, customers, business partners)... This is because the rating is given by an independent body, which complements (confirms or mitigates) the company's own statements.

Comprendre la note CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

What is a taxonomy?

According to the Bank for International Settlements, sustainable finance taxonomies are "sets of criteria that can be used as the basis for an assessment of whether and to what extent a financial asset can support given sustainability objectives". The main aim of the taxonomies is to guide capital allocation towards sustainable activities, reduce greenwashing and enable simpler comparison.

Comprendre la note CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

How does the CDP form work at DECATHLON?

At DECATHLON, it takes 4 months of work. Yes, that long! The level and expectations increase every year... And getting an A one year doesn't guarantee it for the following year, because scientific knowledge may have evolved, requirements may have increased, etc. Today's standard is probably not the same as tomorrow's! 

Comprendre la note CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

What do Scopes 1, 2 and 3 cover?

Often a little obscure, these terms cover very concrete realities:
Scope 1 corresponds to direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the company's own facilities (heating in the offices, emissions from the company's vehicles, the energy needed to run its warehouses, etc.),

Scope 2 relates to GHG emissions linked to the energy consumption required to manufacture the product (hence the importance of supporting our suppliers in decarbonising their activities).

Scope 3 covers indirect GHG emissions, such as the extraction of raw materials and travel by the company's employees and customers.

Scope 4 corresponds to emissions avoided when a product is used in place of other services. Using a bicycle instead of a car, for example.

In short, the CDP rating:

- enables our internal and external stakeholders to better position the company on its environmental strategies and actions.  Externally, it means placing our trust in an objective third-party organisation,
- is an opportunity to be evaluated, challenged, re-questioned... and, sometimes, to be ahead of the regulations: the CDP has had a significant influence on the standard currently being drawn up by EFRAG, which will become the European standard for CSRD. It enables us to prepare for this requirement.

In other words?
EFRAG (European Financial Reporting Advisory Group) is an international not-for-profit association created in 2001 with the encouragement of the European Commission to serve the public interest.
And EFRAG has worked with the European Commission on the subject of CSRD.

The CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) will replace and extend the DPEF in 2024 (for listed companies and in 2025 for unlisted companies, including Decathlon). Companies will be required to provide detailed information on sustainability and climate change issues, and to assess the impact of their activities on the environment and society in general. 

The NFRD (Non-Financial Reporting Declaration) is a company's sustainable development report. It is the document that quantifies and reports on everything that is not financial.

For more information

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Conducting environmental audits - DECATHLON's audit system

Why do we carry out audits of environmental standards? At what type of suppliers do we perform environmental audits?

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DECATHLON Annual sustainable development reports

Non-financial reporting statements since 2013, Due diligence plans since 2017 and Modern slavery statements.

EU's Circular Future: Competitive & Active

EU's Circular Future: Competitive & Active

Our policy recommendations for the upcoming European Union legislative term (2024-2029).

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Our position papers

A position paper is a way to engage discussions with policy makers and participate in the public consultation process.

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DECATHLON joins the European Union's Sustainable Consumption Pledge

This "pledge" is a new initiative aimed at encouraging buying habits in a more sustainable way.