2020: Lessons from an extraordinary year

As the world collectively responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, we reeled from the tragic human impact of the crisis and its impact on our health, financial and social systems.

Decade of action

Despite the pandemic, we are bolstered by the environmental leadership and ambition of many companies, investors, governments, cities, and regions worldwide. With so much at stake and the clock ticking down, 2020 saw record disclosures through CDP’s platform, with over 10,000 entities now disclosing their data on climate change, water security and deforestation issues.  With more than 9,600 companies, worth over 50% of global market capitalization now disclosing to CDP.

One thing is certain, we cannot afford to go back to ‘normal’ from an environmental perspective. Disclosure, transparency, data and science will be crucial to building a more resilient society.

CDP at 20

2020 also marked  CDP’s 20th Anniversary . In just twenty years, we have turned our vision of mainstreaming environmental disclosure into a business norm. 

CDP also co-founded the  Science Based Targets initiative in 2015, driving ambitious climate action in the private sector by supporting companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the latest climate science. Now, five years after the Paris Agreement, there are over 1,000 companies setting science-based targets . CDP is also a founding member of RE100, a partnership led by  The Climate Group. RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative uniting over 280 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.

Watch our story  and learn about how environmental disclosure has paved the way for the next ‘decade of ambition’.

The data of tomorrow

Since our inception, CDP has utilized levers to catalyze change. Our first decade used the power of investors to influence companies in their equity portfolios to disclose their environmental impact whilst our second added companies to influence their supply chains through the power of procurement. Our third decade will see us harnessing the power of financial institutions not only to measure and disclose their own environmental impacts, but to request their corporate loan books to disclose.

Today’s business and civic leaders know that they need a better understanding of the environmental risks, opportunities and impacts they face, to effectively tackle climate change, water security and deforestation. This is why CDP is upgrading our systems to allow our stakeholders to track a wider range of environmental risks beyond climate change, water security and deforestation.

The road to  COP26 in Glasgow will be paved with strong ambition from companies, investors, cities, states and regions. They must ramp up ambition and action, transparently report on their efforts and send a clear signal to governments that they are embracing the transition and need to see greater policy ambition to match. Together this can create an ambition loop and propel us on the Race to Zero.

We must build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our economies, societies and livelihoods depend on it.

Please visit our global website to see the CEO’s full message.


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