CDP’s new format aims to transform corporate climate change reporting

New XBRL “taxonomy” released for trial

The Carbon Disclosure Project, which collects corporate climate change data on behalf of global investors, and its Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) unit, have released a new online climate change reporting tool aimed at transforming the way companies report.
It’s also hoped the new system will make the process easier and more streamlined and help the integration of climate change data into mainstream financial reports by making it easier to extract material climate information.
The CDSB’s new reporting classification, or taxonomy, uses the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) – an electronic language that is already widely used for financial reporting.
The objective is to translate corporate climate change data into an XBRL format, though there are no plans to discontinue the CDP’s current online response system. The groups are looking for organisations to help trial the new system.
“Our objective is to serve both ends of the supply chain of information and doing it as easy as possible,” they say.The new system should help to reduce the administrative costs of carbon emissions disclosure and improve the comparability, usability and consequent value of emissions reporting.

It will also prepare businesses for future reporting requirements, such as integrated reporting.

“The taxonomy will assist all those involved in the reporting and analysis of corporate climate change information: accountants, auditors, managers, financial analysts, investors, corporate responsibility departments and anybody from the sustainability sector,” the CDSB says.

“This will bring power and advantages for users all around the globe that wish to adopt it and integrate climate change into their mainstream filings,” says Olivier Servais, Director of XBRL at the International Accounting Standards Board.
The CDP acts on behalf of 655 institutional investors with assets of US$78trn.
More details, including a Frequently Asked Questions document, are available here