(Photo copyright Abhinav Sunil)

“How do we get started in measuring sustainability metrics?”

“What metrics do we measure?”

“How should we report our sustainability current state and actions into CDP and other templates?”

These are among the most frequent questions we hear from clients who are at the beginning stage of sustainability maturity. The secret to success is just to start. As we illustrate in the Forrester Sustainability Maturity Model, organizations at the earliest stages of their sustainability journey are focused on compliance with government regulations, internal mandates, and requirements from business partners and suppliers. These organizations typically start with a small team (or an individual) who investigates climate change disclosure reporting capabilities. At this stage, every team needs to understand: 1) what data must be measured; 2) where it must be collected from; 3) how to manage the data efficiently; and 4) how to introduce as much automation as possible so you can make it easier as a yearly reporting exercise that can be optimized iteratively.

Most organizations start with the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) questionnaire, and if you are reporting for the first time or are an organization with less than EUR/USD 250 million in annual revenue, you are eligible to report into the CDP minimum version questionnaire.

The Forrester Corporate Climate Change Disclosure Template helps you address all of these. In this tool, we provide a guide and template for your organization to take the first steps for reporting into the CDP minimum version questionnaire. This template includes the lessons we learned from our work with organizations that are starting on their sustainability journey, the vital information your team needs to collect, and the details on how to use this guide to get started on your reporting mission to:

  1. Create traceability and accountability.
  2. Make the first reporting exercise agnostic to the pilot team.
  3. Take the first steps toward automation.
  4. Identify data gaps early on.

In the attached template, we distill the CDP’s questions and provide our advice on each, including potential data sources, Scope 3 emission categories, and overlap and links to other sustainability standards and frameworks.

With COP26 promising new regulations and renewed impetus on global climate action, climate change disclosure will become commonplace for firms worldwide. This template with help organizations and teams put the correct foot forward on their sustainability transformation and simply and correctly start.

Read The Forrester Corporate Climate Change Disclosure Template here. To learn more about Forrester’s research on climate and sustainability, reach out to asunil@forrester.com and sschiano@forrester.com.

This blog post is part of Forrester’s COP26 series. For more Forrester insights on sustainability, see the full set of Forrester’s climate action blogs.