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GCX Africa continues to lead the way on helping companies with their CDP reports

GCX Africa has been assisting companies on CDP for over 4 years and is proud to have assisted 12 of the top 100 listed JSE respondents in submitting a response and providing verification services to some other respondents.

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From our perspective, it is clear that the companies that we are assisting have been making marked improvements in both their disclosure and performance.

While we remain optimistic that political leaders will progress towards a global deal on climate change post COP 19 in Warsaw, what continues to provide far more tangible results is the encouraging climate change action within growing corporate initiatives, and this year’s CDP results attest to that.

The CDP has just released the seventh consecutive annual report for the South African business sector; the CDP South Africa 100 Climate Change Report 2013. Once again the South African company response rate is the second highest in the world with a remarkable 83% responding to the questionnaire.

GCX Africa would like to congratulate all companies that managed to submit a voluntary response, including the 13 companies that were not even invited to respond.

The high response rate has been accompanied by improvements in disclosure across most sectors and indicators, as well as an increase in the number of companies that are verifying their emissions through a third party, and in those companies that have voluntarily adopted emissions reduction targets.

However, in spite of theses encouraging results, net emissions from the top listed companies were actually shown to increase slightly.  Furthermore, most companies are not reporting on material Scope 3 emissions across their value chain. Obviously there is still a long way to go, but we should all be encouraged and proud of the progress being made by South African companies across the board.

CDP 2014 reporting achievements and key results:

  • South Africa’s total carbon emissions for the year 2013 are estimated at 521 million tonnes CO2e.
  • Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility who submitted voluntarily, remains South Africa’s largest carbon dioxide emitter.
  • CDP respondents and Eskom together made up two thirds of SA’s total emissions in 2012.
  • South Africa’s direct greenhouse gas emissions were still dominated by a few carbon-intensive companies, such as:
    • Sasol
    • Arcelor Mittal South Africa
    • Pretoria Portland Cement Co Ltd
    • BHP Billiton
    • Sappi
  • 13 companies outside the JSE 100 sample responded voluntarily.
  • The median disclosure score of 83 improved slightly from last year’s 82, while the median performance score improved from a “C“ to a “B”.
  • Global 500 average disclosure score was 86 B.

Future focus on Performance

CDP has already started shifting focus towards performance, and we can anticipate that this trend will continue even more so in 2014.

According to the CDP, it appears that South African companies are not only measuring their performance, but have also begun the phase of taking practical steps to implement reduction solutions in order to improve their CDP disclosure.

Companies now need to put energy into developing intelligent environmental sustainability policies, strategies, targets and action plans in order to maintain a results-driven momentum within their sustainability initiatives. We anticipate on-going performance success from a number of the forward-thinking companies that we are currently guiding along this monitoring and performance management path.

Tips to enhance your CDP 2014 reporting achievements

CDP scoring will be shifting to place more weight on performance. Take note of these tips from GCX Africa on submitting and achieving in CDP 2014:

  • Prepare for response early: set up your response plan or arrange for assistance in advance
  • Consider verification for strong disclosure (also, points are awarded for verifying Scope 1 and 2 separately from Scope 3)
  • Ensure that you are including material Scope 3 emissions in your disclosure.
  • Set realistic but ambitious targets (absolute and/or intensity-based)
  • Make sure you are able to track performance, to take advantage of disclosing achievements
  • Stay up-to-date with any initiatives that you have implemented
  • Ensure that you are able to measure the effect of those initiatives to disclose and improve performance

Find more information about the Carbon Disclosure Project on their website, or download the CDP South Africa 100 Climate Change Report 2013.

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