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December 29, 2009

Carbon Disclosure Project Publishes 2010 Information Request for Companies
    by Robert Kropp

In addition to the information request, which will be sent to more than 4,500 companies on February 1st, the CDP invites investors to become signatories. -- Since 2003, when the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) issued its first annual request for corporate climate change information, the number of disclosing companies has grown to more than 2,500.

Acting on behalf of 475 institutional investors that hold $55 trillion in assets under management, the CDP operates a climate change reporting system that contains the world’s largest database of climate change information, as well as corporate strategies for mitigation and adaptation. The information submitted by companies is available to investor signatories on the CDP’s website.

The CDP recently released its 2010 Information Request, which will be sent in February to the Chairs, or equivalent, of some 4,500 companies. Companies that will receive the questionnaire include the companies listed in the S&P 500 in the US, 800 of the largest global companies in developed countries listed on the FTSE All-World Developed Index, and 800 of the largest and mid sized companies in Emerging Markets.

The questionnaire requests corporate information pertaining to corporate governance, identification of risks and opportunities, business strategy such as emissions reduction targets, and emissions accounting, energy fuel use, and carbon trading. In an effort to increase the comparability of emissions figures, the CDP has also provided a draft framework as part of its 2010 effort.

Because some questions asked by the CDP are sector-specific and may not be relevant for all companies, it requests that companies assess the relevance of such questions by referencing the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), an international accounting tool for government and business leaders which serves as the foundation for most GHG standards and programs.

To further the standardization of corporate reporting, the CDP aligns its questionnaire with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework.

Along with the release of its 2010 questionnaire, the CDP has called on investors to become signatories. “Given the increasing importance of climate change as an investor issue,” the CDP stated, “Asset managers will be particularly interested in this data.”

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