Corporate climate disclosures: who made the grade in 2023?

CDP acknowledges a rise in the number of corporations disclosing their environmental performance, however their ‘A list 2023’ finds just 10 companies out of a potential 23,000 received a triple AAA rating across water security, climate, and forest reporting.
February 13, 2024

Annual disclosures increase, but the majority of companies are still failing to make the grade

The latest annual data from climate disclosure platform CDP has hailed a rise in the number of companies disclosing on their environmental performance. However, their findings also reveal that just 10 companies scored the highest ‘triple AAA’ rating across the three reporting categories of water security, climate, and forest reporting. These were: Beiersdorf, Danone, Kao Corporation, Kering, Klabin, Lenzing, L’Oreal, Mayr-Melnhof Karton Aktiengesellschaft, Philip Morris International (PMI) and Sekisui House[i]

Established in 2000, CDP was formed to ask companies to disclose their climate impact data[ii]. During this time, they have created a standard for transparent greenhouse gas reporting, and today almost every Fortune 500 company reports to them. According to CDP, a record-breaking 23,000+ companies representing at least two thirds of global market capitalization disclosed their climate data in 2023, 24% more than in 2022, and over 140% more than in 2020[iii]. Of these respondents, only 346 companies received an A-grade for one or more of the disclosure categories, and just 101 firms made the Water Security A-List, with fewer still (30) making the Forests A-List.

The total number of companies disclosing has grown each year since 2003

Source: CDP

Discrepancy between quality and quantity of climate disclosures

In the past CDP has noted a discrepancy between the quantity of climate disclosures it receives and their quality. As we previously reported, in February last year CDP revealed that of the 18,600 companies disclosing their climate data at the time, less than a quarter (21.5%) had a climate transition plan[iv]. However, these plans were found to be credible for 81 (0.4%) of the companies that disclosed their data. CDP found that power generation and infrastructure companies were the most likely to disclose all 21 indicators- at 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively, whilst only one company in the apparel, fossil fuels, and hospitality industries disclosed all indicators[v].

For the 2023 release, CDP has increased its climate A-List requirements, with firms now expected to provide full verification of the entirety of their Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions. Previously, verification was required for claims relating to 70% of Scope 1 and 2 emissions. To be included on the forests A-List, businesses must prove the traceability of their entire commodity supply chains globally for forest-risk products, and those on the Water Security A-List are required to demonstrate comprehensive water accounting and provide evidence that all workers have access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH).

Sherry Madera, CEO of CDP, said that: “It is encouraging to see so many companies across the globe starting or accelerating their journey towards environmental transparency in 2023”[vi]. However, she went on to add that: “The stark reality is that we are incredibly far behind where we need to be, and progress is much too slow. Earning a place on the A List is about more than the score. It’s an indication of high quality and comprehensive data that equips companies with a holistic view of their environmental impact, serves as a baseline for transition plans and – crucially – enables them to follow through on their stated ambitions. And yet it is still a minority of companies that are rising to the challenge. Without transparency and accountability – followed by immediate action – claims of sustainability are meaningless.”[vii]


[i] Companies scores - CDP

[ii] About us - CDP

[iii] A gap in corporate spending on net zero and how regulation can save the day: examining Fidelity’s 2023 ESG Analyst Survey (

[iv] New CDP data shows companies are recognizing the need for climate transition plans but are not moving fast enough amidst incoming mandatory disclosure. - CDP

[v] Ibid

[vi] Rising disclosure numbers show more companies considering climate and nature impacts, but just under 400 reporting data aligned with CDP’s highest benchmark - CDP

[vii] Ibid

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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