Plastic disclosures to be added to CDP’s environmental reporting platform

Annual environmental questionnaires sent by CDP to corporates set to feature questions on plastic consumption

Environmental reporting platform CDP has announced it is to start collecting data about companies’ use of plastics, in a bid to provide greater visibility over how corporates are contributing to the global plastic pollution crisis.

The non-profit confirmed today that it planned to fold questions and metrics on plastics into its annual disclosure questionnaires from 2023, drawing on reporting best practices and existing frameworks developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UNEP.

Nicolette Bartlett, chief impact officer at CDP, said corporate disclosure at scale was “essential” to solving the plastics problem, noting that companies, governments, and investors would not be able to manage what they could not measure.

“With over 13,000 companies worth 64 per cent of global market capitalisation already disclosing through CDP, our disclosure system is uniquely positioned to scale disclosure on plastics across the global economy,” she said. “Not only will this drive corporate action to reduce plastic pollution, but it will also be critical in boosting transparency and accountability, redirecting capital towards sustainable activities and supporting governments to develop robust and ambitious policies.”

A consultation run by CDP in 2022 found high levels of support for plastic disclosures from the group’s supply chain members and capital markets members, with 81 per cent claiming the information requested would be useful to inform financial or procurement decisions.

The non-profit said it would release full details about the pilot plastics disclosure programme in early 2023, setting out which companies would be initially requested to disclose information when the new platform launches.

CDP hailed its expansion into plastic reporting as a “significant step forward” in its plans to widen its scope from climate change, water security, and deforestation to provide insights on how businesses were responding to other planetary boundaries, including oceans, land use, biodiversity, food production, and waste.

The launch is being supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Minderoo Foundation, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 

The news comes just a day after 85 organisations, including a host of major global businesses, financial institutions, and NGOs, launched a fresh call for a new Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution.

Co-ordinated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF, the new Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty aims to bring together American organisations that support international calls for a new international treaty to help tackle plastic pollution.

“The plastic crisis extends beyond all borders, impacting the health of our oceans and wildlife, and the livelihoods of people from major cities to small coastal communities,” said Erin Simon, vice president and head of plastic waste and business at WWF. “The scope and scale of this global issue must be met with equally ambitious solutions. We have no time to waste. The need for global coordination to tackle the plastic pollution crisis has never been more urgent, a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty will push strongly for a framework that leaves the business-as-usual approach at the door and ushers us into a new era where ending plastic pollution is finally within reach.”

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