13 June 2012

Merger to create world’s largest natural capital disclosure system covering carbon, water & forests

Carbon Disclosure Project and Forest Footprint Disclosure Project merge to create world’s largest natural capital disclosure system covering carbon, water and forests

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Global Canopy Programme (GCP) today announced an alliance that will see GCP’s Forest Footprint Disclosure Project (FFD) merge with CDP over the next two years. For the first time corporate disclosure on the earth’s atmosphere, water and forests will come under one roof, resulting in the world’s largest and most comprehensive natural capital disclosure system.

Paul Simpson, chief executive officer at CDPsaid: “Investors and corporations are becoming increasingly aware of the extent to which their value chains are influenced by natural resource constraints which lead to increasing price volatility and risk of business interruption. Bringing forests, which are critically linked to both climate and water security, into the CDP system will enable companies and investors to rely on one source of primary data for this set of interrelated issues.”

Andrew Mitchell, executive director of GCP and chairman of FFDsaid: “Companies around the world have huge impacts on forests, whether they know it or not. Destroying forests contributes around 15% of global carbon emissions and undermines the ability of the world to feed itself by degrading land and harming water supplies.  By bringing forest disclosure together with carbon and water, we’re going to be making it easier for companies to understand how they are impacting on the world’s natural capital – and how they can do something about it.  Just ahead of the Rio Earth Summit I’m delighted that we’ve announced this exciting alliance and I look forward to working with CDP to help protect the earth’s natural capital.”

A major focus of the Rio+20 Earth Summit will be how to account for the way businesses use the planet’s natural capital as the world seeks a common pathway to a green economy. Today’s announcement marks an important step towards greater convergence of environmental data, helping businesses and their investors better understand how they impact or use critical natural capital in their operations and supply chains. This will form an essential part of valuing and managing business processes in the global green economy.

Ian Cheshire, group chief executive of Kingfisher said: "Kingfisher welcomes the merger between CDP and FFD. Bringing carbon, water and forests together within CDP’s system has great benefits in helping companies engage with broader natural capital sustainability issues and driving improved efficiencies in the corporate reporting process. It also supports companies in communicating their progress around the use of natural capital in their operations and supply chains to investors. ”

Freddie Woolfe, manager - corporate engagement, at Hermes Equity Ownership Services said: “Hermes Equity Ownership Services welcomes the significant development for environmental impact disclosure requests in bringing Forest Footprint Disclosure under the CDP umbrella. There is a clear benefit to investors in having a single source for information relating to a significant portion of companies’ environmental footprints.”

Matthew Hale, environment executive, Europe and Emerging Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said: “We supported both the CDP and FFD at their beginnings, and are very pleased to see them combining to broaden the important disclosure platform for companies around the world.  It’s a great example of the collaborative and integrated problem solving approach needed in addressing these complex issues.”

A transition process for FFD has already begun and CDP will begin managing FFD operations from February 2013 leading to full integration by February 2014. GCP will continue to act as key advisor on forests and forest risk commodities to the project.

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