Paris climate agreement – Historic COP21 Reply

On Saturday night, December 12, 2015, an air of optimism surrounded the topic of climate change after 190 countries unanimously agreed on a unified effort to strategically address this challenge, forming the Paris climate agreement. This United Nations event, COP21, was attended by over 40,000 participants at the host location in Paris. Over 3,000 journalists reporting on the event ensured that the content and messages from COP21 were heard around the globe.

Receiving a unanimous agreement of a global warming temperature limit was the broader, long-term goal. Remarkably, what began as a 2 degree Celsius consensus global warming temperature limit, progressed to a 1.5 degree Celsius consensus limit. This ambitious goal is attainable, but emphasizes the need to implement significant efforts immediately.

The Paris climate agreement is just that, an agreement, and not a legally binding treaty. While this limits enforcement of the content, it allowed the process to be expedited, and not held up in legislation, as it would have been in the United States if presented as a treaty. An accountability system to review country progress every five years will be the alternative form of enforcement.

This agreement is unique in that it encompasses both developing and developed countries, holding them all to emissions reductions targets. Angst did surround the potential roadblocks that the role of developing countries could have posed at the event. One such concern being the cooperation of China and India, as both countries have significant development goals and outlooks. It was noted that the Obama administration played an important role in reaching out to these countries to shift their outlooks. An extra incentive for China was its realization of the opportunity that lies in the manufacture and production of renewables and energy efficient goods.

To support success of the event, despite the challenges mentioned, four pillars were established to guide the negotiations, including,

  1. Climate action plans or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) were required from each country prior to COP21,
  2. A strategy for financing the transition to disrupting the global carbon addiction would be developed,
  3. Engagement of civil society including cities, regions, farmers, energy providers, and energy users must be considered as vital to implementation; and
  4. Outreach to engage the creative community to deliver the positive message that this change is possible must be encouraged.

The agreement is not perfect, and certain timelines and specifics have yet to be sorted. Viewpoints from the scientific community span from full support to harsh critique, some calling the effort ‘too little too late’. However, with creative solutions and innovation as drivers of the movement, as opposed to pessimistic outlooks, the Paris climate agreement has succeeded in establishing worldwide awareness and action on the issue.

Greenhouse gas accountability is the focus in all participating countries, the U.S. being one of those key participants. As a result, tracking and reporting on this topic is very likely to increase in both the private and public sectors. Whether you are required to comply with annual greenhouse gas reporting, attempting to complete a Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) questionnaire, or would like to be proactive and take steps to evaluate and enhance your company’s sustainability program, we are here to help you on this journey by offering all of these services, and more. For more information, please contact Cristina Mendoza at 508-970-0033 ext.128 or cmendoza@capaccio.com.

Deadlines approaching for Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reports Reply

The following deadlines are approaching for reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP):

Carbon Reports
Companies that participate in the climate change section of the CDP must submit a Carbon Report to the CDP by May 30, 2013.

Water Reports
Companies that participate in the CDP must submit a Water Report by June 27, 2013.

Supply Chain Reports
Companies that participate in the CDP must submit a Supply Chain Report by July 31, 2013.

Additional reporting information on each program, as well as past reports, are available on the CDP website: https://www.cdproject.net/.

For more information on the CDP or CAPACCIO’s sustainability services, please contact Julie Muszalski at 508-970-0033 ext. 124 or jmuszalski@capaccio.com.

Reminder – 2012 CDP Reporting Deadlines are Approaching Reply

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting deadlines for 2012 are rapidly approaching.  As a reminder, below are the upcoming deadlines. The CDP rankings are widely used to evaluate the performance and transparency of publically traded companies (even Google Finance prominently lists CDP rankings as part of company key stats and ratios).   Guidance on CDP reporting and information on the scoring methodology is available on the CDP website.

The timeline for Carbon Reporting for Investor CDP:

  • Feb 1:  CDP sends out its annual information request to companies worldwide
  • May 31:  Deadline for corporations to submit their responses
  • Sept –  Publically disclosed information is published on the CDP website

 The timeline for Carbon Reporting for Supply Chain CDP:

  • April 1:  CDP sends out its annual information request to companies worldwide
  • July 31:  Deadline for suppliers to submit their responses
  • Jan – Publically disclosed information is published on the CDP website

The timeline for CDP Water Reporting:

  • Feb 1 – CDP Water Disclosure Information Request to targeted companies
  • June 30 – Deadline for companies to respond to the questionnaire
  • Oct-Nov – Public response data is published on CDP website

Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. has assisted our clients with sustainability strategic plans, benchmarking, gap analysis, carbon and water footprinting, program implementation, data management, and reporting to help improve rankings as well as address other important sustainability performance objectives.   We are proud of the fact that our clients consistently appear at the top of both environmental and business performance lists, which is consistent with our mission of “helping industry and the environment prosper.”

For additional information or assistance in completing or reviewing reports, please contact us at information@capaccio.com.

Carbon Disclosure Project vs. Taxes – Can you see the similarities? Reply

Spring is in the air, but that also means we are in the midst of tax season and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) carbon reporting season.  At a first glance, you wouldn’t think so, but both filing processes are remarkably similar.  

Filing taxes increases transparency to shareholders, clients, and the public on company financials. Measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions data by participating in the CDP does the same thing on an environmental front.  Both processes can help businesses identify risks, plan for the future, increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs.

Other similarities? The CDP offers a detailed Guidance document with step-by-step instructions and explains the reporting system structure in excruciating detail; a striking similarity to tax preparation guidance documents!   The CDP provides a dizzying list of descriptions, codes, and policies. Sound familiar?

As the final step to preparation, the CDP provides a Response Check, or “high level checking service” that reviews responses prior to submission. External consultants review the responses for completeness and offer expert feedback for a standard $1,000 fee. In the tax world, you have your local CPA.

 Keep the deadlines in mind, and do your spring cleaning of paperwork!