Introduction to scoring
Scoring is closely aligned with CDP’s mission – CDP works with cities to motivate them to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce negative impacts. CDP uses the scoring methodology to incentivise cities to measure and manage environmental impacts through participation in CDP’s Cities program.
Scoring cities responses to the CDP questionnaire also enables us to provide feedback to the cities on their performance and the completeness of their response. Scoring allows CDP to recognise leadership in city climate action and encourage cities to follow best practice. Scoring can be used by cities internally as a tool to identify gaps in climate planning and improve climate planning incrementally each year. Scoring can also be used to benchmark a city’s performance against the average scores of other cities in the same region or of the same size.
Scores are private to cities, and are not made public for 2019, although CDP will recognise and reward the highest scoring cities. This year, there are 4 scoring bands that cities can fall into:
An overview of the scoring bands and their hierarchy is shown in the image below. Detailed information on the definition and criteria of the scoring bands can be found below in the Cities Scoring Methodology.
In order to progress from one level to the next, cities must pass the threshold at each scoring band. For example, in order to achieve a score within Awareness (C or C-) a city must receive enough points within Disclosure in order to pass the Disclosure threshold first, before receiving a score in Awareness. This applies for all scoring bands, though the thresholds for each band may vary. The more criteria achieved within each band overall, the more points a city will receive.
Scoring at CDP is mission-driven, focusing on CDP’s principles and values for a sustainable economy and providing a roadmap for cities to achieve best practice. The Cities scoring methodology is designed to incentivise actions that are to a certain extent applicable to all cities regardless of geography or level of development.
Introduction to 2019 scoring methodology
The scoring methodology provides an indication of the level of score responses will receive in assessing progress towards environmental leadership. The score assesses the level of detail and comprehensiveness of a city’s actions and planning as reported in the CDP questionnaire, and does not consider any other actions and plans that are not reported within the CDP questionnaire.
Changes to the scoring methodology since 2018
Based on feedback from cities and in addition to the final score, CDP is introducing two new sub-scores to better understand each city’s progress towards climate leadership. The two scores are Adaptation (reducing vulnerability to climate risk) and Mitigation (reducing and managing emissions). Each question in the 2019 questionnaire falls into either one, or both categories.
Previously CDP provided one overall score to each city, along with category scores to identify which areas needed improvement. From the feedback we received, the category scores did not provide a complete enough overview of progress towards climate leadership, across different types of city. Therefore, CDP is now providing scores against each theme (Adaptation and Mitigation), to better provide a more holistic overview of the stage of climate action, as many cities have a focus on either one of these general themes. The Adaptation and Mitigation sub-scores will replace the previous category scores.
Cities who submit a response to the full Cities 2019 Questionnaire will receive:
- One overall letter score indicating the overall level of climate disclosure and performance as assessed by the information provided in the response;
- One Adaptation letter score indicating the level of climate disclosure and performance as assessed by the information provided in the response to questions falling under Adaptation;
- One Mitigation letter score indicating the level of climate disclosure and performance as assessed by the information provided in the response to questions falling under Mitigation.
In addition, as a result of the partnership with ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, the questionnaire has undergone significant changes since 2018. These changes have resulted in modifications to the scoring methodology.
Finally, CDP has improved the consistency of the criteria assessed within scoring methodology in order to improve accuracy of scoring cities responses in some areas.
2019 Cities scoring methodology
In the scoring methodology you will find for each scoring band:
- A definition of the scoring band with the types of qualities expected;
- The responses that are needed to receive points in that band, broken down by questionnaire section;
- Any essential criteria that may be required to achieve a score in that band; and
- An indication of whether the questions in each section fall under the Adaptation or Mitigation scores, or both
An explanation of the characteristics of each scoring band is provided below:
Disclosure: A city in the Disclosure scoring band has just started the journey of understanding and reporting on climate impacts. These cities understand the value of collecting data to drive climate action but may not have structures or resources in place to obtain the necessary information. Cities in the Disclosure band report on the degree to which climate impacts and risks have been measured.
Awareness: A city in the Awareness scoring band is in the process of assessing the main risks and impacts of climate change. These cities have begun developing assessment and measuring impacts to get a holistic understanding of the main impacts climate change has on their city but is not yet taking action to reduce the impact.
Management: A city in the Management band has understood the main risks and impacts of climate change and is taking action to adapt to and reduce these effects. These cities have worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to understand their risks and impacts and now have plans in place to mitigate and adapt.
Leadership: A Leadership city demonstrates best practice standards across adaptation and mitigation, has set ambitious but realistic goals and made progress towards achieving those goals. Cities in the Leadership band have strategic, holistic plans in place to ensure the actions they are taking will reduce climate impacts and vulnerabilities of the citizens, businesses and organisations residing in their city.
Scoring criteria - City details & Governance
The questions in this section are scored under both Adaptation and Mitigation
- Provides details of the city including boundary, leader, current population, currency and city geography
- Reports on the degree to which sustainability goals and targets are incorporated in main city plans
- Reports on the status of a Mayoral commitment to climate change adaptation and/or mitigation
- Reports details of the projected population of the city
- Has integrated or intends to integrate sustainability into mainstream city planning
- Is working towards a public commitment from the Mayor on climate change adaptation and/or mitigation, or is working towards a Mayoral commitment
- Demonstrates specific sustainability goals that have been incorporated into mainstream city planning, or intends to integrate sustainability into main city planning in future
- Has a public commitment from the Mayor to adapt and/mitigate climate change
- Provides detailed description of the sustainability goals that are integrated in the main city plan and includes the name of the plan(s)
- Provides evidence of a public commitment from the Mayor to adapt and/mitigate climate change