What PCAF and CDP Data Quality Scores Mean
The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and PCAF (Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials) have issued standards for organising and reporting data. What does that mean for your business?

Understanding your carbon emissions and complying with regulations starts with data.

But what data do you need to collect and how do you know if it’s accurate or useful?

The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and PCAF (Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials) have issued standards for organising and reporting data.

Who are CDP and PCAF?

CDP works with governments, large organizations, and investors to drive “environmental disclosure on climate change, water, and deforestation.”

PCAF applies to financial institutions and sets the standard for transparency and reporting carbon emissions.

Why is this important?

“There is currently a notable discrepancy between the emissions recorded in the atmosphere and the emissions reported by companies.” – Report

Standardising data quality scores provides a layer of collaboration and transparency that is essential to meeting carbon emissions goals.

It also prevents greenwashing, because data quality can be verified.

Data Quality Scores

CDP Data Quality Scores

Data is ranked from 1 to 7, with 7 being the most reliable, (i.e. a company’s reported emissions) and 1 being the least reliable.

PCAF Data Quality Scores

Data is ranked from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most reliable and 5 reflecting low-quality data.

What the data means

Having “bad data” doesn’t mean you’re a bad actor. In fact, most organizations start with proxy data that is low quality, yet informative.

Proxy data is based on regional economic averages.

These averages are several steps removed from specific, real, primary data. However, they serve a strategic purpose.

Starting with proxy data helps you understand where to focus your data quality efforts in your portfolio. It will give you insights into the hotspots, which will tell you where to focus decarbonisation efforts first so you can get the best bang for the buck. Where you focus decarbonisation efforts should be where you first collect primary data.

Once you begin collecting primary data, you can then start making informed decisions around decarbonisation, from target setting to implementation.

What to do next

  1. Start by understanding your portfolio using economic proxy data. You’ll have low-quality data scores, but that’s where everyone starts.
  2. Determine which parts of your portfolio will benefit most from primary data.
  3. Initiate target setting for decarbonisation.

You can partner with experienced advisors like Bloom to analyse your portfolio using proxy data and to help you develop a primary data collection strategy. We bring advisory expertise and we’ve built software to automate, collect, analyse, and report quickly.

Now that data matters, software plays a role and we’re here to help with that. Our software solution combined with our expertise in financials mean you can set smart goals to comply with regulations and exceed the sustainability expectations of your customers, investors, and other stakeholders by acting responsibly for the planet.


Read the full article about the PCAF and CDP collaboration here.

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