Engagement on forests climbs 99%

Response rate increased in Asia

CDP’s Non-Disclosure Campaign (NDC) which allows investors to directly engage companies not self-reporting their environmental data, has seen a huge jump in engagement and responses on forests.

According to the report CDP Non-Disclosure Campaign: 2021 Results, the number of investors engaging corporates on the issue of forests increased 99% between 2020 and 2021. This translates as 74 firms targeting 148 companies in 2020 versus 119 firms targeting 297 companies in 2021.

In the same period, there was a 120% rise in the number of companies responding to questions on forests.

Regional response

In Asia, six companies responded after being targeted on forests through NDC, up from just one response in 2020.

The highest rate of response after being engaged on forests by the NDC was in Europe where it stood at 25%.

The report authors said it was “alarming” that in South America, where 2.6m hectares of land has been deforested per year over the last decade, the response rate to engagement on forests was 0%. Africa saw the same level of disclosure from corporates targeted on forests.

Overall, the number of investors participating increased by 56% and there was a 29% increase in the number of companies engaged.

This included a 67% increase in the number of companies targeted on water security and 21% more targeted on climate.

Campaign history of the number of companies engaged across all themes by participants in the NDC. Source: CDP

Climate remains by far the topic most engaged on – in 2021 1,011 companies were targeted in this area, up from 839 the previous year.


The CDP report noted poor disclosure rates on climate in Australia where there was only a 13% disclosure rate for companies targeted on this theme.

According to the report authors these low figures could reflect the wider corporate sphere impact of the Australian government’s climate policies.

Submission rates for NDC companies compared to the control group by region. Source: CDP

“In last year’s NDC annual report, we highlighted diminishing returns in participants’ engagement in Australia, and this year that trend is more pronounced as participants only targeted 31 companies in Australia, compared to 99 companies in 2020,” CDP stated.

Blue Scope Steel and Ramsay Health Care were mentioned as two of eight Australian companies who did not disclose on climate after being targeted for the fifth year in a row. However, Northern Star Resources and Cochlear did make disclosures on climate after being targeted for a fourth year in a row.


China is another country which has developed a poor track record on climate disclosures.

“Out of the 145 companies targeted on climate change in China only 19 disclosed, a 13% disclosure rate. The 126 companies that did not disclose were responsible for an estimated 176 million tCO2e emissions in 2020,” the reported stated.

CDP launched the NDC campaign in 2017 and in 2021 a total of 168 financial institutions representing $17trn in assets participated in engaging 1,317 companies.