University of Oulu

Exploratory study of CDP sustainability framework’s effectiveness to portray companies sustainability strategiesvaamiseen

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Author: Ibhadode, Peace1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Accounting, Accounting
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Pages: 80
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : P. Ibhadode, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-03-27
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Järvinen, Janne
Reviewer: Järvinen, Janne
Henttu-Aho, Kristiina


Sustainability reporting is becoming more popular as there is awareness of the benefits of reporting and sanctions of neglecting the environment. Companies have started participating actively, but there remains the question about how well the reports are being prepared effectively and the extent of which the reporting organizations know the key variables needed by stakeholders in the report. Different sustainability reporting frameworks (e.g., Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Global Reporting Initiative Standards (GRIs), United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs)) have been setup to render guidance and help curb this problem. One of the fastest growing sustainability frameworks is CDP, with over 14 000 companies globally reporting under the framework. To this end, this thesis carried out exploratory research on the data in the CDP database to understand the extent that CDP’s framework helps companies report their sustainability activities effectively, in a way that it informs stakeholders of the problems created, the strategies in place to eradicate the problems, and the cost and benefits of venturing into such plans.

This study’s theoretical framework adopts sustainability and carbon accounting base on the research of some prominent sustainability researchers (e.g., Gibassier & Schaltegger, 2015; Laine et. al., 2022). The study data was based on CDP’s 2021 data from companies and two paper/pulp companies with their headquarters in Finland (UPM-Kymmene and Metsä board) were used as the case companies, to explore CDP database due to the massive environmental impact from operation in the forest industry as it helps to demonstrate the effectiveness of CDP database. Also, a comparison was made between financial statement sustainability information and CDP data through comparative analysis, to establish whether the information presented in both platforms are the same, or if one has better information than the other.

The study was able to illustrate the strategies used by both companies (UPM & Metsä board) to tackle their environmental issues, with specific references to the cost and benefits of their transition to green operation, the strategies employed to eliminate their scope 1 & 2 emissions and reduce their scope 3 emissions, which signals that CDP database has great impact in helping companies to effectively present their sustainability information. Also, the comparison done between financial statement sustainability information and CDP database information gave CDP more credibility as the information contained in the CDP database was more detailed and the financial burden and benefits of their environmental journey were only captured in the CDP database with specifics.

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Copyright information: © Peace Ibhadode, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.