The UN Global Compact requires all members to communicate to their stakeholders their progress in implementing the ten GC principles through the annual disclosure Communication on Progress (COP). As a public disclosure, the COP is an important demonstration of a business participant’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Failure to submit a COP for publication on the Global Compact website results in a change of participant status and can eventually lead to the delisting of a business participant.
A “Communication on Progress” (COP) is a public communication to stakeholders (e.g., consumers, employees, organized labour, civil society, investors, media and government) on the progress the company has made in implementing the ten principles and where appropriate in supporting UN goals through partnerships. The COP policy is based on the concepts of public accountability, transparency and continuous improvement. It serves many important purposes, including:
• helping to ensure the credibility of corporate engagement in the Global Compact;
• providing a repository of data on corporate responsibility practices that can be used by companies and stakeholders for purposes of learning and analysis; and protecting the integrity of the Global Compact initiative.
The COP process offers the company internal benefits such as:
• motivating the company to define a sustainability vision and strategy;
• stimulating the integration of corporate citizenship activities into their core business operations;
• improving corporate governance and the leadership commitment,
• supporting efforts to identify business risks and opportunities;
• encouraging internal information sharing and learning by connecting different corporate departments (e.g., human resources, communications, environment, health and safety, operations, community relations); and
• stimulating internal assessment of progress and contributes to continuous performance improvement.
The COP offers several external benefits to companies which:
• improves corporate reputation and helps drive brand value due to increased transparency and creation of trust;
• enhances stakeholder relations by articulating a sustainability vision, strategy and implementation plan;
• supports knowledge-sharing and learning by providing information on a broad range of corporate actions in different sectors and regions.
• provides increasingly demanded information on environmental, social and governance performance to outside decision-makers, from financial analysts and investors to regulators and consumers
COP Related Documents
II. How to Submit a COP
III. Practical Guide to Communication on Progress
This practical guide to Communication on Progress guides companies in creating, sharing and posting of a COP as well as practical examples of how companies are communicating progress. Also included are helpful definitions, tips on where to begin, examples and relevant GRI indicators.
Click to download guide.
IV. Step by Step Guide to submit a COP on the Global Compact website
Click to download.
V. Basic Online COP Template