The Communication on Progress (CoP) in Brief

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION: COVID-19 related extension of CoP/CoE due date
During this difficult time, the UN Global Compact recognizes that some organizations may need additional time to prepare and submit their Communication on Progress (CoP) or Communication on Engagement (CoE). Therefore, for those organizations whose CoP/CoE due date falls inclusively between 1 March 2020 and 30 November 2020 an automatic extension of the due date by nine months has been granted. Find more information here.

UPDATE: Review of the Communication on Progress (CoP)
The UN Global Compact is currently reviewing its Communication on Progress (CoP) and plans to announce a new CoP in 2021. The objective is to future-fit the CoP’s capabilities, enhancing them to: further strengthen corporate transparency and accountability, better track progress, inspire leadership, foster goal-setting and provide learning opportunities across the Ten Principles and SDGs. Find more information here.

Submitting an annual Communication on Progress (CoP) is at the heart of your company’s commitment to the UN Global Compact and provides valuable information to your stakeholders. The overall format of a CoP is flexible and CoPs can be prepared in any language as long as they meet the minimum requirements below. Because our participants are all at different stages in their sustainability journeys, CoPs are categorized into three differentiation levels based on the depth of their disclosure. We also collaborate with other frameworks — for example, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) — to ensure that the standards are aligned and that meeting the requirements of one framework helps to comply with the others.

Three Minimum Requirements

The CoP Policy sets out key information including the minimum requirements for each CoP:

  1. A statement by the Chief Executive expressing continued support for the UN Global Compact and renewing the participant’s ongoing commitment to the initiative
  2. A description of practical actions the company has taken or plans to take to implement the Ten Principles in each of the four areas (human rights, labour, environment, anti-corruption)
  3. A measurement of outcomes

The CoP Policy is available in multiple languages in our library.

Differentiation Levels

Based on a company’s self-assessment, each CoP falls into one of the following differentiation levels:

  • GC Advanced: CoPs that qualify as GC Active and, in addition, cover the company’s implementation of advanced criteria and best practices
  • GC Active: CoPs that meet the minimum requirements
  • GC Learner: CoPs that do not meet one or more of the minimum requirements

How are CoPs Used?

CoPs are made publicly available on the website of the UN Global Compact at the moment they are submitted by the participant, enabling companies to communicate their efforts to support and uphold the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. Recent growth — both in terms of the sheer number of CoPs submitted and their sophistication — is largely driven by demand from key stakeholders including investors, civil society, Governments and consumers. CoPs provide stakeholders with information to make informed choices about the companies they interact with and stakeholder vetting is a cornerstone of transparency and disclosure as a means of driving performance. Use the participant search to find any CoP.

Learn how to create and submit your CoP »

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