What is a COP?
Business participants in the UN Global Compact commit to make the Global Compact ten principles part of their business strategies and day-to-day operations. Companies also commit to issue an annual Communication on Progress (COP), a public disclosure to stakeholders (e.g., investors, consumers, civil society, governments, etc.) on progress made in implementing the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, and in supporting broader UN development goals.
The COP is frequently the most visible expression of a participant’s commitment to the Global Compact and its principles. Violations of the COP policy (e.g., failure to issue a COP) will change a participant’s status to non-communicating and can eventually lead to the expulsion of the participant. (Please note that non-business participants are not required to follow the COP Policy, although many choose to develop a COP).
All business participants are required to post their COP on the Global Compact website and to share it widely with their stakeholders.
The COP requirement serves several important purposes:
- Advances transparency and accountability;
- Drives continuous performance improvement;
- Safeguards the integrity of the UN Global Compact and the United Nations; and
- Helps build a growing repository of corporate practices to promote dialogue and learning.