COP Guidance

UN Global Compact COP guidance for members
The UN Global Compact has a wide range of tools to help companies completing their Communication On Progress (COP) reports, which you can find on the UNCG website.

Basic COP guide and template
The Basic Guide to the COP provides a guide for smaller and less experienced companies to communicate their progress by following simple steps and suggested topics that meet a minimum level of disclosure in accordance with COP requirements. The Basic COP Template provides an outline for a COP which meets the requirements for reporting at GC Active Level.

The Global Compact also offers regular webinars on COP policy at both introductory and advanced levels. For more information, or to register for a webinar, please visit the UNGC website.

The Global Compact encourages companies to use other complementary reporting frameworks to create their COPs as they see fit. For example, the GRI G3.1 or G4 Guidelines are a recommended option for communicating progress on the ten principles at any level.

Advanced Level COPs
The Advanced Programme emphasises integrating the Global Compact principles in core business and strategy. An Advanced Level COP must meet the minimum requirements of a GC Active COP, as well as providing information on additional advanced criteria in the following areas:

  • Implementing the Ten Principles into Strategies & Operations
  • Taking Action in Support of Broader UN Goals and Issues
  • Corporate Sustainability Governance and Leadership

See Advanced Criteria and self-assessment for more details.

Examples of Advanced COPs can be found on the UNGC website.

You can also access a recording of a Global Compact webinar with an overview of recent updates to the COP Policy and introduction to the Differentiation Programme, with a special emphasis on the GC Advanced level.

How to upload a COP on the UNGC website
There are a number of resources to help you submit your COP:
Step-by-step guides to uploading a COP report on the UNGC website: Download the Active Level PDF or Advanced Level PDF
You can also view a video walk-through for uploading a COP.

Peer review
All UK Network members are encouraged to participate in this programme as both peer reviewers and reviewees. There will normally be 2-3 rounds of Peer Reviews annually, depending upon requests from Network participants.

Peer reviewers consider each COP along two critical dimensions:
• Implementation of Global Compact principles
• Transparency and disclosure

Consideration is also be given to how well the COP fits with UNGC COP Policy and how it meets expectations of the Differentiation Programme. It is expected that for ‘GC Active’ status the COP will meet the UNGC’s basic requirements. To achieve ‘GC Advanced’ status the COP will communicate the company’s implementation, or planned implementation, of commonly accepted best practices for all 24 Advanced Criteria, as suggested in the UNGC publication Criteria for the GC Advanced Level.

For further information on COP Peer Review, please contact the Secretariat.

Other useful links

  • View the COP Tools and Publications section on the UNGC website for further information on COPs, including details on policies, guidance and templates.
  • A free web-based tool – OneReport Communication on Progress (COP) Publisher – to help Global Compact participants prepare and publish progress reports on integrating the ten principles into day-to-day business operations and practices.  More on the OneReport COP tool
  • Making the Connection: a joint UN Global Compact/ Global Reporting Initiative guide that aims to help make connections between the two initiatives.  Download PDF