Communicating Progress

Reporting to stakeholders in a transparent and public manner is fundamental for companies committed to sustainability. As UN Global Compact Participants, businesses are required to submit an annual Communication on Progress (CoP) report.

Corporate transparency and objective reporting have gained increasing importance for advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. Effective corporate reporting, combined with accountability mechanisms, enables companies to set goals, track performance, and identify areas for innovation to meet ambitious targets.

Reporting, however, is neither the start nor the end of a company’s sustainability strategy implementation – it’s a strategic tool that:

  • Engages stakeholders;
  • Attracts investments;
  • Supports sustainable decision-making processes at all levels within a company;
  • Guides innovation and drives better performance and value creation.

Learn more about the business and non-business reporting requirements of participants of the UN Global Compact:

Business Reporting – The CoP

Non-Business Reporting – The CoE


Business Reporting

NEWS:  2023 Communication on Progress

The UN Global Compact Office announced that for 2023, the CoP submission will be voluntary for all participants.

Companies that choose to submit in 2023 will be able to do so through the interim platform accessible from their dashboards by choosing one of the following options:

  1. Complete the CoP questionnaire and CEO Statement of Continued Support; or
  2. Upload their sustainability report.

The deadline to submit for those who wish to do so will remain 31 December 2023.

There will be no penalties for companies who choose to not submit in 2023 and their status will not change to ‘non communicating’. If you have started your CoP earlier this year but did not manage to submit before the platform closed, you should have received a link with your pre-recorded responses from the Global Compact Office in November 2023. If you have not received the link, please contact to request one.

An Enhanced Reporting Process

The Communication on Progress (CoP) is a mandatory annual disclosure by business participants of the UN Global Compact, serving the following objectives:

  • Foster accountability on corporate sustainability performance to safeguard the integrity of the UN Global Compact initiative.
  • Promote continued learning and help drive corporate sustainability performance.
  • Enhance stakeholder access to information regarding participants’ implementation of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and contribution towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To streamline reporting on the Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals and align with the evolving reporting landscape, the UN Global Compact has launched a new CoP process in 2023. The enhanced CoP replaces the previous narrative format with a standardised questionnaire supported by a digital platform.

The enhanced CoP enables participating companies of the UN Global Compact to:

  • Measure and demonstrate progress to stakeholders and the public on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals in a consistent and harmonised way.
  • Build credibility and brand value by showing their commitment to the Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Gain insights, learn, and continuously improve performance by identifying gaps, accessing guidance, and setting sustainability goals.
  • Compare performance against peers with access to one of the largest sources of free, public, and comparable corporate sustainability data.

Creating and submitting your CoP

Participants of the UN Global Compact are required to communicate their progress on an annual basis.

The CoP consists of two elements:

  1. CEO Statement of Continued Support: The statement is a standardised template that is electronically signed on the new CoP digital platform. The CEO Statement of Continued Support publicly expresses the company's ongoing commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact at the highest level.
  2. A standardised CoP Questionnaire: The questionnaire focuses on five disclosure areas (governance, human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption) and is designed to help participating companies monitor performance across the Ten Principles.

CoP requirements and reporting deadlines:

  • To maintain 'active' status in the UN Global Compact, companies should complete and submit their CoP during the universal submission period taking place annually from 1 April to 31 July.
  • Failure to complete and submit the CoP by 31 July will result in the company falling into "non-communicating" status; this status will be publicly displayed. If a ‘non-communicating’ company fails to submit its CoP by 31 December of the same calendar year, it will be delisted from the UN Global Compact for 'failure to communicate' in January of the following calendar year. There will be no grace periods or extensions.
  • For more details on the CoP requirements, delisting, and the rejoining process, please refer to the CoP policy.

To learn how to prepare your Communication on Progress, please follow the steps on the UN Global Compact website: Prepare for the Communication on Progress.

Communication on Progress Resources:

Communication on Progress Support:

  • UK Network online CoP drop-in sessions – hosted on a bi-weekly basis, these sessions allow UK Network members to drop in and ask questions to the Participant Engagement Team. Registration is not required. For joining details, please email the UK Network Secretariat.
  • Global CoP Office Hours hosted bi-weekly by the global CoP team, these sessions provide an opportunity to ask questions about the CoP to the Communication on Progress team. Registration is required.

Non-Business Reporting

To demonstrate their continued engagement with the UN Global Compact, non-business participants must submit a Communication on Engagement (COE) every two years. The COE discloses specific activities that a non-business participant undertakes in support of the UN Global Compact. It has a flexible format and may be prepared in any language.

Creating and submitting your COE

A compliant COE report must meet three minimum requirements:

  1. A statement by the Chief Executive or equivalent expressing continued support for the UN Global Compact and renewing the participant’s ongoing commitment to the initiative.
  2. A description of the practical actions that the organization has taken to support the UN Global Compact principles and to engage with the initiative.
  3. Measurement of outcomes.

To learn how to prepare your Communication on Engagement, please follow the steps on the UN Global Compact website: Prepare and submit your COE.

Communication on Engagement Resources:

For any questions, please get in touch with Maria Godlewska, Project Manager Participant Engagement or Caterina Agnoletti, Head of Operations and Participant Engagement for more information.