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UN Global Compact launches new tool to strengthen commitment to sustainable business practices

New York, United States of America

The United Nations Global Compact released its new Communication on Progress (CoP) today to help Participant companies of the UN Global Compact identify gaps, set goals and track their progress on the Ten Principles. The CoP is the main reporting and accountability mechanism of the UN Global Compact. 1,000 companies have already participated in the Early Adopter Programme, giving them early access to the platform, tools and resources to support their transition.

The new CoP is made up of:

  • A CEO Statement of Continued Support to publicly express a company’s ongoing commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact at the highest level. The statement is a standardized template signed electronically on the new CoP digital platform.
  • A standardized CoP questionnaire focusing on five disclosure areas (governance, human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption) designed to help companies monitor performance across the Ten Principles.
  • A new digital platform where participating companies can fill in the online questionnaire and visualize data to help them understand current performance and progress over time.
  • A public database where interested stakeholders can freely access and download the data submitted by participating companies.
  • Links to resources, relevant initiatives and support from UN Global Compact Headquarters and Local Networks to help companies learn at every step and benefit from peer experience.

The new CoP will help companies garner insights, learn and continuously improve their progress on corporate sustainability. The platform will provide technical help, resources and guidance every step of the way and help Participants identify gaps and set goals to improve their sustainability performance year after year. The platform will also enable companies to compare progress against peers with access to one of the largest sources of free, public and comparable corporate sustainability data.

Commenting on the launch, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said: “We hope our Participant companies will use the new CoP as a tool to guide constant improvements in their operations by integrating the Ten Principles into decision-making. It will allow companies to understand the gaps present in their operations related to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By comparing CoPs, companies will also have an idea of their competitive positioning within countries, regions and across industries. And by reporting through a principle-based approach, companies can move from words to action, with communications based on real data.”

Companies should complete and submit their CoP during the universal submission period from March through June annually (for 2023: 27 March–30 June), to maintain ‘active’ status in the UN Global Compact.

If a company fails to complete and submit their CoP during the universal submission period, they will fall into ‘non-communicating’ status, and their name and status will be publicly displayed. This status can be reverted to ‘active’ by submitting the CoP annually between 1 July and 31 December.

If a ‘non-communicating’ company fails to submit their CoP by 31 December, they will be delisted from the UN Global Compact for ‘failure to communicate’ in January of the following calendar year. Delisted companies will be publicly displayed.

The digital platform will first be available in English, and over the coming weeks in the other five formal UN languages. Participating companies can already access the questionnaire (in pdf) as well as the main guidance document in many languages. With these translations, participants who wish to complete the questionnaire in a UN language other than English can already start preparing and collecting the needed data to complete the CoP online.