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FAQs

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Questions about the Global Compact

1. What is the Global Compact?

2. How do Companies participate in the Global Compact

3. What is the mission of the Global Compact?

 

Questions about COPs

4. What is a COP?

5. What elements should a COP include?

6. Do companies need to report on all ten principles?

7. What are GRI indicators?

8. What does Third Party Assurance and Certification mean?

9. Where can I find an Assurance Statement in COPs?

10. What kind of COPs are outstanding? How do you evaluate an outstanding COP?

11. Where can I find an example of an outstanding COP?

12. What is the beginner's COP?

 

Questions about this Project

13. Why should I participate in the UN Global Compact COP Evaluation Project?

14. What impact will I have?

15. How can I benefit from the Project?

16. What kind of COP should I expect to review?

17. Why does the company need to contact me?

18. Why is the COP randomly assigned?

19. Do I need an account or login?

20. How is the project set up, managed and quality controlled?

21. Can I have a break during reviewing COPs and continue at a later stage?

22. Is there a deadline for the project?

23. Shall I review a COP that has already been reviewed? Are there multiple reviews?

24. Who should I contact if there are any technical difficulties or I have feedback?

 

1. What is the Global Compact?

The Global Compact was launched in 2000 by former Secretary General Kofi Annan and recently re-endorsed by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. It is a voluntary corporate citizenship initiative with two objectives: to mainstream its ten principles in business activities around the world and to establish partnerships in support of United Nations goals. For more information see UN Global Compact Website.

 

2. How do Companies participate in the Global Compact?

I. Send a letter from the CEO to the Secretary-General of the UN expressing support of the 10 Principles;

II. Set in motion changes to business operations so that the Global Compact and its principles become part of strategy, day-to-day operations and culture;

III. Publicly advocate the Global Compact and its principles.

IV. Communicates annually with stakeholders on actions taken in support of Global Compact principles in the form of a Communication on Progress (COP).

 

3. What is the mission of the Global Compact?

The Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument – it does not enforce the behavior or actions of companies. Rather, the Global Compact relies on public accountability, transparency and the enlightened self-interest of companies, labour and civil society to initiate and share substantive action in pursuing the principles upon which the Global Compact is based.

 

4. What is a COP?

The Communication on Progress (COP) is a report designed to demonstrate the continual improvement of a company’s implementation of the ten principles. A company has two full years from initial engagement to send its first COP, and then one must be produced annually thereafter. Should a company not meet its deadline it becomes non-communicating and eventually de-listed. To reinstate its commitment to the Global Compact, a participant need only submit a COP. Comprehensive information on COPs can be found in this PDF

 

5. What elements should a COP include?

I. A statement of continuing support for the Global Compact in a message from the Chief Executive Officer or other senior executive.

II. Description of practical actions that the participant has taken in the previous year to implement the ten principles. These may include: commitments made, systems implemented and actions taken.

III. Measurement of outcome using, as much as possible, standard indicators or metrics such as those elaborated in the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

 

6. Do companies need to report on all ten principles?

Companies are not required to report on all ten principles. The Global Compact supports the continuous improvement of its participants’ implementation of the principles. To that end, we encourage companies to focus their efforts on developing the quality of their implementation as opposed to quantity of principles implemented.

 

7. What is the GRI SRF?

GRI means Global Reporting Initiative. SRF means Sustainability Reporting Framework. The GRI SRF provides guidance on how organizations can disclose their sustainability performance. The Global Compact recommends the use of GRI Reporting Guidelines for communicating progress and therefore many COPs will contain an index of GRI indicators. Further information on using GRI Reporting Guidelines for the UN Global Compact's COP can be found at Making the Connection.

 

8. What does Third Party Assurance and Certification mean?

Third party assurance and certification provide ways for companies to ensure the materiality and reliability of their reporting. The Global Compact does not require that participants use third party assurance or certification, but is interested in knowing which companies do comply with operational and reporting standards.

 

9. Where can I find an Assurance Statement in COPs?

The assurance statement is usually found at the end of the COP (typical companies that provide assurance service are Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers).

 

10. What kind of COPs are outstanding?

In order to be considered notable, a COP must meet all the basic requirements as specified in the COP policy. In addition, a Notable COP must meet certain criteria in two or more of the categories below:

I. Strong statement of continued support for the Global Compact;

II. Clear and detailed description of practical actions taken in implementing the Global Compact principles and/or in undertaking partnership projects in support of broader UN goals;

III. Measurement of outcomes that allows for checking progress;

IV. Reporting process ensures reliability, clarity and timeliness of information and includes stakeholder dialogue.

 

Detailed information on the Notable COP program and the criteria used to identify Notable COPs can be found at Notable COPs Policy.

 

11. Where can I find an example of outstanding/notable COPs?

Please see the COPs on the Notable COP Page.

 

12. What is the beginner's COP?

I. No CEO or senior director endorsing the Global Compact nor CSR/Sustainability

II. Only few principles addressed with little description on implementation of principles (Commitments, Systems and Actions leading to internal and external change)

III. No measurement of impact Indicators

IV. COP not or hardly shared with stakeholders

 

13. Why should I participate in the UN Global Compact COP Evaluation Project?

Public participation in the Global Compact's most important quality assurance mechanism is paramount to ensure the success of the initiative and help foster global responsibility. The overarching goal of this project is to make the large repository of COPs fully searchable for specific information concerning implementation of the ten principles.

 

14. What impact will I have?

Your valuable feedback will be shared with the reviewed companies to facilitate their improvement. Your work contributes to the public good by helping to mainstream the Global Compact's universal 10 principles.

 

15. How can I benefit from the Project?

While reviewing you learn about corporate practices in the field of Corporate Citizenship. Moreover, upon completion of 25 COP's, you may request a "Certificate of Participation" from the UN Global Compact. For 50-100 COP Reviews you receive a personal Letter of Appreciation. Please email Jeff Senne at senne@un.org

 

16. What kind of COP should I expect to review?

Please note that COPs are randomly assigned to the reviewer.

 

17. Why might the company contact me?

To enable continuous improvement of the Global Compact participants the Global Compact Office might share the information form your review with the reviewed company. In the spirit of stakeholder dialogue the company might contact you to clarify any questions.

 

18. Why is the COP randomly assigned?

To ensure neutral and un-biased reviews COPs are randomly assigned.

 

19. Do I need an account or login?

No, you do neither need to create an account nor to be logged in. However, you need to enter your personal information in the COP Review Form.

 

20. How is the project set up, managed and quality controlled?

This Wiki is the outcome of a successful pilot phase with academic partner institutions. This first 'public' project phase uses publicly available online platforms in a pragmatic way. Quality is ensured by sample checks of COP reviewers as well as multiple COP reviews.

 

21. Can I have a break during reviewing COPs and continue at a later stage?

No, the Review Form unfortunately does not provide this functionality at this stage. Therefore, please complete each review by filling out the review form completely.

 

22. Is there a deadline for the project?

No, we lifted the original deadline of the pilot project and the COP Review Project is now ongoing. We added over new 1500 COPs. Therefore, please distribute our call for participation.

 

23. Shall I review a COP that has already been reviewed? Are there multiple reviews?

Yes, as almost all COPs have been reviewed at least once, multiple reviews are intended to ensure high quality standards.

 

24. Who should I contact if there are any technical difficulties or I have feedback?

Please get in touch Jeff Senne at senne@un.org. We value your feedback and would like to hear from you!

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