As a voluntary initiative, the UN Global Compact seeks wide participation from a diverse group of businesses. As a participant in the Global Compact, a company:
- Sets in motion changes to business operations so that the Global Compact and its principles become part of strategy, culture and day-to-day operations;
- Is expected to publicly advocate the Global Compact and its principles via communications vehicles such as press releases, speeches, etc; and
- Is required to communicate with their stakeholders on an annual basis about progress in:
- Implementing the ten principles and
- Undertaking partnership projects in support of broad UN goals.
The Communication on Progress (COP) is an important demonstration of a participant's commitment to the UN Global Compact and its principles. Failure to provide a COP will result in a non-communicating or inactive status for a participant – a necessary measure to protect the integrity of the initiative.
Companies have the added opportunity of participating in a number of UN Global Compact-sponsored initiatives and programs.