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GC Advanced Level

Download Advanced Criteria

The GC Advanced level aims to create a higher standard for corporate sustainability performance and disclosure. Companies have an opportunity to identify themselves as GC Advanced by demonstrating that they have adopted and report on a range of sustainability strategy, governance and management practices, many of them based on core United Nations and Global Compact resources (e.g. the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Anti-Corruption Reporting Guidance).

  • Benchmarking best practice. The GC Advanced level provides a framework for companies and stakeholders to benchmark sustainability performance against best practices and identify extra-financial opportunities and risks.
  • Focus on management systems. The GC Advanced Level focuses on the management systems that companies use to integrate the ten principles in their strategies and operations. Such management systems can inform forward-looking analysis, reflecting systematic processes to manage risks and opportunities. They can also be used to benchmark performance with other companies in similar circumstances.

Qualification

Companies that have a COP that meets the requirements of the GC Active level can identify the report as “GC Advanced” by :

1. Describing how they meet or plan to meet advanced criteria in their annual COP, in the following areas:

  • Corporate sustainability governance and leadership
  • Implementing the ten principles into strategies and operations
    • Robust management policies and procedures in Human Rights, Labour, Environment, and Anti-corruption
  • UN goals and issues

A criterion is met when a company communicates its implementation or planned implementation of commonly accepted best practices – that is, one or more of the best practices suggested under each criterion that are relevant to their context of operation.

Over time, participants who submit COPs at the GC Advanced level are encouraged to implement all best practices that are relevant to their context of operation. In cases where a COP does not address a given criterion, the reason(s) for omission  should be thoroughly explained in the COP (e.g., criterion is deemed immaterial to the business, legal prohibitions, privacy considerations, competitive advantage). The best practices identified are not intended as a comprehensive list and therefore companies may choose to implement additional established or emerging best practices and indicate this in their COP self-assessment.

2. Submitting a COP to the UN Global Compact COP database, which includes completing a self-assessment regarding how COP content addresses the criteria and associated best practices.

The result of the self-assessment will be made public on the Global Compact website. Detailed results of the self-assessment and statistics on coverage of best practices will also be made public to encourage stakeholder vetting and extra-financial analysis.

Note: If a company cannot confirm that it meets all GC Advanced criteria, it will not qualify for the GC Advanced level. However, the company can choose to make the results of the self assessment public on the Global Compact website, alongside the COP, to improve the searchability and analysis of the COPs and the underlying performance.

To submit a COP for the Advanced level, please login to the Global Compact website and go to the COP submission page.

Alignment with core United Nations and Global Compact resources

  • Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership. To a large extent, criteria for the GC Advanced level are rooted in the Global Compact’s Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership. Companies that qualify for the GC Advanced level are encouraged to continue progressing by implementing the other key dimensions and components of leadership.  The Global Compact Office plans to release tools and guidance for those companies wishing to report on all aspects of the Blueprint. Learn more about the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership.
  • UN Global Compact Management Model. Criteria for the GC Advanced level are also rooted in the UN Global Compact Management Model, a performance model that guides companies through the process of formally committing to, assessing, defining, implementing, measuring, and communicating a corporate sustainability strategy based on the Global Compact and its principles. Download the UN Global Compact Management Model: English | Español
  • Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Human Rights COP Reporting Guidance. The Global Compact Office encourages participants to use both tools to achieve a higher level of performance and disclosure in the area of Human Rights. As of 2013, the GC Advanced criteria and best practices were updated to reflect the Guiding Principles that are directly applicable to business and the COP Reporting Guidance. Learn more about the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Download the Human Rights COP Reporting Guidance
  • Anti-Corruption Reporting Guidance. The Global Compact Office encourages participants to use the Anti-Corruption Reporting Guidance to achieve a higher level of performance and disclosure in the area of anti-corruption. As of January 2012, the GC Advanced criteria and best practices were updated to incorporate all Basic and Desired Reporting Elements of the guidance. Download the Anti-Corruption Reporting Guidance.

Programme Benefits

For companies

The GC Advanced level will provide companies with a more visible platform to declare their higher-level commitment to the Global Compact and demonstrate advanced sustainability performance and disclosure, including:

  • differentiation as GC Advanced participant in the Global Compact database;
  • publication of COP self-assessment results on the Global Compact website;
  • platform for leaders in the initiative to identify and share global best practices and continue advancing their sustainability agenda; and
  • best practice awards and rankings, globally and locally.

For stakeholders

By making detailed information on performance and disclosure and analytical tools available on the Global Compact website, the GC Advanced level facilitates more in-depth assessment by long-term investors and other stakeholders, including:

  • analysis of variance in companies’ implementation of best practices associated with the criteria
  • comparison of companies’ performance by size, region and industry
  • analysis of performance and progress over time
  • analysis of performance in the context of a particular issue area, or of size, industry and regions of operation

As a multi-stakeholder platform, the Global Compact will work with investors, civil society, educators and public actors to facilitate a robust vetting process and critical assessment of companies’ progress, including:

  • dissemination of detailed performance information through mainstream financial information service providers;
  • promotion of advanced best practices as benchmarks for decision-making and analysis by institutional investors and pension funds;
  • engagement of non-financial stakeholders (e.g. employees and consumers) and other interest groups (NGOs, unions, etc.).

Global Compact Differentiation and GRI Application Level System

At the GC Advanced level, the Global Compact recommends the use of the GRI G3 Guidelines at the Application Level A+ which indicates that use of the GRI reporting framework to the fullest extent possible, including external assurance. In an effort to further demonstrate the synergies between the two frameworks and guide companies on how the two frameworks can be used together, the Global Compact and GRI are working on a new version of “Making the Connection” scheduled to be released in 2013.

Contact

COP Team
UN Global Compact
cop@unglobalcompact.org

(Last updated: 28 February 2013)