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Investors give new twist to good COP/bad COP

Summary

A coalition of investors worth over USD 3 trillion has today launched an initiative to help police the corporate responsibility reporting of companies as diverse as Air France, GAP Inc and LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy).

The 38 members of the international investor coalition have written to the CEOs of 130 major listed companies which are signed up to the United Nations Global Compact, a set of ten principles of corporate responsibility. By joining the UN Global Compact the companies commit to producing an annual corporate responsibility report known as a Communication on Progress (COP).

Twenty-five of the companies have been praised by the investors for producing notably high-quality COPs, including Air France and Starbucks, while over 100 companies were identified as laggards by the investors for failing to submit a COP this year. Those companies that failed to produce COPs include GAP Inc, Severn Trent plc and LVMH.

The investors are all signatories to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and include funds such as Aviva Investors, CalPERS and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The total assets under management of all signatories to the PRI are estimated at around USD 18 trillion (according to pre-crisis estimates).