Cooperatives and the Sustainable Development Goals: The role of cooperative organisations in facilitating SDG implementation at global, national and local levels
Since the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leading global climate commitments such as the 2015 Paris Agreement, the topic of sustainable development and how we go beyond ‘business as usual’ have become central to the global policy agenda. In parallel, key figures within the cooperative movement have highlighted the model’s relevance for sustainable development against a backdrop of shifting political landscapes, war, rising inequalities, demographic changes and environmental degradation. Although a mainstreaming of the SDGs into policy approaches and business strategies appears to signal progress, recent warnings from international institutions on the pace of climate change suggest that significant strides in policy practice and implementation are now required. This paper argues that cooperative organisations, as value and principle based, people centred businesses, have a growing role to play in facilitating present and future SDG implementation at the global, national and local levels.