In September 2015, world leaders approved during the United Nations General Assembly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be the cornerstone of all policy for years to come.
The Agenda includes several mentions to co-operatives as diverse private sector actors to achieve the SDGs, creating an opportunity for the co-operative movement to demonstrate its contributions and commitment to engage. Co-operatives were similarly mentioned in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
Sustainable development is at the very core of co-operative enterprises. Based on ethical values and principles, the co-operative model of business serves to meet the needs and aspirations of people in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.
Now that implementation of the 2030 Agenda is underway, the Alliance is developing the Co-ops for 2030 campaign, which will educate co-operatives about the SDGs, suggest ways for co-operatives to contribute to them and engage co-operatives to make SDG pledges and track their progress.
Co-ops for 2030 will launch on 2nd July, the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives.
- Poverty eradication and zero hunger: Co-operatives allow people to helm themselves by creating their own economic opportunities and turning individual risk into collective risk.
- Food security: Agriculture co-operatives help their smallholder producer-members access inputs, infrastructure, markets better prices, training and technologies, through the power of the collective.
- Gender equality: With open and voluntary membership as one their founding principles, co-operatives help women access resources and opportunities by expanding their participation in local and national economies.
- Decent work and economic growth: Being focused on human needs, co-operatives have proven to be resilient, and even recorded growth, in times of crisis. They are also a source of decent employment for many people around the world and increase inclusion of marginalized groups, such as youth and indigenous people, in the global workforce.
- Combating climate change: Co-operative enterprises have a unique member-owned model that allows them to make long-term commitments to fighting against climate change and its impacts. Co-operatives put people at the heart of their action, which fosters the buy-in for the personal sacrifices that climate change will require. This results in sustainable natural resource management and active engagement in sustainable energy options.
- April 2016: Article - ‘Co-operatives represented at high-level debate on achieving the SDGs’
- December 2015: Alliance statement for world leaders at COP21
- September 2014: Alliance/ILO brief on Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals
- September 2014: Alliance/ILO report on Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals
- September 2014: ‘The cooperative key to sustainable development’ by ILO COOP’s Simel Esim
- March 2014: ILO survey findings - Co-operative movement engagement in sustainable development and the post-2015 process
- March 2014: Alliance position on the SDGs
- November 2013: Coop News article - ‘Co-operatives need to be on UN’s post-2015 development agenda’
- September 2014: Meeting report for the International Symposium on Co-operatives and the Sustainable Development Goals: Focus on Africa
- September 2014: Programme for the event ‘The role of cooperatives - instruments and indicators to conjugate growth and sustainable development’