Cooperatives have always endeavoured to enable people to have access to goods and services without exploitation – to realise their needs and aspirations. This has led them to pursue a convergence between economic, social, and environmental interests – building triple bottom line sustainability.
Cooperative sustainability in action
The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is pursuing a variety of initiatives which facilitate the achievement of the Blueprint goals:
- The ICA has released in March 2016 its "Sustainability Reporting for Cooperatives: A Guidebook”. This tool is one that any cooperative – large or small, in any sector, across the world – can pick up and use right away!
- The ICA is playing a crucial role in informing how the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda will achieve its goals. In close partnership with its members, UN agencies, and other like-minded actors, the ICA is advancing co-operatives as a ‘means of implementation’ – an ideal tool and vehicle – by which to secure the achievement of sustainable development.
The ICA launched in 2016 its Coops for 2030 platform (www.coopsfor2030.coop). This global campaign unites and engages cooperatives in the SDG implementation process. A dedicated team managing the project teaches cooperatives through its web site about the SDGs and collects pledges by cooperatives to achieve them. Nearly 100 pledges were received in September 2016.
- The ICA's 2013 Sustainability Scan takes a deeper look into the relationship between co-operatives and sustainability. The standard-setting report concludes that cooperatives have sustainability in their DNA. Read about how co-operatives around the globe are living up to their commitment to sustainability!
- The thought leadership paper on Cooperative Growth for the 21st Century aims to respond to the flagrant inadequacies of GDP to measure growth in a meaningful. The paper explores a cooperative perspective on the growth vs. de-growth debate and makes concrete recommendations on how cooperatives might better capture their full impact.
- The ICA is strengthening its role in facilitating cooperative-to-cooperative trade. The ICA's 2016 "Doing Cooperative Business" report evaluates the enabling environment for cooperatives in countries around the world.
- The ICA's Sustainability Advisory Group guides the Alliance in the assessment and potential development of concrete tools and measurements relating to co-operative sustainability.
Read about cooperative sustainability in action
- Cooperatives: DNA for Sustainability
- Cooperatives as Builders of Sustainable Development
- Cooperatives: Closing the Inequality Gap
Tell us your story about cooperative sustainability
- The global digital database of cooperative stories hosts a wealth of information on cooperatives in various media forms, written, audio and video. Search for stories on cooperative sustainability. www.Stories.coop
Other initiatives on cooperatives and sustainability
Corporate Knights is a watchdog of corporate behaviour. Over the years, they have found that cooperatives lead – and excel by significant margins – in the achievement of sustainable business practices. Check out their rankings!