Knowledge for better food systems

Cooperative Group releases its sustainability strategy

The Cooperative Group has launched its new Ethical Operating Plan. Key elements of the plan are as follows:
The Cooperative Group has launched its new Ethical Operating Plan. Key elements of the plan are as follows:

Democratic control and reward

  • Co-operative Group membership to grow to 20 million by 2020 and to be opened up to the under 16s as soon as legally possible
  • Dividend scheme to be amended to reward ethical consumerism

Ethical Finance

  • The introduction of the world’s first ethically screened general insurance products, which will support over two million policies
  • Double financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects from £400 million to £1 billion by 2013

Protecting the environment

  • Having reduced its own operational carbon emissions by 20% since 2006, the target will now increase to 35% by 2017 – which it says is the most progressive of any major UK business
  • Develop pesticides policy further, and seek to ban chemicals such as endosulfan and paraquat
  • Biodiversity work in areas such as wood and fish to be matched with new targets on palm oil and soya
  • On top of the 15% weight reductions achieved in packaging, we will reduce the environmental impact by a further 10% by 2012 and increase carrier bag reduction target to 75% by 2013
  • The construction by 2012 of a head office that will set new standards in sustainable design, construction and operation in the UK

Building a fairer and better society

  • Co-operative enterprise will be more heavily supported through the investment of £11m by 2013 and the launch a new £20m international Co-operative Development Loan Fund
  • The Co-operative’s community investment will be expanded to include £5m a year to help tackle  poverty around our stores and branches
  • The Co-operative will spearhead a cultural shift in youth perception and opportunity through a £30m programme that will support an Apprenticeship Academy, a Green Schools programme and the creation of 200 Co-operative Schools by 2013

Tackling Global Poverty

  • By 2013, some 90% of the primary commodities sourced from the developing world will be certified to Fairtrade standards
  • The Co-operative will develop a range of projects and initiatives that benefit producers and go beyond Fairtrade 

Responsible retailing

  • Healthier Choice products will be no more expensive than standard equivalent lines and the nutritional content of Simply Value products will be at least as good as standard equivalent lines
For more information see here.

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