The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with over 4.6 million active members. Its purpose is ‘Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities’.
“Our view is that the challenges of our time demand co-operative ways of working. By enabling communities to come together to solve problems; bringing businesses into partnerships for the common good; and by working collaboratively with government, we can achieve the change we need. This Report is a critical and transparent account of our commitment to ethical, responsible and, above all else, co-operative business management.”
Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO
The 2019 Report demonstrates Co-op’s commitment to transparency, helping members and other stakeholders understand performance and progress on the issues that matter to them.
2019 highlights include:
- Published full greenhouse gas footprint for the first time and achieved a 39% reduction in direct emissions since 2016
- Launched new Community Plan, Co-operate 2022
- £17.3m given to over 4,000 UK community causes
- Celebrated 25 years of supporting the Fairtrade Movement
- 27% reduction in food waste since 2015
- First UK retailer to issue a Stirling denominated sustainability bond
- 24 Academy schools sponsored through the Co-op Academies Trust
- Awarded the Fair Tax Mark for the fifth consecutive year
- 28 of the 33 targets set last year have been achieved or (for longer-term targets) are on track, and 37 targets have been set for 2020 and beyond.
The Report also provides an overview of Co-op’s emerging Shared Value Framework, helping identify the economic, social and environmental value generated for members and communities.
Looking ahead, the Report sets out targets and identifies emerging themes for the coming years. These support the Co-op’s vision of co-operating for a fairer world and include targets supporting the Co-operate 2022 priorities of: creating and protecting public spaces, improving mental and physical wellbeing and developing and sharing skills, as well as our science-based target to reduce absolute GHG emissions from our own operations by 50% by 2025, compared to 2016.
The Report is independently assured by DNV GL.
In the final stages of preparing this Report it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on both the Co-op’s business and community activity. The Co-op has been responding to the crisis to make sure colleagues, members and customers are supported, including announcing a donation of £1.5 million worth of food to FareShare, supporting food banks across the UK and giving Co-op members the opportunity to donate their 5% reward to a special hardship fund to help tackle food shortages and funeral poverty for the most vulnerable. You can see more on our response here.
Dave Smith, Corporate PR