Today, The Co-op, UK’s largest consumer co-operative, publishes its “Co-operate Report”
Apr 8th 2021

Today, The Co-op, UK’s largest consumer co-operative, publishes its “Co-operate Report”

Today, The Co-op, UK’s largest consumer co-operative, publishes its “Co-operate Report” – an open and honest account of the actions it’s taking to achieve its Vision of “Co-operating for a Fairer World”.

Our purpose is championing a better way of doing business for our members and their communities and, in 2020, we brought this to life through our Vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’ – recognising the many inequalities that currently exist within our local communities, across the nation and around the globe.

This Report outlines the progressive actions we are taking to deliver against our Vision. It is a critical and transparent account of our commitment to being an ethical, responsible and, above all else, co-operative business.

Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO

We launched our new Vision at the start of 2020, shortly before Covid-19 presented a unique set of business and community challenges that would put it to the test. Our response to the pandemic is set out in The Report and demonstrates the power of co-operative enterprise.

The Report also sets out the key strategies that are helping us deliver our Vision, including: the evolution of our Community plan, ensuring it points firmly at tackling the inequalities that communities are experiencing; working closely with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to agree a Climate Roadmap to Net Zero by 2040 and launching our new commitments to address racial inequalities – committing all of our assets to achieving a fairer world.

Key 2020 highlights include:

Fairer for our people

  • Launched a holistic set of commitments across colleagues, customers, membership and communities to tackle racial inequality;
  • Launched our Global Wellbeing Charter, providing close to £1m to support global projects and people in our supply chain through the pandemic

Fairer for our members and communities

  • Relaunched our membership offer, putting community at its heart by doubling the difference members can make to communities when they choose Co-op
  • £15m given to over 4,500 local community projects
  • £3.5m donated to help tackle food insecurity through the pandemic
  • 1,000 Member Pioneers invested 90,000 hours supporting communities

Fairer for our planet

  • The greenhouse gas emissions from running our business have continued to reduce at pace (47% reduction since 2016); and we’ve been working collaboratively with farmers, academics and suppliers to identify practical actions to reduce the climate impacts of our products.
  • We’ve completed a front-of-store film recycling trial and will roll out to 1,500 stores in 2021
  • In 2021 we’re set to become the first UK retailer to ban the use of peat in bagged growing medium sold in our stores

34 of the 40 targets set last year have been achieved or (for longer-term targets) are on track.

Looking ahead, the Report sets out 43 targets and identifies emerging themes for the coming years which will further support our Vision.  This includes taking action on our missions of supporting Fair Access to Food, Fair Access to Mental Wellbeing Support and Fair Access to Education & Employment for young people as well as our commitment to aligning hourly pay rates to the Real Living Wage from 2021.  We’re also bringing forward our net zero greenhouse gas emission target across our business and supply chain, by 10 years ahead of international agreements.

The Report is independently assured by DNV.

Read the Report:

Media Contact:
Tel: 07773 097060