Today, The Co-op, UK’s largest consumer co-operative, publishes its “Co-operate Report”
Apr 7th 2022

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”.

The past year has reinforced my view that our Vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World could not be more appropriate for this decade. Our Co-op, given our purpose and unique approach to doing business, must shine brightly in making things better – not just for a privileged few but for the many in our society who need our support the most.

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

In 2021, The Co-op made progress against its Vision and Purpose through a number of key strategies, including its 10-Point Climate Plan, Future of Food strategy, Community Strategy, and Commitments to Diversity and Inclusion – committing all of its assets to achieving a fairer world.

Key 2021 highlights include:

Fairer for our People

  • Launched Co-op Levy Share, working with employers to bring together over £7 million to support hundreds of apprenticeships for individuals from under-represented groups
  • Aligned pay rates with the Real Living Wage – giving Customer Team Members a 5.6% pay increase
  • Launched our Climate Justice for People and Planet report, endorsed by Fairtrade Foundation – the report calls on governments and businesses to invest in climate justice and resilience, without delay

Fairer for our members and communities

  • Together, we have raised £100 million for local communities since 2016, supporting over 25,000 causes across the UK
  • Launched our partnership with Hubbub, helping to double the size of the UK’s Community Fridge Network from 100 to 200 locations
  • Thanks to over £7 million[1] raised for Mind, SAMH[2] and Inspire, 50 new UK-wide services are building resilience to support mental wellbeing in communities

Fairer for our planet

  • Halved the carbon emissions from running our business since 2016, hitting our target three years early
  • 100% of Co-op branded food packaging is now easy to recycle – via kerbside collection or through Co-op’s own in-house closed-loop system.
  • Became the first UK retailer to ban the use of peat in bagged growing medium sold in our stores, covering both own-brand and branded products

26 of the 43 targets set last year have been achieved or (for longer-term targets) are on track.

Looking ahead, the Report sets out 35 targets and identifies emerging themes for the coming years which will further support The Co-op’s Vision. This includes taking action on its 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 its commitment to increase their ethnic minority leadership representation. The Co-op will also reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions from both operations and products by 2040 at the latest.

The Report is independently assured by DNV.

Read the Report:

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[1] Since 2019

[2] (Scottish Association for Mental Health)