Change Begins in our Backyard

As a member-owned co-operative, Co-op’s success is closely linked to the well-being of the communities in which we operate. Our co-operative values—as well as those of our members—guide our actions and reflect our commitment to the greater good. We take our responsibility to be good stewards in our communities seriously.

We also know that sustainability is more than a buzzword. It’s a forward-thinking approach that drives our decision making. We consider social, economic and environmental impacts when we ask the question: What can we do to meet the needs of the present that will allow people to meet their needs long into the future?

Big impacts start with small change

There’s no question the world we live in is changing, and that the solutions to climate change are bigger than one person, business or community.

There’s also no one-size-fits-all solution, and the transition to a low-carbon economy will require many intentional actions. We’ve categorized our actions into four categories: eliminating waste, reducing emissions, regeneration and responsible purchasing.

The good news is that every positive action can add up to make an impact. And Co-op is facing those challenges by leaning into our strength: the diversity of Co-ops across Western Canada.

Change that starts in our backyards

Each Co-op location is unique; they’re all built to serve the needs of their communities and their members. That means there are as many opportunities to try new ideas, make changes that work at home and share those perspectives across Western Canada as there are Co-ops.

That’s why Ucluelet Co-op in British Columbia took on initiatives like changing salad bar containers and utensils to cardboard and wood from plastic and installing an organic waste converter to turn food scraps into fuel that heats their warehouse and hot water.

It’s why a Co-op Cardlock in sunny Regina, Saskatchewan shelters Co-op customers with a solar panel canopy to collect the sun’s rays on the top and the bottom through reflections from the concrete.

And it’s how our relationship with Loop Resource now diverts more than 12,000 kg of food not fit for sale from the landfill to more than 500 partner farms weekly. What started with one Co-op in 2019 is now a program supported by Co-ops in British Columbia all the way to Manitoba.

Along with initiatives that start at the local level, the Community Spaces program operates across the Co-operative Retailing System to provide funding to local organizations that keep communities vibrant. From community gardens to wildlife sanctuaries such as the Wildlife Haven’s Murray Education Centre in Ile des Chênes and spaces to enjoy nature like the Willband Creek Park Viewing Platform in Abbotsford, organizations with a focus on the environment have received support from local Co-ops.

Committed to the future

Change is constant, but with deep community roots, collaborations with local suppliers and diverse business lines, Co-op has been able to serve the needs of Western Canadians for more than 90 years.

That’s because our commitment to the people we serve, from our members to our employees to the wider community, remains the same as it always has.

We’re proud of the actions we’ve taken to address our role in sustainable development, and we’re continuing along the path while acknowledging that becoming more sustainable is a process.

At Co-op, we know change begins right here, in our backyard.

For more information about our sustainability efforts, visit our sustainability page.

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