Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

Co-op strides further forward in green race

Photo: Howard Lake via Flickr

The Co-operative’s latest ethical plan makes for very positive reading for the group, which has seen its carbon emissions fall, water consumption decrease, and lending to green energy projects surge. Alex Blackburne has all the news.

The Co-operative is “well ahead of schedule” in many of its environmental targets, according to its latest ethical plan, which reviews the progress of the last 12 months.

The group announced that it had slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% since 2006 – a goal that it had initially earmarked to achieve by 2017. It had also planned to financially support £1 billion worth of renewable energy projects by 2013. But, just 12 months after implementing this aim, it has already put £700m into the sector.

Progress in the supply chain too, with 70% of products sourced from the developing world to be labelled as Fairtrade by the end of March.

“Despite the economic downturn we have remained true to our pledge to show the way on corporate responsibility”, said, Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-op, which has seen a surge in new membership since February 2011.

“The one million new members we now have bears testimony to the continued support we have had from our customers.

“It also helps that the savings that result from our environmental efficiency initiatives, nearly £40m a year, are being ploughed back into the business to reduce costs.”

Looking forward, the group has set more targets that will build on the recent green initiatives. Greenhouse gas levels will be reduced by 50% by 2020, whilst water consumption will be cut by 30%, building on the 20% reduction the Co-op achieved in the past 12 months.

Other objectives include increasing participation in its Green Schools Revolution, improving road safety for young drivers, pushing entrepreneurship in the developing world, and the launching of a new campaign to “champion” farmers and co-operatives that are moving the world onto a more sustainable footing.

The Co-op’s positive work in helping to realise a green economy shows that it’s not only the banking side that can be successfully ethical. You can contribute to this future by thinking more carefully where your money is invested. Get in touch with your financial adviser or fill in our online form and we can connect you to an ethical investment specialist.

Photo: Sludgegulper via Flickr

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