What is this platform? Why are co-ops important?
In September 2015, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which comprises seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to take forward the work begun in 2000 by the Millennium Development Goals. This ambitious agenda sets a course to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.
Co-ops for 2030 is a campaign for cooperatives to learn more about the SDGs, commit to pledges to contribute to achieving the SDGs (often through initiatives that are already in place) and report their progress.
The Agenda explicitly recognises co-operative enterprises as important players within the private sector to achieve the SDGs, creating an opportunity for co-operatives to position themselves as partners with global, national, regional and local institutions to achieve sustainable development.
The co-operative model of business is based on ethics, values and principles that put the needs and aspirations of their members above the simple goal of maximising profit. Through self-help and empowerment, reinvesting in their communities and concern for the well-being of people and the world in which we live, co-operatives nurture a long-term vision for sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility.
Co-operatives are currently in the second phase of implementing the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, a global strategy for the co-operative business model to be by 2020 the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability, the model preferred by people and the fastest growing form of enterprise.
Given the synergies between the UN’s vision for a sustainable future and that of the co-operative movement’s, it is clear that co-operatives can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. In order to best do this, co-operatives need to align their work with the SDGs, and the targets and indicators that will track achievement of the Goals leading up to 2030.
The International Co-operative Alliance, as the global voice of the movement, is committed to educating co-operatives about the SDGs, helping co-operative enterprises respond to the UN’s call to action and collecting information about co-operative contributions to the 2030 Agenda, in order to better position co-operatives as partners throughout the implementation process. All of these activities will in turn further the aims of the Blueprint strategy.