Co-operative Group commits to ambitious ethical operating plan

The Co-operative Group is launching an ethical operating plan in hopes to benchmark a standard for corporate responsibility on carbon reduction, fair trade and community involvement.

The company which employees 120,000 staff also plans to increase its membership from six million to twenty million and double its support for green energy to £1 billion. School involvement will also be increased in order to create 2000 apprenticeships in the next few years, as well as invest £5 million a year to tackle poverty around its stores and branches.

The most ambitious target by Co-op is to reduce the group’s operational carbon emissions by 35% by 2017. They will also reduce the environmental impact of its packaging and continue to cut down on carrier bag usage. Plans to increase the number of Fair trade product lines have also been put into place, with a target that by 2020 it wants 90% of its developing work primary commodities to be certified as Fair trade.

The Co-operative is taking a similar approach in terms of business operations as office supplies company, Wiles Greenworld. Wiles Greenworld has already decreased their carbon emissions from 2009 to 2010 by 10% and each year they continue to decrease their carbon emissions successfully. With an ethical approach to running their business they use alternative fuels in vehicles and also encourage home working where appropriate. They also offer alternative competitive green products when they review a customer account.

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