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Questions and Answers

Why is this project happening?

Sustainability Solutions Group are undertaking the sustainability scan for the International Cooperative Alliance to support the Blueprint for a Co-operataive Decade. The goal of the scan is to understand whether or not or to what degree cooperatives are sustainable, both intrinsically and through their actual activities.

What is sustainability?

The Blueprint describes sustainability as "the integration of environmental, economic, and social dimensions towards global stewardship and responsible management of resources". We are looking for descriptions of an co-operatives or co-operative projects that include some combination of environmental, social and economic aspects and not necessarily all three.

What is the method behind this project?

We developed a method that has two parts- the first relies on one of the main sources of information available to us- the web. We are analyzing of sample of co-operative from around the world in terms of the way they communicate about their activities and whether that represents the principles of sustainability or not. But we know that cooperatives often don't fully communicate the scope of their activities on their web sites and that many co-operatives do not even have websites. So as the second part of the method we are asking co-operatives from around the world to describe the sustainability projects that they are working on.

Are there any restrictions on what projects should be contributed?

The projects need to be about co-operatives that are contributing to sustainability.

Is there an incentive? (That is a leading question!)

And to provide an incentive for cooperatives to contribute their projects, on October 5, in a random draw we will select one of the entries and provide registration and travel to the ICA Congress in November. (Note, covering accommodation will be the responsibility of the selected entrant)

What will happen to this platform?

There will be a booth at the ICA congress so that coops can continue submitting to what will be come a living database illustrating the global contribution of cooperatives to sustainability.

The results of the scan will also be presented at the ICA congress in South Africa.