Co-operative Alternatives signed up the Joint declaration by UK’s Co-operatives in the run up to COP26

Ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Co-operatives UK commissioned research into the climate activity of co-ops in the UK and what support was needed.

This involved a review of the Top 100 co-ops’ climate strategies, net zero and/or carbon reduction targets, as well as an online survey which had 88 responses from small to medium sized co-ops.

Co-operatives UK report entitled Race to Net Zero: the Role of Co-operatives in Driving Climate action post COP 26reveals that two thirds of co-ops are taking some form of climate action and of those taking action, one in five have net zero targets.

Download the report here The Race to Net Zero_1.pdf (

We also signed the declaration to ask of government and pledge to take effective climate action, in our own businesses and as a co-operative movement.

From the Declaration we support:

Collective action

Because we are co-operatives, we know collective action, among business and within communities, is going to be critical to a fast, effective and socially just transition to net zero. Businesses need to work together and with all their stakeholders to make systemic changes. As co-operatives, we are using the special relationships we have with our customers, workers, suppliers and communities to do just this. Consumer co-operatives are tapping into their large membership bases, mobilising thousands of members to take climate action on their own and in their communities. For example, The Co-op Group is bringing businesses together in a new renewable energy buying group. Communities across the world are also forming co-operatives to drive societal change, often in ways markets and governments cannot. For example, Loco Home Retrofit is harnessing community-based innovation to decarbonise homes in Glasgow, while Kenyan credit co-operative ANUSACCO is providing financial mechanisms for members to buy sustainable products like energy saving stoves and solar panels

Fairness and justice

Because we are co-operatives, we are working for fair and just transition. Solving the climate emergency cannot come at the expense of those who can least afford it. If we try, we can build a global economy that engenders widespread wellbeing within safe planetary boundaries. Because we are co-operatives, we are striving to do what is required. But we are tired of being undercut by competitors on environmental and ethical standards. This has to stop. It is not fair to punish those taking action – while other businesses put profit over planet. Governments must require more of business. But they also need to make it easier and simpler for businesses to act.”


To view the entire Declaration we support click here: Joint declaration_2.pdf (


Our asks to Stormont in Northern Ireland

We are calling on all level of local government in Northern Ireland to:

  • Provide leadership and make interventions to ensure a level playing field that enables, encourages and incentivizes all businesses to take urgent action to achieve net zero,
  • Make end-to-end carbon footprint reporting mandatory for all large businesses.
  • Simplify the complex landscape of environmental metrics, reporting standards, regulations and guidance to make it easier for ALL businesses to take effective climate action.
  • Ensure ALL businesses can access comprehensive advice and support to help them develop and implement effective strategies for reducing and eliminating emissions. Support must include paid-for and subsided advice, grants and green enterprise finance schemes, starting with adequate provision in Northern Ireland and include them in the DfE Energy Strategy for NI.
  • Start harnessing the power of community and co-operative action as enablers in net zero strategies where there are societal and behavioural challenges, including energy usage, home retrofit and low carbon consumption. Provide specialist support and advice to them and commit to grow community energy in NI in the DfC Energy Strategy.

Provide leadership for a just transition, ensuring everyone makes a fair contribution and the poor and vulnerable are supported and empowered, including by supporting all businesses to invest in climate resilience and a just transition in their supply chains