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Actions towards Sustainability

Co-ops and their members can take a wide range of actions that have environmental impacts.

Get motivated! Download a partial list of actions taken by co-ops to improve their sustainability. Tell us about what your co-op has done! Here are some high-level ideas:

  • Consider the long-term impacts of purchasing decisions and building renewals beyond dollar costs alone (ethics and environmental protection).
  • Create and maintain habitats that support life, and in particular native species.
  • Commit to choosing energy-efficient products (appliances, lights) and building systems.
  • Manage waste responsibly (which can include marking drainage gates and encouraging members not to dump chemicals).
  • Maintain boilers, water tanks and sewer lines to avoid leaks and contamination.
  • Using clean/renewable energy where possible.
  • Work within the co-op and outside the co-op to promote use of partners that favour sustainable supply chains.
  • Make use of bulk-buying opportunities and plan ahead to minimize total costs.
  • Commit to reducing food losses and optimizing disposal of waste (reuse > on-site composting > green waste streams > landfill disposal)
  • Promote landscaping appropriate to a changing climate.
  • Develop emergency preparedness plans and supplies.
  • Lobby for more systematic changes by voting and contacting your political representatives to let them know these issues are important.