Sustainable purchasing

The Co-operators is committed to being a catalyst for a sustainable society. One of the key ways we are moving towards this vision is through the alignment of our purchasing practices with our Sustainability Policy.

Recognizing that this is an area of opportunity for us to influence and improve the impact of our operations, our Corporate Sustainable Purchasing Committee developed a Sustainable Purchasing Program for the group of companies. The program includes our  Sustainable Purchasing Policy and two additional documents to help us implement the policy with our suppliers: the Sustainable Purchasing Guideline, which sets out our minimum expectations, and our Supplier Code of Conduct which we ask our suppliers to endorse.

We work with some of our key suppliers to join us on the sustainability journey through a process of continuous improvement. Significant suppliers are also asked to complete a Sustainable Purchasing Questionnaire to provide us with additional information on their standards and practices.  

We have identified some “hot spots” such as our branded merchandise, office supplies, electronics, equipment, appliances and buildings. Our goal is to ensure we are sourcing products and services that are aligned with our priorities of reducing our carbon and environmental footprint and fostering ethical and social responsibility in the supply chain. We continue to source from co-operatives where we can, and will be expanding this over time to source from organizations generating high social and environmental benefits in the communities we serve.