OTTAWA, June 29 – On July 2, The United Nations International Day of Co-operatives will be celebrated around the world. The 2016 theme is “The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future,” a statement that asserts the capacity and potential of co-operatives to work toward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These are ambitious goals: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and reduce the impacts of climate change – all in the next 15 years. World leaders signed onto the 17 United Nations’ goals to achieve this vision for a better world, and co-operatives are well placed to deliver significant gains on the triple bottom line of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

In the sphere of international development, the co-operative business model, with its base of ethical values and principles, has sustainable development at its very core. Locally rooted and people-driven, co-operatives are able to contribute to sustainable development in almost every economic sector.

In Canada, we have amazing international co-operative development organizations who are well known abroad, but need to be celebrated by us at home. The CCASOCODEVIDID, and Rooftops Canada all implement sustainable co-operative development around the world. We invite you to explore their work and share their stories.

To raise awareness and spur action, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada is asking members, supporters and stakeholders to mark July 2 as the day we begin communicating our collective “power to act for a sustainable future” to assure that policy makers understand how the quiet and consistent work that is being done by co-operative developers at home and internationally is building a better world.

On July 2nd, The International Co-operative Alliance will launch a pledge web page. Your co-operative or mutual can discover ways to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and make pledges to implement these solutions in your community.

Use the International Day to promote your co-operative; have a gathering, raise awareness with employees and members; celebrate through social media and share content and stories from around the world!