From October 15 to 21, 2023, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) celebrated Co-op Week. This year’s theme was “Co-operating on Climate Action,” which aimed to help co-operatives and mutuals work together to find reliable solutions to help their planet and their communities.

On Tuesday, October 17, we launched our week of activities with a presentation on the services Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) can offer Canadian co-operatives and mutuals. From fundraising, Canadian incorporation, the importance of intellectual property, ISED demonstrated how their services can add value to co-operatives across Canada.

On the following day, a panel discussion entitled “How can co-operatives overcome barriers to climate action?” took place. Carol Fraser, Consultant and Senior Analyst at Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG), moderated a panel of climate action experts from various Canadian co-operatives:

  • Alison Coates, Director, Climate Strategy and Performance at Vancity
  • Tom Ewart, A.V.P., Sustainability at Co-operators
  • Irfaan Hasham, Regional Energy Coach at CHF Canada
  • Noémie Varin-Lachapelle, Environmental and Emergency Measures Director at Sollio Groupe Coopératif
  • Joanna Hausen, Manager of Operation and Projects at Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada

Carol Fraser guided the various panellists through an engaging discussion that allowed them to explore, among other things, the difficulties faced by their organizations when approaching climate action. 

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the panel, you can watch to it for free on CMC’s YouTube channel!

Lastly, CMC is pleased to announce that Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) won the “Your Co-operative at the Forefront of Climate Action” contest. As you may recall, co-operatives and mutuals had to submit a photo of their small or large climate action initiative. YNCU was happy to share their Carbon Cleanse initiative which took place throughout October. As for their prize, YNCU won a one-hour environmental consultation with Pascal Billard, CEO of SOL-AIR Consultants, to help evaluate their climate action plan. Congratulations to YNCU!

As CMC wraps up its Co-op Week celebrations, the whole team is already looking forward to highlighting co-operation across Canada again next year!