The theme for the 2018 International Day of Co-operatives is “sustainable consumption and production of goods and services“, which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 12.

This theme is an opportunity for co-operatives to show how they run successful businesses while respecting our natural environment by members making sustainable choices. The theme was unveiled by the President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Ariel Guarco, at “Cooperatives: Developing people-focused strategies to end poverty” event in New York.

Mr. Guarco shared the latest news about the online platform called Co-ops for 2030, where co-operatives are pledging to implement the SDGs. There have been 300 pledges from 100 co-operatives in 40 countries so far.

With “sustainable consumption and production of goods and services” as the general theme, a global survey selected the #CoopsDay slogan “Sustainable societies through cooperation.”

Co-operatives have two centuries’ experience building sustainable and resilient societies. Among the examples, agricultural co-operatives work to maintain the longevity of the land where they grow crops through sustainable farming practices. Consumer co-operatives support sustainable sourcing for their products and educate consumers about responsible consumption. Housing co-operatives help ensure safe dwellings. Co-operative banks contribute to stability thanks to their proximity to their clients and provide access to finance at the local level and are widespread even in remote areas. Utility co-operatives are engaged in the transition to cleaner electricity and rural access to energy and water. Worker and social co-operatives in the diverse sectors (health, communications, tourism.) aim to provide goods and services in an efficient, planet-friendly way while creating long-term, sustainable jobs.

Through #CoopsDay, local and global policymakers can learn how co-operatives contribute to a more sustainable and resilient world.

About the International Day of Co-operatives

The United Nations International Day of Co-operatives has been celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July since 1995.

The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness on cooperatives, highlight the complementary goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement, underscore the contributions of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations and strengthen and extend partnerships between the international co-operative movement and other actors.

Since 1995, the Alliance and the United Nations have been setting the theme for the celebration of the International Day through COPAC, a multi-stakeholder partnership of global public and private institutions, the Alliance is a founding member, that champions and supports people-centred and self-sustaining cooperative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development.