Co-op Week 2023: Co-operating on Climate Action
Published October 19, 2023
October 15-23 is Co-op Week in Canada! Did you know there are over 7,000 co-operatives in Canada – from housing co-ops to worker co-ops to food co-ops?
Housing co-ops make up the largest portion of co-ops in Canada. While co-ops come in many different sizes with different structures and goals, all co-ops in Canada share common goals and principles: co-ops are owned by their members, co-ops are democratic and every member has a right to vote, and co-ops are committed to benefiting their communities.
“The tides are shifting as people look to alternative ways and solutions to the crises of today, not only housing but climate, poverty and disenfranchisement,” says CHF Canada’s Director, Member Services Patricia Tessier who is currently enrolled in studies through the International Centre of Co-operative Management at St. Mary’s University. “Co-operative business models including housing offer such social conscious solutions. Everyone can play a role in shifting these tides and growing the co-operative movement.”
One way that many co-ops practice concern for their communities is through environmental sustainability. The theme of this year’s Co-op Week is Co-operating on Climate Action and many housing co-ops are making incredible strides towards greener and healthier communities.
Housing co-ops and climate action
Buildings are the third highest source of emissions in Canada and reducing building emissions is key to creating a climate-safe future. Co-op housing communities are taking incredible steps to make their buildings and homes more climate-friendly through energy retrofits, waste reduction initiatives, gardens and greening their properties, heat pumps and more. Co-operating on climate action is helping co-ops reduce their environmental impact, build community through collaboration and reduce their costs.
Check out stories of co-op climate action:
- Watch how Windmill Line Co-op achieved incredible reduction in their building’s waste in a video by CHF Canada
- Check out case studies of climate action in co-ops! Learn more about retrofit projects at Sundance Housing Co-op and Perth Housing Co-op and heat pump installation case studies.
- Learn more about how housing co-ops are working together to green their communities through a Greener Co-op Microgrant.
How your housing co-op can celebrate Co-op Week
- Download posters and social media graphics for Co-op Week to share in your co-op or in your newsletter/social media – visit Co-ops and Mutuals Canada’s website.
- Attend an online panel event on Wednesday, October 18th titled “How Co-ops Can Overcome Barriers to Taking Climate Action.” Hear from a number of great speakers, including CHF Canada’s Regional Energy Coach Irfaan Hasham.
- Check out this Centre for the Study of Co-operatives event recording featuring CHF Canada’s Patricia Tessier, recently posted on YouTube. She explores where housing co-ops came from, where they are going, and what needs to be done to expand their role and contribute to an economy built around principles of social justice and solidarity.
- Get (re)acquainted with the Seven Co-operative Principles.
- Learn more about other types of co-operatives in your community.
- Commit to steps to act on climate in your co-op! CHF Canada offers many programs and resources – from Greener Co-op Microgrants to support in planning energy retrofits.
- Learn more about the Co-op by 2030 campaign and take a pledge towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Read the resolution on the Sustainable Development goals passed by CHF Canada members at the 2023 Annual Meeting.
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