corporate governance

corporate governance

through co-operation
Sustainability Report 2011

Our co-operative difference
The Co-operative Group stands
apart from other major businesses in
the UK as an organisation which is
owned, not by investor shareholders,
but by over 7.2 million individual
members and in the region of 80
Independent Co-operative Societies.
Our business practice is guided
by the Values and Principles of the
Co-operative Movement:

Our purpose, vision and aims
Our purpose is:

Our aims are:

To serve our members by carrying on
business as a co-operative in accordance
with co-operative Values and Principles.

• To be a commercially successful business
• To meet the needs of our customers and
the communities we serve
• To respond to our members and share
our profits
• To be an ethical leader
• To be an exemplary employer
• To inspire others through co-operation.

Our vision is:
To build a better society by excelling in
everything we do.


Our business model

How we are governed

Co-operatives are based on the values of
self-help, self-responsibility, democracy,
equality, equity and solidarity. In the
tradition of their founders, co-operative
members believe in the ethical values of
honesty, openness, social responsibility
and caring for others.

We are in business to serve our members
and their communities, and our business is
run for their benefit. We listen to member
opinions and integrate these into our
business activities and our social and
campaign agenda.

Our members elect representatives to
oversee the business. The Group Board is
entirely non-executive and consists of
20 directors, 15 of whom are elected from
our regional boards, while the remaining
five are elected from Independent
Co-operative Societies. Each year onethird of Board members are required to
seek re-election.

The co-operative principles are guidelines
by which co-operatives put their values

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