Building Community Power CO-OPperatively: A Renewable Energy Summit

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Cooperators tell us why co-ops are better!

Why co-ops are better

The Co-operators Group Limited (CGL) is a Canadian-owned co-operative with over 65 years of history. Our member-owners include co-operatives, credit union centrals and organizations that operate using co-operative principles. From communities across the country, they represent a variety of sectors, including agriculture, finance, service, retail/consumer, health and labour.

Business based on shared values

Our business decisions are guided by our co-operative principles, so the need for profitability is balanced with the needs of our member-owners and their communities. Making people a priority and taking a long-term view of business decisions makes The Co-operatorsfundamentally different from most insurance companies.

It's In Our Name

What is a co-operative?

Generally speaking, a co-operative is a business owned and democratically controlled by the people who use its services. The user-owners are called members and they benefit in two ways from the co-operative:

  • Products and services are customized to suit their needs
  • Profits are distributed to members based on the amount of business they do with the co-operative.

Co-operatives can provide almost any product or service, can be either non-profit or for-profit organizations, and thrive equally in urban and rural centres.

What’s the difference between co-ops and corporations?

Co-operatives are community-based organizations that care not only about their business’ bottom line, but also about their members’ needs and the quality of life in their communities. Co-ops and credit unions successfully compete in the marketplace without abandoning the values and principles that set them apart from other business models. Co-operatives and credit unions differ from other businesses in terms of purpose, control structure and allocation of profit.

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