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In line with the principles of our Ecological Mission Statement, we will not invest in any business whose core activity contributes to:
- global climate change, through the extraction or production of fossil fuels
- the manufacture of chemicals which are persistent in the environment and linked to long term health concerns
- the unsustainable harvest of natural resources, including timber and fish
We will seek to support companies involved in:
- recycling and sustainable waste management
- renewable energy and energy efficiency
- sustainable natural products and services, including timber and organic produce
- the pursuit of ecological sustainability
The Co-operative Group recognises the need to manage and develop its business in a sustainable manner – i.e. business development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
We recognise that there are physical limits to the resources of the Earth (both in terms of generating materials and absorbing wastes), and that any business activity that exceeds these limits is unsustainable in the long term and will need to be reconstituted.
There are ethical components of sustainable development for which business should be accountable. These extend far beyond legislative compliance. Unlike for ecological sustainability, there exists much less consensus as to what constitutes socially responsible business practice. Therefore, when considering such matters, the Group will undertake stakeholder dialogue and be guided by the views arising – particularly those of members and customers, given their vital roles in governance and economic viability, respectively.
We will seek to be transparent and accountable in our pursuit of sustainable development; reporting on progress (or the lack of it); securing independent verification; and setting clear priorities and targets for all material activities.