Special feature

Ecosystems of social impact

The collective effort to build sustainable, resilient communities is strengthened by collaborative, grassroots action. Like ecosystems, community resilience thrives amidst a diversity of activities, where co‑benefits overlap and intersect, moving us toward an inclusive economy that values the social wellness of our people, strengthens the resilience of our environment, and champions a co‑operative society.

Read the full special feature on social impact (pdf)

Social impact for community resilience

We work with community organizations to build environmental resilience, enrich social wellness, create a more inclusive economy and champion a co‑operative society. Taken together, these key dimensions of resilient communities make up the focus areas of our social impact framework.

We invest in Canadian communities

$12.2 million

contributed in community investments

2022: $10.6 million
2021: $8.3 million

$1.1 million

disbursed to charities and non-profits from the Co‑operators Community Funds

2022: $900,000
2021: $757,000

Environmental resilience

We support activities that reduce risks related to climate change, including physical, health and other long-term risks through both mitigation and adaptation; and protect, maintain and restore healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services, particularly within agriculture.

Social wellness

We focus on promoting positive mental health, particularly among Canadian youth (aged 18 to 25), aiming to create personal/mental health resiliency by connecting a diversity of young people to tools, education and supports.

Inclusive economy

We contribute to groups supporting historically underserved individuals who face barriers preventing them from accessing decent work. In an inclusive economy, people will be empowered through job skills training, employment opportunities and increased access to programs, products and advice that can help build their personal and financial resiliency.

Co‑operative society

We’re committed to supporting a thriving co‑operative sector in Canada by helping co‑operatives develop their businesses and manage their risks, and by educating youth about the co‑op model and inspiring them to actively support co‑ops.

Supporting co‑operatives on the path to net zero

In 2023, we deepened our partnership with Green Economy Canada, a national non-profit accelerating Canada’s transitiontoward a vibrant and inclusive net-zero future, providing almost $70,000 in funding to support the expansion of Green Economy hubs across Canada that are engaging businesses in setting and achieving sustainability targets.

Photo of Priyanka Lloyd

“Co‑operatives are well positioned to be leaders in the transition to a green economy. Their values around collective empowerment and community engagement allow them to tackle challenges from the bottom-up and with a broader perspective.”

Priyanka Lloyd
Executive Director Green Economy Canada

Understanding the gaps to financial supports for people with low income

To support progress toward our purpose of financial security for Canadians and our communities, we’ve partnered with Prosper Canada, a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation.

Photo of Lisa Rae

“We are inspired by the interest from stakeholders across the financial services ecosystem to find solutions that will help all Canadians access the financial help they need to build their financial health.”

Lisa Rae
Director of Systems Change Prosper Canada

Empowering Legacies of Black Women Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Black Women Professional Co‑operative (BWP Co‑op) is a multi-stakeholder co‑op that aims to empower women professionals and entrepreneurs, including those in the food ecosystem, to operationalize their businesses and scale up to mainstream local channels and international markets. As a recipient of our Co‑operative Development Program, Co‑operators is supporting their efforts to offer access to professional mentorship, coaching and business training, networking opportunities, tools and resources.

Photo of Obie Agusiegbe

“We are inspired by the vision of building a culturally informed co‑operative that meets the needs of Black women in Canada, and around the world.”

Obie Agusiegbe
Co‑founder, BWP Co‑op