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Download the Social responsibility section of our Sustainability Report
Taking a responsible approach to business has been a guiding principle for The Co-operative since our inception. Co-operative Values and Principles – such as concern for community and equality – date back to the 19th century, and also resonate with contemporary ideas of corporate responsibility.
With a presence in every UK postal area, we continue to promote social and financial inclusion. Our community support is among the most generous in the UK, with £18.3m invested in UK communities in 2012. Further, we helped 1.2m young people in 2012 as part of our Inspiring Young People activities. Our long-standing commitment to diversity is enshrined in our Values and Principles, and we were recognised as Diverse Business of the Year at the National Diversity Awards.
As a business with supplier sites in more than 60 countries and banking activities with a global reach, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to make a major contribution to international development and human rights. We are the leading UK supermarket for Fairtrade availability and, in 2012, we provided over £6.7m for co-operative support initiatives overseas, helping to tackle global poverty.
We remain committed to playing a role in improving the nation’s health, by making it easier for customers to make healthier choices, and we were recognised by Which? as one of two top UK retailers for our ‘Overall Commitment to Action’ on diet and health. We have also continued to progress our higher animal welfare standards across our own-brand range of products, converting all our own-brand fresh and frozen salmon products to RSPCA Welfare Freedom Food standard in 2012.
Read more about our Ethical Plan here