How do they work
Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents they have an equal say in what the business does and also get a share in the profits. As businesses driven by values not just profit, co-operatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation.
So why are energy utilities cooperative companies such a great idea?
Ed Mayo, secretary General of Co-operatives UK, says
In these times of privatisation of public energy generation assets, Energyshare wants to enable residents and businesses to own and control their own energy company Energyshare also offers this cooperative company model to others who would like to setup energy cooperatives in other cities around New Zealand.
Generally, Cooperative companies benefit their members by
Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations ‘International Year of Cooperatives’
“Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World” is the official slogan of the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives in 2012.
On December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. The UN Resolution, “Cooperatives in Social Development,” recognizes the diversity of the cooperative movement around the world and the role of the cooperative business model in achieving economic viability while also contributing social and community benefits.
The International Year of Co-operatives, or IYC, celebrates a different way of doing business, one focused on human need not human greed, where the members, who own and govern the business, collectively enjoy the benefits instead of all profits going just to shareholders.
The UN resolution contains three goals for the International Year of the Cooperative:
Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.
Cooperatives around the world
Some Cooperative business facts
Cooperative Companies play a major part in the global economy and are especially important for the communities that operate them and benefit from that participation.
Some facts about cooperatives describe the importance of these organisations