Co-ops: The original sustainable option for international development

(Get the PDF)

International Day of Cooperatives logo(Washington, D.C.) It doesn’t get more ambitious than this: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change – all in the next 15 years. Yet that’s what world leaders committed to when they signed onto the United Nations’ vision for a better world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They’ve made the commitment, now comes the doing.

That’s where co-ops come in. While other organizations were “discovering” sustainability, cooperatives have quietly been making it happen for decades. And nowhere more dramatically that in the sphere of international development. The cooperative business model, with its base of ethical values and principles, has sustainable development at its very core. Locally rooted and people-driven, cooperatives contribute to sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility.

On July 2, nations around the world will celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives, with its 2016 theme, “The power to act for a sustainable future.” The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) invites you to join in. Spread the word to your members, readers, users, audiences, colleagues – not just on July 2 but in the months to come.

To raise awareness and spur action, OCDC has created a Toolkit for Sustainable Development especially for communicators. The Toolkit, which you’ll find on our website, includes resources you can “plug-and-play” or adapt to your communication needs:

  • Introductory copy about sustainable international development
  • Eight sustainability success stories from our members
  • Links to international cooperative development information
  • Sample tweets and Facebook posts

About OCDC
OCDC brings together organizations committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate and promote effective, sustainable international cooperative development, with particular emphasis on food security, economic development and democracy building.

The organization’s members are: ACDI/VOCA, Global Communities, Cooperative Resources International, HealthPartners, Land O'Lakes International Development, NCBA CLUSA, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the World Council of Credit Unions.

With projects in more than 70 countries, and annual development budgets of more than $200 million annually, these organizations lead the world in cooperative development. And they’re experts in ensuring that these international development projects are grassroots and sustainable – that they’ll survive long after the initial project comes to an end.

For the members of OCDC, the calls for sustainable international development are merely a reminder to keep up the good work.

Follow OCDC on LinkedIn and OCDC members on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We encourage everyone to use the following hashtags so that we can track our work to raise awareness of international cooperative development: #intlcoopdev and #coopsday.

Posted 6/21/16