This is the fifth year that Co-op News has compiled the Community Impact Index.
The main aim of the Index is to show the overall impact that co-ops have, and how much money they give back to communities compared to retail rivals.
This year, we have found that almost 12% of profits have been given back. While the privately owned retailers give just under 6% back.
By making this stark comparison, we can see the co-op difference. And for the first time, we have decided to shout about the co-op difference solely. Previously, we had ‘league’ tables almost pitting co-ops against co-ops.
We still publish this data in full online, for those interested. Instead, we are choosing to focus on the collective impact of co-ops.
While the Index is a record of what has happened, it’s also an insight into what co-ops could do. For example, retail rivals such as Tesco and Asda give a fantastic £165.2m back to communities. It’s a lot of money and a generous gift.
But the overall picture shows it’s just 5.9% of their profits. If co-ops had that market share, and still gave away almost 12% of its earnings, then you would expect that figure to double to more than £230m.
Over the five years of the Index, the impact of both co-ops and rivals has increased. There is now competition in being ethical.
Within the Index, we look at where co-ops perform best, and also look at the latest trends within the social impact sector.