Co-ops ranked among Canada’s top 50 ‘Corporate Citizens’

Co-operators, Desjardins and Vancity were the highest ranking businesses from the banking and insurance sectors

Co-operators, Desjardins and Vancity have been ranked among Canada’s top 50 ‘Corporate Citizens’ of 2023, and placed top in their sectors.

The ranking, conducted by independent media and research B Corp Corporate Knights, recognises companies that outperform their peers on sustainable investments, sustainable revenues and a range of other ESG indicators.

Canadian insurer Co-operators ranks as the top insurer globally, the top financial institution in Canada and sixth overall, moving up from 14th overall last year. Co-operators has featured in this list for 14 years.

Co-operators is carbon neutral and working towards net zero in its operations and investments. Of its total revenue, 28.2% comes from sustainable products or services and 23.65% of its investments are made for impact or sustainable goals – a figure it hopes to increase to 50% by 2026, and 60% by 2030.

“This recognition among our peers reflects our ongoing work to embed sustainability into our business, and to catalyse sustainability in society through our partnerships, products, services and investments,” said Chad Park, vice-president of sustainability and citizenship at Co-operators. 

“This work is fundamental to our co-operative identity, and critical to our long-term success as we bring our purpose of financial security for Canadians and our communities to life.”

Of the three banks featured on the list, the highest ranked were Vancity Credit Union, at 11 overall, and co-operative bank Desjardins Group at 31 overall. 

Vancity moved up the overall list by seven places last year, while Desjardins Group moved up five places.

The Best 50 Corporate Citizens are identified from among Canadian businesses with at least CAD $1bn (£586m) in annual revenues, across all company types and sectors.

Twenty-five key performance indicators (KPIs) are considered, including tax payment, diversity, and energy efficiency.

Half of each company’s score in the ranking reflects the percentage of its investments and revenues that qualify as sustainable.

Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps said: “Sustainable revenues and investments are key indicators of which companies will perform well in the cleaner economy of the future. This year’s Best 50 are showing impressive leadership, and trend lines are encouraging across the full universe of companies assessed. Even without a defined framework to guide such investments in Canada, companies are clearly moving in the right direction.”