In December members Joined In to tell us how we can make our ethical and sustainability reporting more relevant to them.

Over 60 members rose to the challenge and provided us with some great insights, which we’ve taken away and are working through as we plan our future reporting. This is a great start, and we’d love to hear from even more members about their hopes and priorities for our sustainability reporting, as we move forward.

At the most basic level, it was great to see that members totally agreed that it was important for a business to report on its ethical and sustainability performance.

It was also good to receive ringing endorsements for some of the principles that already guide our reporting, such as a willingness to report ‘warts and all’ – telling the good and the not so good news, and using independent experts to check that all the information in our report is fair and accurate.

Here are some of the other key things I’m taking away:

  • The majority of members agreed that they trust us to report on our ethical and sustainability performance – only 7% disagreed.
  • 65% of members would welcome a less detailed report.
  • Members like information displayed as visual data, pulled-out stats, infographics, imagery and the like.
  • Many find walls of text a bit of a turn-off.
  • Members want to hear about our sustainability performance in different ways – no single channel had universal appeal.

What’s next

Work’s well under way with data gathering for the next report, which will be published in May, so we’re very much in a position to address some of the issues members raised by looking at the design of the report right now.

Most members said they’d be happy to read something less detailed. So we’ll take this on board – covering the key issues, but maybe cutting back on some of the detail members felt wasn’t necessary. This will make for a shorter, more accessible report.

We’ll also look at how we structure the report, so that if you want a quick ‘heads up’ yousustainability don’t have to wade through everything – you’ll find an engaging summary report containing top-level content and data, with more detailed data sitting behind for those who want it.

There was no overall agreement on how members wanted our sustainability performance to be reported. Some wanted a full report, others a summary, whilst some members thought infographics and video might work better for them. Now we know this, we’ll look at how we can push content out through different channels, to ensure as far as possible, member get what they want.

Whilst we’re never going to make sustainability reporting everything to everyone, those members that joined in really helped me understand some key things we could do to make it more to more members. Watch this space.

Amina Batool,
Sustainability Reporting Manager

If you’ve not come across our Sustainability Report before, you can find last year’s here.


Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Thanks for your feedback, Alex. We’ll make sure to pass this on and bear in mind for future reports. ^Sophie


  2. Please don’t scale back on the information that you publish. If you make the report more like a summary then you should bring back the webpages with the full data on them. What makes the report special is its detail and that it is warts-and-all without missed commitments being ‘forgotten’.


  3. Dear Amina

    An excellent presentation of the Coop’s sustainability ambition and performance.

    It would be helpful to know how and why you have chosen your KPI’s and their respective baselines.

    However, I found your equalities ambition and performance limited. You clearly give recognition and seek to create a welcoming environment for members of the LGBT community, but the organisation truly looks white and able bodied. I would expect people from minority ethnic communities to be well represented. You don’t appear to be welcoming tol disabled people.

    I always found a traffic light system of reporting KPI performance a quick way for any reader to query under performance.


    Frank Hanley Member Pioneer

    On Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 1:10 PM, The Co-op Blogs wrote:

    > Co-op posted: “In December members Joined In to tell us how we can make > our ethical and sustainability reporting more relevant to them. Over 60 > members rose to the challenge and provided us with some great insights, > which we’ve taken away and are working through as we” >


  4. Hi

    I’m reading this from a Co-op laptop on the Co-op network and the links at the bottom of the email don’t work for me e.g. “Comment”, “See all comemnts” “Trouble clicking?”.

    The error messages I get say the pages don’t exist or are blocked.

    Maybe something you want to check and fix?




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