ROLE OF CO-OPERATIVES IN FACILITATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: AN EXPERIENCE FROM NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require concerted effort throughout societies everywhere. Although co-operatives, as community-embedded local organizations, have been promoted in advancing SDGs, to what extent co-operatives are furthering the SDGs is understudied. Here I analyze the extent to which 179 co-operatives in Nova Scotia, Canada are facilitating the SDGs in a two-step process. First, the SDGs were re-expressed for a Canadian, localized context. Second, the resulting framework was then used to analyze the contents of co-op mission statement. Patterns of mission statement alignment with the SDGs were further analyzed against co-op characteristics. Results indicate that the purposes of NS-based co-ops do align with many SDGs. However, the alignment is highly variable across different co-op sectors and environmental-related SDGs remain largely unsupported. Methodological and empirical practices are suggested to further holistically assess and enhance the impact of co-operatives on advancing the SDGs, especially from an environmental perspective.