Role of Co-operatives in Facilitating the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: An Experience from Nova Scotia, Canada

Abstract - EN

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. To fulfill the aim of understanding the nature and extent to which existing co-operatives in Nova Scotia are facilitating the SDGs, a mixed-method framework was developed and applied to SDG assessment in an organizational context. Through a textual content analysis, we analyzed the extent of overlap between the localized SDGs and the mission statements of 179 NS-based co-operatives and further quantify the performance of co-operatives in the facilitation of each SDG. By descriptive frequencies and crosstab statistics, we analyzed the distribution of facilitated SDG across various co-op sectors. 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. In contrast, environmentally-related SDGs are much less addressed by local NS-based co-operatives. Methodological and empirical practices are suggested to further holistically assess and enhance the impact of co-operatives on advancing SDGs, especially from an environmental perspective.

SDGs in this paper: