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Our ethical strategy

It’s great to be part of a business that’s so determined to put something back. Nobody does it quite like The Co-operative.

Combining a commercial focus with a conscience, we reinvest all our profits back into our business, our community and our people. This allows us to grow our portfolio, share profits with our members and reward our teams. As a co-operative we provide our customers and employees with the opportunity of becoming members and part-owners. This is our unique approach and the cornerstone of our business.

It follows that such a fair way of delivering a service has a big influence on our ethical strategy. Our aim is to make a real difference to people’s health and have a positive impact on communities, both in the UK and overseas — and we’re already taking action. Here are a few examples:

  • We helped to develop an initiative to protect homeless people from sun exposure, giving out thousands of bottles of sun lotion in UK cities.

  • Having recognised the difficulties that some partially sighted customers had with their medication, we were the first British pharmacy to introduce Braille onto medicine packaging.

  • We've developed a pioneering service for Muslims, offering advice on the best ways to take medicine while fasting during Ramadan.

  • We’re working with UNICEF in Togo to save the lives of children, many of whom die from diarrhea caused by poor sanitation. For every pack of Affinity (our antibacterial hand wash) we sell, we donate 15p to UNICEF — raising a fantastic £200,000 so far. We even sent colleagues to lend a hand on the ground and see what a difference our fundraising can make.

  • We take our environmental responsibilities seriously too, opening a new Distribution Centre that streamlines how we supply our medicines. It also includes a state-of-the-art recycling centre to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Our new sustainable Head Office is innovative, low carbon, highly sustainable and one of only a few buildings in Europe to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating. Rapeseed oil from our own farms will help power the building with excess energy being used to cool the building and IT systems. It’s also designed for low water consumption through rainwater harvesting and fittings.