News Releases

Guelph Hosts National Corporate Social Responsibility Forum

May 14, 2007
7:30am

    GUELPH, ON, May 14 /CNW/ - On May 15-17, 125 representatives from
Canada's co-operatives and credit unions will gather in Guelph, Ontario for a
forum on the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Also referred
to as sustainability or corporate responsibility, CSR is a philosophy of
business that promotes environmental stewardship and support for the social
economy.
    The event will feature a wide range of interactive workshops as well as
presentations from CEOs and CSR professionals. The goal of the conference is
to further entrench the principles of CSR within Canada's diverse network of
co-operatives and credit unions, and also to help participants achieve
proficiency at devising, implementing and measuring CSR-related activities.
    A steering committee composed of representatives of co-ops and credit
unions from across Canada has planned and co-ordinated the event. This is the
second CSR forum assembled by representatives of the greater co-operative
community and signals the growing sector's emphasis on issues related to
sustainability.
    Dennis Deters, senior vice president of The Co-operators and member of
the conference steering committee, explains the importance of gatherings like
this one. "This conference is an opportunity for those who share co-operative
values to exchange ideas," he said. "Our operations are always geared toward
satisfying social needs and encouraging community-based approaches to social
and environmental challenges. Forums like this one allow us to learn from one
another and ultimately, to better contribute to the well-being of our
communities."
    May 15 and 16 will feature a Panel discussion featuring CEOs of leading
Canadian co-operatives and credit unions; a presentation on climate change by
Guelph's Walt Palmer, one of Al Gore's environmental warriors; a discussion
facilitated by Chad Park of The Natural Step Canada, a non-profit organization
dedicated to helping communities and businesses move toward sustainability;
and a number of workshops on various aspects of CSR.
    On Thursday May 17, the Canadian Community Investment Network
Co-operative (CCINC) will hold its Annual General Meeting and workshops. CCINC
is a pan-Canadian network of community loan funds, micro-loan funds and
financial institutions with community investment programs. Also that day will
be a forum and workshops held by CoopZone, a network of Canadian co-operative
developers.

    About The Co-operators:

    Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian
companies offering home, auto, life, group, commercial and farm insurance, as
well as investment products and property development. With assets of
$7 billion, The Co-operators is a co-operative owned by 37 Canadian
co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations. It is well known
for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in
Canada.

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, (877)
795-7272, ext. 2707

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