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The Co-operators partners with David Suzuki Foundation to create innovative environmental internship program for youth

Sep 15, 2011

VANCOUVER, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The Co-operators has announced a four-year partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation to engage post-secondary students in environmental issues by creating internships with the Foundation's frontline outreach staff and scientists.

The agreement expands upon The Co-operators IMPACT! Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership to create 12 internship positions within the communications team at the David Suzuki Foundation. The announcement was made as the IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership was set to begin at the River Run Centre in Guelph, ON.

The student interns will have the opportunity to support and create public campaigns on issues ranging from energy use to household toxins and consumer choices. A minimum of one intern per year will be selected among the alumni of IMPACT! This current partnership is funded by an investment of $120,000 from The Co-operators Foundation and builds on the success of other projects between the two organizations, such as CSR (Co-operators Sustainability Race), an interactive online campaign designed to support staff in reducing their environmental footprint.

Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators, said the new partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation builds on The Co-operators vision of becoming a catalyst for a sustainable society.

"There are a remarkable number of young Canadians who are already leaders in sustainability," said Bardswick. "Through initiatives like this, we are seeking to further their development by providing valuable work experience that will better prepare them to bring about the type of change required to build a more sustainable future."

Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, said that The Co-operators and the Foundation share common values.

"The David Suzuki Foundation strives to be a catalyst for positive change in Canada, and we seek partners who want to do the same," Robinson said. "Our partnership with The Co-operators will help train the next generation of environmentally engaged youth and also point the way for other organizations on how they can make a difference."

The first of the 12 internships, based in the Foundation's Vancouver office, will begin this fall and will give applicants from across the country a unique opportunity to engage everyday Canadians in solutions to living more sustainably. 

About The Co-operators:

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $41 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #1 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. For more information visit

About The David Suzuki Foundation:

The Foundation works with government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work, and acting as a catalyst for the social change that today's situation demands. For more information visit


For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

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