Co-operative Performance Indicators

Co-operative Performance Indicators

Non-Financial Impact Assessment for Co-operatives: Demonstrating the Co-operative Difference

What is CPI?

Performance measurement tool and process made for co-operatives by co-operatives

What are the benefits of CPI?

Performance measurement of how your co-operative lives the co-operative principles and sustainability practices
Strategic planning opportunities grounded in your co-operative’s performance
Communications made easy using information about your co-operative that is relevant, current and that speaks to the social, co-operative and environmental impact
Benchmarking based on information comparable across co-operatives

Why Participate?

Access a web application that enables you to run various ‘slice and dice reports’
Access data that will enable your co-operative to compare against peers and over the years
Access valid data that can be used in your annual reports

Phase 2 – Pilot Project

Now accepting expressions of interest for Phase 2 of the pilot project.
We are accepting new participants.


Importance of Research

We are seeing a great change in how impact is regarded and measured, and thus how organizations, businesses, different orders of government etc. are evaluated and evaluated themselves. We are seeing a new array of metrics being applied that measure and evaluate beyond the purely economic to include social and environmental indicators of impact. We are seeing an expansion of what is labelled as impact and how impact in measured to include a vast array of methodologies and frameworks such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting, corporate accountability or corporate citizenship and many others.  We are seeing take up of these methodologies and frameworks within the private, public and social economy sectors.

Co-operatives are not immune to the new impact assessment ideologies that are emerging and the changes in reporting and measuring that go hand and hand with them. In fact the co-operative sector should be a leader in expanded impact measurement because of co-operatives’ inherent social (and increasingly environmental) nature. There are examples of co-operatives from the Canadian co-operative sector that have successfully and fully embraced an expanded reporting ledger including Vancity Credit Union, The Co-operators and Mountain Equipment Co-op. Whereas, other co-operatives live and breathe sustainability in terms of a triple bottom line without recording or measuring their impact such as renewable energy co-operatives, sustainable food co-operatives or housing co-operatives.

It is time for the co-operative sector in Canada to fully embrace the measurement of their social and environmental impact as standard practice, using universal indicators which can be used as benchmarks, for comparison purposes and as guides of what to aim for. A participatory action research project with the goal to create a sustainable measurement tool for the ongoing practice of the recording and measurement of social, environmental, sustainability and co-operative impact is in the best interest of the co-operative sector.

This research will mobilize the Canadian co-operative sector to not just think about their non-financial impact in terms of anecdotes and vague results; but, to begin to ask co-operatives to report, measure and evaluate themselves not just using the economic metrics but also social, environmental, sustainability and co-operative indicators.

Funding and Support (to date)

CEARC has been the lead funder of this research with grants provided by CPA Canada. Additional funding has been provided by the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network (SSHRC CURA 2010-2015) and through Mitacs (2016 and 2017). Support has also been provided by individual co-operatives.

For Further Information and Updates

For further information please contact Project Leads: Daphne Rixon or Fiona Duguid