What is ACT?
Accounting for Co-operative Transformation (ACT)
The Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives (CEARC) has developed a framework to help co-operatives measure their co-operative difference. The Accounting for Co-operative Transformation (ACT) framework provides co-operatives with a user-friendly way to not only measure their SDG performance but to also link the SDGs to the seven Co-operatives Principles. Reporting on the SDGs in the context of the seven principles enables co-operatives to illustrate the co-operative difference from investor-owned firms (IOF), who are increasingly reporting on SDG performance.
The ACT framework is the culmination of two previous participatory action projects that CEARC led with representatives from co-operatives and credit unions from across Canada. CEARC started in 2017 with the Co-operative Performance Indicators (CPI) project in which 16 co-operatives and credit unions selected 35 indicators that could be used to reflect performance relative to the seven principles of co-operatives. In 2019 the project team again worked with the co-operative community to identify indicators to reflect how co-operatives are performing with respect to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Co-operative SDG project concluded with the participating co-operatives identifying 20 indicators that reflect both SDG performance and where feasible, a link to one or more of the seven Co-operative Principles. Both legacy projects have now been combined into a comprehensive new framework known as ACT – Accounting for Co-operative Transformation.
CEARC is currently working with Weaver Digital Design & Storytelling Coop to develop the ACT Dashboard where co-operatives can enter their data and then download reports and infographics to use for their needs such as annual reports, strategic management communications, and operations. The ACT Dashboard is aiming to be ready by December 2022, in time for co-operatives to enter their information for year-end.