Cooperative and mutual enterprises are now taking a large and important step towards greater transparency, launching the Swedish code for the governance of cooperative and mutual enterprises. The code is built on clear principles that are to be reported according to the comply and explain model.
“We’re proud that we’re now increasing transparency even further and making it even clearer to our members and the world around us how cooperative and mutual enterprises actually function. The new code is a consolidating document that clarifies and manifests the special features and business logic of cooperative and mutual enterprises,” relates Tommy Ohlström, Chairman of Co-operatives Sweden.
The umbrella organisation Co-operatives Sweden has prepared the new code, which is built on eight principles. The code highlights the special features of the cooperative and mutual movement, which is based on member benefit, democracy, long-term profitability and social responsibility. It is the first time that the cooperative and mutual businesses in Sweden have prepared a common code, which is also at the cutting edge from an international perspective, as it encompasses all cooperative and mutual enterprises, regardless of size and sector.
“Cooperative and mutual enterprises constitute the democratic business community, and they unite business benefit and democratic values – fully in line with the prevailing spirit. This form of enterprise is now being framed even more clearly through the newly established code, which is designed to ensure transparency. We hope that the effect will spread widely, and that it will make a strong contribution to the development that is taking place internationally to reinforce cooperative and mutual enterprises,” adds Tommy Ohlström.
Cooperative and mutual enterprises make up a significant part of the Swedish business community and social structure, and together, the 100 biggest companies employ more than 100,000 people and generate an annual turnover of SEK 400 billion.
Co-operatives Sweden is an opinion-shaper for cooperative businesses. Behind the initiative are the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), the Swedish Co-operative Union (KF), the HSB cooperative housing association, and Fremia. The objective is to disseminate knowledge and to contribute to modernising the image of the cooperative movement. Co-operatives Sweden is independent of party politics. The objective of the association is to promote the economic interests of its members by increasing knowledge about the co-operative movement, spreading ideas and visions, influencing opinions and representing members in issues that affect the conditions of co-operative enterprises.