An evaluation of the co-operative business model within the context of the global reporting initiative
Du Toit, Marné
Buys, Pieter Willem
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Sustainability reporting, renowned as an instrument for businesses to communicate how they function more efficiently and responsibly within the social and physical environment, while simultaneously remaining profitable, has evolved in an up-and-coming trend by businesses. In addition, this leads to integrated reporting, which implies that a business’ strategy, performance, risk and sustainability are inseparable from one another. The International Year of Co-operatives (2012), with the theme “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World”, recognises that cooperatives, in their range of forms, support the fullest participation in the social and economic development of people. Co-operatives also have the remarkable opportunity to grow everywhere for the reason that modern society needs their role and initiatives. This article considers to what extent the GRI guidelines, as a reporting framework, are feasible or applicable to co-operatives as a business model. The selected agricultural co-operative (AgriCom) is used in the form of a case study, where the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are applied to its activities. This study found that the co-operative business model performed admirably well under these guidelines and suggests that the co-operative business model is very relevant in the modern business environment.