The Co-operators honoured as one of the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada

GUELPH, ON, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Co-operators is being recognized for its dedication to being an environmentally and socially responsible corporate citizen. The Canadian insurance co-operative was ranked by global sustainability research and analysis firm, Sustainalytics, among its Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada, published today in Maclean's magazine. This year was the first time that co-operatives and credit unions were considered for inclusion on the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada list.

The Co-operators is a leader in advocating for a more sustainable society. To better protect Canadians, it is calling upon governments to modernize and improve building codes, and to make the installation of fire sprinklers mandatory in newly built homes. It is working with a number of non-governmental organizations and others to build resilience, particularly against the worsening effects of climate change. The organization was also involved in creating, and is the only North American property and casualty insurer to sign onto the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative -led Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

For 16 years, The Co-operators has qualified as one of Imagine Canada's Caring Companies by contributing at least one per cent of pre-tax profits to community investment. In 2012, it committed more than $6.4 million, which represented 4.6 per cent of its pre-tax profits. In addition to providing financial support to emerging co-operatives, charities and other worthy organizations across Canada, The Co-operators is reducing the impact its operations have on the environmental and has introduced sustainability-focused insurance and investment products.

"As a co-operative with offices in cities and towns throughout Canada, we have staff and advisors who are active in their communities, contributing to their well-being in a variety of ways," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Based on our organization's values and with its full support, our employees and advisors are making a meaningful contribution to the social, economic and environmental sustainability of Canadian communities. We're proud of the positive impact we make together, and appreciate the accolades we receive."

Sustainalytics tracked a number of environmental, social and governance indicators of leading companies, with the top performers in various industries making its final list. The 50 organizations profiled are those judged to have performed well according to industry best practices, relative to their peer group. The criteria includes implementing substantive environmental initiatives, making positive impacts on their communities, treating employees fairly, and developing products and services that contribute directly to sustainability.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 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 listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE: The Co-operators

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For further information, please contact:
Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators
519-767-3937