The Potential Environmental Benefits of Co-Operative Businesses Within the Climate Change Agenda

Yevhen Baranchenko*, David Oglethorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The economic benefits of agricultural co-operatives are well rehearsed and have received significant attention in the literature, especially in regard to the resource efficiencies flowing from collective action that might be absent from investor-owned firms. This article provides evidence to show how these resource efficiencies might also manifest themselves as environmental advantages, which may not be available through investor-owned firms due to the different purpose of, and motivation for, business activity. Specifically, the article explores how co-operative businesses may deliver climate change benefits by examining case studies of alternative co-operative functions that provide a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence. Results show that, where co-operative businesses achieve efficiencies through economies of scale, knowledge and skills transfer, sharing of risks and other means, this can also lead to coincidental reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that may not be achieved if investor-owned activity prevails. Whilst coincidental at present, the future exploitation of this phenomenon could lead to valuable market advantage or aid sustainable development policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number3
Early online date21 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


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