LIFE Co-op and the Seven Co-operative Principles

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Co-operatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values. How do the seven Co-op principles relate to Local Initiative for Future Energy?


Principle #1: Voluntary and Open Membership
Membership is open to any Ontario resident 16 years of age or older who supports the co-op's objectives and mission of "building sustainable energy together". Members are encouraged to participate in meetings, in voting, and in co-op events and activities.

Principle #2: Democratic Member Control
Like all co-operatives, LIFE exercises the one-member, one-vote principle of governance. Members nominate and elect the board of directors, and make other important decisions, at the annual general meeting. Members 18 years of age and older are also eligible to be Directors. Members are also welcome to contribute to decision-making by participating on committees or through other volunteer work.

Principle #3: Members' Economic Participation
The low membership and share par values allow for broad participation in the co-operative, and all members are eligible to invest in the co-op's activities and receive the rewards.

Principle #4: Autonomy and Independence
The renewable energy sector has large capital requirements and our co-op may enter into agreements with other companies or organizations in order to help them finance and complete projects. Agreements are created using terms that ensure democratic control by the co-op's membership and that maintain the co-op's autonomy.

Principle #5: Education, Training and Information
Members of the co-op are encouraged to attend conferences and information sessions that can educate and update them on issues and processes. Many such sessions are conducted by our affiliate organizations, such as the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA).

Principle #6: Co-operation Among Co-operatives
LIFE shares resources, experiences and other sustainable development information with similar cooperatives, and participates in the co-operative community and policy debates through membership in the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op).

Principle #7: Concern for Community
LIFE has a commitment to furthering the interests of the community and to investing in its future. LIFE's objectives are centered upon generating economic opportunities for local residents and co-op members.