Seven cooperative principles give all co-ops guidance
by Adam Schwartz | from NRECA’s Straight Talk
During Co-op Month in October, we recognize that cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England, in 1844.
ECI REC was founded on the cooperative business model, including these seven cooperative principles:
- Voluntary and Open Membership
- Democratic Member Control
- Members’ Economic Participation
- Autonomy and Independence
- Education, Training, and Information
- Cooperation Among Cooperatives
- Concern for Community
Principle number 7, Concern for Community, is the reason why ECI REC was founded. The people in our parents’, grandparents’, or great-grandparents’ generation came together using the cooperative business model as their guide.
It was their concern for our communityâ€•to bring safe, reliable, and affordable electric power to our regionâ€•that defined our purpose.
The ICA provides the following explanation for Principle 7: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members. It is in that spirit that we continue today to offer reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost. In addition to providing electric service,
ECI REC gives back to our community through our scholarship program, Youth Tour, school safety programs, Revolving Loan Fund, and more.
As a cooperative, we encourage our member-consumers to actively engage with us. The health and long-term sustainability of our community depends on a mutual demonstration of concern for our community. We welcome your input as we work to meet your needs for the future.