Written by Gregor Smith.

Lincolnshire Co-operative has published its annual business report for the 2012/13 year this week detailing a number of successes.

The Lincolnshire Co-operative building. Photo: Gregor SmithAmong the successes are the raising of £114,000 for local charities, the joint funding of the University of Lincoln’s Science and Innovation park and the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint.

The society have also put forward proposals to take over libraries in Spilsby, Boultham, Welton, Nettleham, and Cherry Willingham as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s ongoing libraries consultation.

Refuting the idea that libraries would suffer under the ownership of a profit-making business, Michelle Scott, communications officer for the Lincolnshire Co-operative said:

“Sustaining community services is something that is right at the heart of what being a co-operative is all about. It’s very important to us that community services are there in local communities for our members to benefit from.”

There was also good news for local farmers and other Lincolnshire producers, with eleven products added to the chain’s ‘Love Local’ range, from pet food to beer. Sales of this Lincolnshire produce have surpassed all expectations, increasing by 12 per cent.

According to the report, this all means that for every pound spent in one of their foodstores, pharmacies, travel agents, florists, or other outlets, an extra forty pence was generated into Lincolnshire’s local economy.

“When you’re shopping, you know that the profits that you’re helping the business to make are going back into your local community,” Miss Scott added.

The organisation has reduced its carbon footprint in the past twelve months, with 92 per cent of their waste being recycled, rather than burned or going to landfill.

Miss Scott said:

“It’s at the heart of what we do. We’re always trying to think of greener alternatives. We have LED lighting in all of our stores now, alongside more efficient fridges and freezers. It’s been something our store development team has really looked into.”

The co-operative hope that their successes will be repeated and increase in the coming 2013/14 year.