Your co-op, September 2008

Sound Consumer September 2008

Talk to the board

Meet your board members on September 13 and 14 at the PCC Issaquah Healthy Living Fair.

Board report

The board met on July 29. Trustees heard a report from counsel on their fiduciary responsibilities, established this year’s committees, approved the plans for the fall member meeting, and did more work in preparation for an August strategic retreat.

Next board meeting

Tuesday, September 30 at 5 p.m. at the co-op office, with member comment period at 7 p.m.

Fall member meeting

Tuesday, October 28, 5:30 p.m.
St. Demetrios Hall
2100 Boyer Ave. E, Seattle, WA

What are “Ends” policies?

The board works by a method called Policy Governance®. The trustees translate into policy language the goals they set for PCC. These goals-oriented policies are called “Ends.”

They are the drivers behind management’s annual and multi-year business plan. Virtually every initiative that management pursues in the course of a year is guided by an element of these policies.

Management reports each year on its interpretation of the policies and presents the actions that convey compliance with these guiding policies.

Here is the current Ends policy language, followed by excerpts of management’s report on Ends-E.

Global Ends

  • Ends A: PCC members and patrons will have access to high-quality, healthful food that is fairly priced.
  • Ends B: PCC membership is a respected and valued choice.
  • Ends C: PCC has a local focus.
  • Ends D: PCC members and patrons are well-educated in matters of healthful foods, healthy sustainable living, and the cooperative business model.
  • Ends E: An inherent part of PCC’s business is the balance of economic, social and environmental responsibilities.

Interpretation: Management interprets Ends-E to mean that PCC should, within the means available from its degree of economic success, take appropriate initiatives in its community in the areas of social and environmental activities.

The social responsibilities are reflected in the cooperative’s conduct and presence as an employer in our several communities, as well as our involvement in and support for organizations aligned with PCC’s values and Ends policies.

Environmental responsibilities are reflected most explicitly in the products that PCC offers through its stores, including, organic fair labor and Certified Fair Trade™ product lines, in the standards of store operations, investment in green building in our physical plants, and in the message that PCC promotes through communications with members.

PCC’s support for economic and social balance in our communities continues to be demonstrated by the rechargeable scrip and PCC food bank programs. Nearly 200 schools and non-profit organizations participated in the scrip program in 2007, earning more than $146,000. The food bank program supported eight local food banks last year, using $67,130 in shopper donations to purchase 69,264 pounds of food.

There were several significant environmental achievements in 2007. Our Redmond store was awarded LEED® Gold certification. The store’s design utilized energy efficient equipment, refrigeration and HVAC systems, extensive skylights, a programmable daylighting system that turns off lights when not needed, and environmentally responsible building materials and furnishings.

Following our focus on improving energy efficiency and reduce overall usage, we now have turned to water efficiency and management. PCC has long supported the Salmon-Safe program — an organization devoted to restoring watersheds and reducing impacts on endangered habitats in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007, PCC and Salmon-Safe began working together to identify feasible changes to improve or reduce runoff from our buildings and parking lots.

All PCC coffee — bulk, brewed and bagged — remains Certified Fair Trade™ (as well as organic and shade-grown) while several other fairly traded products include chocolate, tea, rice, sugar and bananas.

The board is engaged in a review of our Ends policies and welcomes your comments or questions.

Related Reading

News bites, September 2008

Organics growing in Washington, GM alfalfa campaign, Dairy farmers switch to grazing, and more

Letters to the editor, September 2008

Keep covering food politics, Not all shrimp are equal, GM sugar beet sugar, and more