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Is sustainability in the 'DNA' of co-ops?

I was intrigued by the headline of a recent article discussing the synergy between co-operation and sustainability. Apparently co-ops have the “DNA of sustainability”. What could that mean? What constitutes the DNA of co-operatives and of sustainability? The answer that I came to was values. Values represent our “guiding principles” and profoundly influence our attitudes and behaviour. This might not make them ‘DNA’ but it does, I think, catch the spirit of the headline.