How Does Your Food Co-Op’s Election Impact the Environment?

Food cooperatives work tirelessly to support local growers and economies to reduce negative environmental impact. Every year tons of paper are used by typically environmentally conscious organizations for one purpose – to notify voters of co-op elections and to allow members to cast their ballots.

Between newsletters, various voting materials and ballots, an election consisting of 5,000 ballots would use one tone of wood, expend 4,428 gallons of water and burn an equivalent of 1,085 pounds of CO2 in greenhouse gases. This is unintended waste, but all for items that are vitally necessary for a co-op’s democratic process.

Your organization needs voting materials – candidate biographies, election notifications and reminders and ballots.

Minimizing the Impact to the Environment

Migrating your co-op’s member election online is not only a greener option, it can also increase voter response.

Many of your members have their mobile devices with them even when they’re visiting your co-op! What better way to capitalize on having your potential voters onsite than to direct them to visit a website to “meet” the candidates or remind them to cast their vote right then and there.

The ability to vote anywhere, any time is a great benefit to today’s busy co-op members. Not only are online elections convenient, they’re also secure and accurate. Features like unique voter logins and passwords, ballots transmitted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption technology and fraud and duplication protection all safeguard member information and votes.

Reducing printing and postage by utilizing Online and Hybrid voting services will help the environment, as well as, benefit your co-op’s bottom line. It’ll also allow your organization to gain valuable member data with segmented reports based on information you can use to improve future elections and communications.

Moving your co-op elections online can help your organization meet and exceed its environmental sustainability goals with the added benefit of increasing voter participation and election security.

For more information and ideas on how to migrate your food co-op’s elections online, contact SBS we’re here to help.


Source: Environmental Paper Network (2014).