In February, Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative and parent co-operative of Co-operative Energy, became one of the first UK businesses to be accredited by the new Fair Tax Mark, the world's first independent accreditation scheme to address the issue of responsible tax.
As part of Midcounties Co-operative, Co-operative Energy also became the first energy supplier to receive the Fair Tax Mark accreditation. As a responsible customer-owned organisation, Fair Tax Mark accreditation is a reflection of our commitment to the whole UK economy and is in line with responsibilities towards the customers and communities we serve and the environment.
This is an accreditation which we are proud to have been awarded and as a leading energy supplier we believe that all other energy suppliers should show the same level of commitment to their customers by following our lead.
The accreditation of the Fair Tax Mark pioneer companies comes at a time when recent polling from the Institute for Business Ethics has found that corporate tax avoidance is now the number one concern of the public when it comes to business conduct. The energy industry has also been embroiled, with the tax practices of some Big Six energy providers being called in to question. In May last year, npower felt the heat of a mass consumer boycott after thousands of its gas and electricity customers said they planned to switch supplier to protest at its tax affairs. It was revealed that npower had paid almost no corporation tax between 2009 and 2011.
In recent months, global firms such as Google, Starbucks, and Amazon have come under fire for allegedly avoiding paying tax on their British sales. With the start of a new tax year just days away - the 2013-14 tax year ends on 5 April - transparency on tax is a key issue at Co-operative Energy , as we are founded on putting customers first and ensuring that they get the fairest deal possible.
The Fair Tax Mark has been developed by a team of tax justice campaigners and tax experts, and shows that a company is making a genuine effort to be open and transparent about its tax affairs and pays the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place.
Co-operative Energy was launched with a pledge to be fair and transparent and to challenge the Big Six to stamp out sharp practices. To be the first energy company in the UK to receive the Fair Tax Mark accreditation demonstrates our commitment to customers that we’re committed to reforming the industry and that we are a socially responsible energy business, paying our fair share of tax and investing in the UK economy.