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Case Studies

The Co-operators

Sustainability at The Co-operators eLearning Course

The Client

The Co-operators is a leading Canadian multi-line insurance and financial services co-operative providing solutions in property and casualty insurance, life insurance, institutional asset management, and brokerage operation. Their vision is to be a catalyst for a sustainable society, which is reflected in all aspects of their operations.

Key Project Features

The Need for Change

Several years ago, PathWise teamed up with The Natural Step Canada to create a very successful Sustainability 101 eLearning course that was used by The Co-operators.

Since then, The Co-operators’ approach to sustainability has evolved, matured, and manifested in a new set of principles and a new strategic plan. Part of the implementation of The Co-operators’ new strategic plan is to integrate and embed sustainability and co-operative principles into everything the organization does. In this context, a new sustainability eLearning course was now required to introduce all The Co-operators’ staff to sustainability principles.

The Natural Step Canada asked PathWise Solutions to once again be its partner in designing and delivering this new sustainability eLearning course for The Co-operators.

The Path for Change

After analysis and consultation, PathWise, The Natural Step, and The Co-operators came up with the following strategy:

  • Design should be relevant to all The Co-operators employees, including new staff and be in alignment with The Co-operators branding
  • Content should help frame an integrated approach where sustainability is a driver of innovation and an aid in achieving both short-term and long-term goals at The Co-operators
  • Interactions should include illustrations, graphics, text, video, and audio to appeal to the diverse employees of The Co-operators
  • Scenarios should ground the content so the experience is engaging and memorable

The Approach

PathWise created an animation-rich, story-driven course for The Co-operators using Articulate 360 that integrates into their Learning Management System and is designed to run on multiple devices and platforms.


The course revolves around the interactions between two characters, Juliette and Marc, as well as other supporting characters. Juliette is an employee of The Co-operators and is knowledgeable about sustainability practices related to climate change and the environment. Marc, her nephew, is a business student who is interested in how sustainability relates to business practices.

Throughout the course, both characters strive to learn more about The Co-operators commitment to sustainability principles, how these work in a business context, and how to apply these principles regardless of one’s role within the organization.

Using scenarios and storytelling using these characters helps the learner engage with the material in a powerful and personal way.


Many interactions are used in the course to reinforce the goals and principles of the Co-operators:

  • Clickable buttons allow the learner to explore specific topics in more detail.
  • Intelligently designed infographics illustrate various concepts related to sustainable business practices.
  • Drag-and-drop activities let the learner experiment with connecting concepts together.
  • Labeled graphics offer the learner a chance to explore topics in the order that appeals to them.
  • Quizzes and activities test learners on their retention and understanding, with feedback given for clarification.


The Natural Step had previously commissioned special whiteboard animations to explore and explain various sustainability concepts. PathWise incorporated this same style of video into the course, commissioning videos from one of our partners in order to describe sustainability concepts and a case study specific to The Co-operators in an easy to understand, playful way.

Voice narration drives the course, providing explanations and guidance to the learner, and closed captioning is included for all narration to ensure accessibility for those who are hearing impaired.

PathWise also adjusted the course design, closed captioning, and layout to implement a full French translation.


The Sustainability at The Co-operators course uses diverse ways to explore important concepts that are building blocks of The Co-operators strategic plans. The use of scenarios pulls the learner into the course in a way only stories can; the freedom of choice in interactive features gives these learners ways to investigate concepts more organically. Finally, the inclusion of features like whiteboard videos helps make foundational ideas clear, so the learner leaves the course more empowered to be an agent for sustainable change.

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