• Awarded: 2009
  • Issue Areas: Clean Energy · Environmental Sustainability · Living Conditions
  • Region: Eastern and Southern Africa · Europe · North America · Oceania
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    Bioregional is an entrepreneurial charity that works with partners around the world to demonstrate that a sustainable future can be easy, attractive, and affordable. Using its One Planet Living framework, Bioregional help communities, companies, developers, and local authorities develop practical and appropriate solutions to some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges.

    How can you design your development to reduce its ecological footprint, ensure social responsibility, and foster a relationship with the local community? Where do the carbon impacts arise in your construction project and how can you minimize them? How do you create a credible, successful eco product range? Bioregional help with these questions and much more.

    Bioregional wants to see thriving regional economies where we meet more of our needs from local, renewable, and waste resources, enabling people to live happy, healthy lives within the natural limits of the planet, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. They call this One Planet Living.

    Human habitats are unsustainable because we do not appreciate what would be possible by making consumption more efficient.

    Efficient use of renewable resources makes it possible to live a good life while consuming less.

    BioRegional has pioneered One Planet Living in housing developments and provided tools to individual homeowners.

    Tens of thousands of people are living more efficiently as a result.

    Ambition for Change

    Path to Scale

    Demonstration, Policy Advocacy, and Replication

    BioRegional makes it planning tools available openly on the Web, advocates for policies that mandate or give advantage to sustainable development, and works as consultants to influential demonstration projects

    Business Model

    Consulting income and philanthropic support.

    Pooran Desai and Sue Riddlestone, a husband and wife team, founded BioRegional in 1994. Pooran studied neuroscience at Oxford University, and Sue trained as a nurse, but both discovered a passion for applying the lessons of natural systems and complexity theory to solving environmental problems. They shared a vision of making more efficient use of local renewable and waste resources ? supporting local economies with a circular flow of resources and a “metabolism” similar to that of an ecosystem. BioRegional acts as an incubator for these kinds of development, demonstrating them in the real world and replicating them through partnerships, consultancy, training, and education. BioRegional uses its innovations to influence policy, influence industry best practice and raise consumer awareness of what it calls One Planet Living. At the time of the Award, BioRegional’s best known innovation was the Beddington Zero Energy Development, BedZED, a 100-home development in south London that influenced the U.K. government’s adoption of a zero-carbon target for new homes by 2016. It was poised to expand internationally and make Web-based tools for planning One Planet Living available globally.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • The U.K.’s largest home improvement chain adopted One Planet Living as a guiding vision.
    • BioRegional helped the London 2012 Olympics meet sustainability goals applying One Planet Living concepts.
    • The U.K. Housing Corporation, which funds all social housing in the U.K., has adopted One Planet Living principles.
    • Modeling by BioRegional shows that residents in One Planet communities maintain up to 40 percent reductions in carbon footprints compared to peers.
    • A BioRegional organization in China has applied One Planet Living in a suburb of 20,000 residents, working with leading real estate developers and earning a UN award.
    • 3,000 individuals and organizations have used online tools to create an action plan.


    Hayley Baines-BufferyHead of Sustainable Business, Bioregional
    Nina HorstmannDevelopment Manager, Bioregional
    Sue RiddlestoneChief Executive and Co-Founder, Bioregional

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