Sunday, October 19, 2008

One Planet Living

Guiding Principles - Take action


Guiding Principles of One Planet Living®

To achieve a sustainable future, we need to design communities which enable people to live sustainably. Clearly, the situation in different countries will vary. Factors such as the commuting distance between home and work, where the food comes from, and how waste is dealt with will be as important as, if not more important than, the energy performance of the buildings.

BioRegional aim to promote the concepts of sustainable development and ecological footprinting, notably by establishing a set of sustainable communities in diverse contexts across the globe. Projects will be delivered via partnerships with private developers, community groups and the public sector and must commit to and adopt the guiding principles of One Planet Living. Via these communities and associated initiatives, the programme aims to have a transformative effect on the surrounding region and inform policy changes at national and international levels.

The One Planet Living programme is based on ten guiding principles which act as a framework to highlight the sustainability challenge in a given situation and as a mechanism for developing and presenting solutions.

Climate change due to human-induced build up of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere Zero Carbon Achieve net CO2 emissions of zero from OPL projects
Implement energy efficiency in buildings and infrastructure; supply energy from on-site renewable sources, topped up by new off-site renewable supply where necessary.
Waste from discarded products and packaging create a huge disposal challenge while squandering valuable resources Zero Waste Eliminate waste flows to landfill and for incineration
Reduce waste generation through improved design; encourage re-use, recycling and composting; generate energy from waste cleanly; eliminate the concept of waste as part of a resource-efficient society.
Travel by car and airplane can cause climate change, air & noise pollution, and congestion Sustainable Transport Reduce reliance on private vehicles and achieve major reductions of CO2 emissions from transport
Provide transport systems and infrastructure that reduce dependence on fossil fuel use, e.g., by cars and airplanes. Offset carbon emissions from air travel and perhaps car travel.
Destructive patterns of resource exploitation and use of non-local materials in construction and manufacture increase environmental harm and reduce gains to the local economy Local and
Sustainable Materials
Transform materials supply to the point where it has a net positive impact on the environment and local economy
Where possible, use local, reclaimed, renewable and recycled materials in construction and products, which minimises transport emissions, spurs investment in local natural resource stocks and boosts the local economy.
Industrial agriculture produces food of uncertain quality and harms local ecosystems, while consumption of non-local food imposes high transport impacts Local and
Sustainable Food
Transform food supply to the point where it has a net positive impact on the environment, local economy and people's well-being
Support local and low impact food production that provides healthy, quality food while boosting the local economy in an environmentally beneficial manner; showcase examples of low-impact packaging, processing and disposal; highlight benefits of a low-impact diet.
Local supplies of freshwater are often insufficient to meet human needs due to pollution, disruption of hydrological cycles and depletion of existing stocks Sustainable Water Achieve a positive impact on local water resources and supply
Implement water use efficiency measures, re-use and recycling; minimise water extraction and pollution; foster sustainable water and sewage management in the landscape; restore natural water cycles.
Loss of biodiversity and habitats due to development in natural areas and overexploitation of natural resources Natural Habitats
and Wildlife
Regenerate degraded environments and halt biodiversity loss
Protect or regenerate existing natural environments and the habitats they provide to fauna and flora; create new habitats.
Local cultural heritage is being lost throughout the world due to globalisation, resulting in a loss of local identity and wisdom Culture and Heritage Protect and build on local cultural heritage and diversity
Celebrate and revive cultural heritage and the sense of local and regional identity; choose structures and systems that build on this heritage; foster a new culture of sustainability.
Some in the industrialised world live in relative poverty, while many in the developing world cannot meet their basic needs from what they produce or sell Equity and
Fair Trade
Ensure that the OPL project's impact on surrounding communities is positive
Promote equity and fair trading relationships to ensure the OPL community has a beneficial impact on other communities both locally and globally, notably disadvantaged communities.
Rising wealth and greater health and happiness increasingly diverge, raising questions about the true basis of well-being and contentment Health and
Increase health and quality of life of OPL project members and others
Promote healthy lifestyles and physical, mental & spiritual well-being through well-designed structures and community engagement measures, as well as by delivering on social and environmental targets.

  • How eco-towns can support living within ecological limits

Download the report (PDF 1MB)


Along with our developer partners, we are creating neighbourhoods and cities which enable One Planet Living. Our impacts arise from both our lifestyle choices such as our food, leisure and other consumer choices, as well as the infrastructures we are ‘locked into’ such as energy from coal, oil, natural gas and our energy intensive transport systems.

In our One Planet Living Communities, users’ and residents’ environmental impacts will be lower than normal ‘by default’ because of the provision of sustainable infrastructure such as renewable energy, easy recycling facilities, sustainable transport options and recycled water. Sustainable infrastructure alone, however, will not be enough – sustainable products and services such as local, organic food deliveries will also be arranged for residents to help reduce their impacts further to a One Planet Living level.

Download the One Planet Living Communities Manual here PDF 1.2 MB