United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

One Planet Living

Bioregional (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    We have the technology. What’s needed now is for leaders, companies and organisations to re-think and re-design products and services, making it easy for people to live a sustainable life. Bioregional’s free One Planet Living® (OPL) framework enables this. It offers a vision for a positive, restorative future, and a framework of 10 simple principles from zero carbon to health and happiness to achieve it. Backed by 20 years of inspiring exemplars, it enables users to co-create a new vision and plan for a neighbourhood, for company products, or their own lives.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    One Planet Living communities Building on learning from award-winning BedZED eco-village, OPL has been used to demonstrate commercially-viable, zero-carbon, restorative developments where people really want to live. Bioregional supported the development of the UK’s first eco-town North West Bicester, which is a Living Lab - a place-based testbed and smart living pilot, using emerging technologies to provide proof of concept in order to scale up and roll out in other locations. A collaboration between Oxford Brookes and Bioregional was instituted to capture learning and innovation, including energy data monitoring. One Planet Living leisure Eurodisney/Center Parcs' Villages Nature, Paris and Singita Serengeti show how the tourism industry can regenerate the planet and re-educate visitors. They use OPL as an action planning tool, and an engagement tool for staff and guests. Singita has had an annual review every year since 2017. One Planet Cities One of our programmes applies One Planet Living at a city level, harnessing the collaborative power of cross-sector stakeholders with a shared interest in their city. This programme includes OPL training, understanding planetary limits, visualising a positive future regionally, collaborating on actions to deliver that future, reviewing progress annually and sharing stories.This programme has been funded by Danish philanthropic organisation KR Foundation with £300,000 over 3 years. Over 500 organisations have received OPL training and engaged in workshops and action planning. We have developed a set of indicators to measure progress of regional action. Beyond the programme, OPL has been used in 25 towns, cities, districts and regions covering 7.8 million people, including Brighton & Hove and Oxfordshire, UK; Saanich, Canada; Tarusa, Russia


    1.3 million people live, work or visit places committed to OPL; OPL has saved over an est. 1.5 million tonnes of CO2. Communities: With 2K OPL homes occupied & a further 10K planned, OPL communities are saving an ever increasing 33KCO2/year. Residents report knowing up to 20 neighbours' names - 4x the average for the UK, showing a greater sense of community. Leisure: Bioregional co-wrote the London 2012 Olympics sustainability strategy, acting as a critical friend for the construction of the parks, engaging with athletes and visitors - delivering savings of 460KtCO2 to date. Cities: OPL connects organisations across sectors in a region to spark collaborative projects on all 10 OPL principles. Each place now has a network of organisations of all sizes and levels & can connect with other places online for ideas & support. The environmental movement is mainly white/middle-class, so a new collaboration with a social enterprise in Oxfordshire was set up to engage underrepresented voices.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    We are seeing a heighted awareness of sustainability and people are looking for tools to help them. OPL meets that need and we’re scaling our global initiatives in response. As a registered charity, Bioregional receive both grant funding and client contracted work, enabling us to work flexibly with OPL at different scales. Additionally, our sister organisation, One Planet Digital, provides an online tool for using OPL– oneplanet.com – it enables people to action plan using OPL or the SDGs. We understand the need to decentralise power for action to take place everywhere, and our regional work builds on the concept of “think global, act local”.

    Sustainability and replicability

    OPL is not prescriptive but creative – a framework that inspires context-specific action and doesn’t require centralised technical knowledge. This helps our network partners get on with OPL action without us, tailoring it to their needs. We are also setting up a global network of One Planet Living Associates who have been trained in using OPL; they will come together frequently to offer peer-to-peer support and share best practice. Projects can also receive leadership reviews from Bioregional, encouraging progress against their plan, and allowing them to promote their achievements. We’ve also created an Implementation Guide for how to scale OPL in towns and cities that offers a blueprint to local authorities for creating systemic co-created change. Any city-region can pick up the Guide. We’re offering online resources – case studies, goals and guidance, and implementation toolkits – specific to each sector wanting to use OPL: schools, businesses, community groups, local authorities.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Without in-person events, we’ve pivoted our OPL workshops to work online through various software. OPL training webinars have become so popular that sessions are oversubscribed! Though Bioregional has successfully moved online, some of our stakeholders are struggling to do on-the-ground work. We’ve helped these groups pivot their normal sustainability activities to ones that support the community in different ways e.g. community groups setting up community fridges for impacted families. OPL supports build back better efforts because it reimagines the new “normal”. Energy efficiency measures can help homes and business cut carbon & save money, OPL accreditation can build business reputation and win them more customers, & OPL communities can support each other and collectively problem-solve.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    30 June 2002 (start date)
    31 December 2024 (date of completion)
    Other beneficiaries

    OPL is accessible to all and has been used by developers, local authorities, community groups, retailers, schools and more. In city-regions, an on-the-ground delivery partner facilitates action as people work on making their locality greener, happier, and healthier. The climate mitigation efforts from OPL projects mean that we’re playing a part in the global fight against climate change, helping everyone on the planet have a safer future.

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    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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