Bioregional Impact Review 2023/24 And One Planet Living action plan highlights

Our strategic goals: 2020-2030

Bioregional will show, working with partners, how One Planet Living can be achieved in our homes, communities, businesses, and town centres. We will use practical examples of our work to change policy and practice – both in the UK and internationally through the UN Sustainable Development Goals network, to help avert the climate and ecological emergency and achieve the SDGs by 2030.

We aim to:

Drive exemplary business practice: we will help businesses to measure and reduce their carbon footprints in line with science-based targets, set ambitious strategies that enable sustainable consumption and production, and play an active role in regenerating the natural ecosystems upon which we all depend.

Create sustainable homes and communities: we will support housebuilders, property owners, and local authorities to enable the next generation of net-zero, affordable, biodiversity-positive homes to be built; support local authorities to create and implement net-zero carbon planning policies and sustainable high streets; and work with asset owners to sustainably retrofit homes.

Influence policy and industry practice: we will work with our partners and stakeholder groups, sharing knowledge of the practical and inspiring solutions we have developed with partners to influence government policy and industry practice in the built environment, sustainable production and consumption, and corporate sustainability strategies.

Impact review 2023/24

Campaigning and collaborating to create wider change

Leading industry efforts to set a greater standard for UK homes

We collaborated with other built environment leaders to write an open letter to Michael Gove, the then Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, calling for improvements to the proposed Future Homes Standard (FHS) to help the UK meet its legally binding net-zero targets and lower household energy bills.

Led by Bioregional and Good Homes Alliance, alongside LETI and UK Green Building Council, the open letter set out where we believe the standard falls short, and what should be done to improve it.

The campaign received public backing from over 250 industry leaders, including 10 developers and more than a dozen local authorities.

“Our initial thought was ‘why has the government gone for the least ambitious standards that the industry proposed?’ The government set out two reasons to justify it, and the influence of the Prime Minister’s climate culture wars stance is clear. But we found that the arguments didn’t stack up.”

- Sue Riddlestone OBE

Shaping the future of carbon accounting standards

Bioregional became a founding member of the Carbon Accounting Alliance - a coalition of software companies, consultancies, auditors and certifying bodies that have come together to collaborate on solving challenges faced by our industry, to share best practice and promote the development of robust standards.

The alliance consists of over 350 members that have collectively measured the carbon footprints of over 70,000 organisations. We have collectively measured more than 1 billion tonnes of CO2e with our clients, achieving more than 29 million tonnes of direct CO2e reductions (no offsets).

Amplifying our voice through industry networks and campaigns

We have contributed to the work of various membership bodies and stakeholder groups, including UK Green Building Council, Aldersgate Group, Green Alliance, Better Buildings Partnership, UN Global ABC, UN One Planet Network, and the Academy of Urbanism. In addition, we have responded to consultations and calls for evidence, including a government consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, and engagement with UK political parties and policymakers.

This included our backing of UKGBC’s letter to the Prime Minister and Secretaries of State, which called for the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill to be strengthened to ensure the English planning system aligns with our net zero emissions targets and helps restore nature across the UK. We joined over 350 industry leaders and organisations in signing the World Green Building Council’s open letter to political leaders at COP28 asking for policy changes needed to decarbonise the building and construction sector. We also backed the campaign from a coalition of environmental groups and trade unions, calling on the Labour Party to hold firm on its pledge to ban new North Sea oil and gas.

Supporting a manifesto to transform the built environment

UK Architects Declare is a network of over 1,330 signatory practices committed to addressing the climate and ecological emergency. It is clear that 30 years of sustainable design has not got us where we need to be, and we are calling for a fundamental shift towards circular and regenerative models.

CEO and co-founder Sue Riddlestone OBE wrote the foreword to UK Architects Declare’s ‘Building Blocks’ manifesto, and spoke at the launch at the Houses of Parliament alongside panel members including Caroline Lucas, Kate Raworth and Kevin McCloud.

Building Blocks could transform the UK by providing:

  • £1.3 billion in NHS savings by retrofitting cold homes
  • £82 billion boost to UK Gross Value Added by transitioning to a circular economy
  • Up to 725,000 jobs created through low-carbon sector
"We are the generations alive today that can meaningfully tackle the climate and ecological emergency. As for our built environment, the solutions are all there. In the thirty years that I have been working in the sector, it’s gone from experimental eco-villages to mainstream knowledge and best practice. It can be done, it’s just a government ambition gap that needs attention right now."

- Sue Riddlestone OBE

Background photo courtesy of Naomi Rubbra via X

Shining a light on nature

Nature is in crisis. And nature loss means even bigger trouble for our economy, for us and future generations. That’s why we took part in the Save Our Wild Isles business films, which shine a light on how crucial nature is to business. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries on earth and is also in the bottom 10% of countries for protecting what little nature we have left. This continued loss will ultimately have devastating consequences for us and for future generations.

Inspired by the BBC series Wild Isles, this collection of four films has been made for the business community. Each explores the damage that we are inflicting upon nature in the UK, and the key actions that businesses can take to become part of the solution to the nature crisis. CEO Sue Riddlestone OBE features alongside other business experts to discuss how we can halt the decline in nature and begin to restore our natural habitats to ensure a thriving economy and a future in which we can live prosperously within our planetary boundaries.

Bioregional also signed the Nature Positive Business Pledge, which was launched by RSPB and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) alongside the UK Business & Biodiversity Forum to encourage businesses to commit to halting and reversing their impacts on the natural world.

Corporate sustainability

Our consultancy work continues to focus on businesses in the retail, and food and beverage sectors, as well as the engineering, construction, and property sectors.

Last year we supported 33 organisations to develop and deliver their sustainability strategies, sustainable product guidelines, carbon footprinting, and net-zero roadmaps. These businesses collectively employ over 290,000 people, with a combined total turnover of over £23bn.

Transforming sustainable home improvement retail with Kingfisher group

For 13 years we have supported Kingfisher plc to redefine sustainable home improvement retail.

Our partnership has seen Bioregional work extensively with Europe’s leading home improvement group, from setting science-based carbon reduction targets to helping Kingfisher develop more sustainable retail products, enabling thousands of people to live more sustainably in their homes.

We were thrilled to see these achievements recognised at the 2023 Sustainability Consulting Awards in June 2023, where Bioregional and Kingfisher triumphed in the ‘Transformational Partnership’ category.

Key progress in the last year has been:

  • Net-zero strategy: we supported the development and monitoring of Kingfisher’s science-based carbon reduction targets across property, logistics, supply chains, and the use of its products by customers. In 2022/23 Kingfisher reduced its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 52.6% compared to its baseline year, significantly outperforming its target of 37.8%.
  • Sustainable product guidelines: we provided technical support to drive improvements across Kingfisher’s range of more than 100,000 products that are designed for sustainability – either because they are made from more environmentally friendly materials, or because they help people to live more sustainably at home. A record 46.8% of total Group sales were from products helping to create greener, healthier homes (2021/22: 44.1%), generating £6.2 bn of sales for the business.

Helping The Portman Estate engage its supply chain

The Portman Estate is one of London’s oldest landed estates, located between Oxford Street, Edgware Road and Crawford Street in London’s West End, and covers 69 streets, 650 buildings and four garden squares.

In 2023 the Estate launched its first ever Supplier Charter, which sets out the standards it expects of the organisations it works with. The Charter aims to establish a shared approach to environmental and social issues, to drive positive change in collaboration between the Estate and its suppliers. The Charter uses Bioregional's One Planet Living framework to ensure that all areas of sustainability are covered.

Bioregional delivered three in-person workshops to the Portman Estate’s suppliers between January and March 2024. We carefully designed each workshop to cover different aspects of the Charter, tailoring the content to the industries of the attendees.

Across the three sessions, over 60 people attended from over 40 suppliers. By the end of the project, The Portman Estate received 28 sign-ups to the Supplier Charter. This will help the Estate to cascade sustainability down the supply chain and, in the long term, reduce its scope 3 emissions by encouraging suppliers to measure and submit their own carbon footprint data.

The Portman Estate's 2023 Impact Report is available here.

"Bioregional created three really engaging and informative workshops to target all audiences. We’re delighted with the response so far to our Supplier Charter and Bioregional’s workshops were vital to starting a conversation about sustainability with suppliers at all stages of their sustainability journeys."

- Katie Balderson, Corporate Director, The Portman Estate

Ensuring Burlodge meets new NHS procurement legislation

Burlodge specialises in meal delivery solutions for hospitals, schools, prisons and care homes. Burlodge is a key supplier to the NHS, providing it with advanced meal delivery systems in hundreds of hospitals throughout the UK.

As part of NHS England’s new legislation, all NHS suppliers require an NHS Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) and Net-Zero Commitment to maintain their supplier status beyond 2024, and our support enabled Burlodge to successfully complete and achieve an Evergreen Assessment Level 2.

Bioregional produced Burlodge’s carbon footprint, covering scope 1, 2 and 3. We then worked with Burlodge to develop a carbon reduction plan that would meet all the NHS supplier requirements, and set out all the carbon reduction measures that will help Burlodge achieve its emissions reduction targets. This included:

  • A commitment to net zero by 2050 for UK operations as a minimum.
  • Baseline and current emissions for scope 1, 2 and 3 adhering to the GHG protocol (scope 3 categories 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 at minimum).
  • Emissions in CO2e for all 7 greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol.

Beyond the immediate gains of meeting NHS requirements for suppliers, Burlodge now has a science-based carbon reduction glidepath that will ensure it reaches net zero, in line with a 1.5c planet.

Burlodge now has clear actions to take and goals to achieve at both the 2030 and 2045 milestones across key areas such as buildings, transport and suppliers.

“Bioregional’s support helped us to measure emissions across our whole value chain (including scope 3). As a result, we are now gaining valuable insights into the environmental impacts of our operations, and we can now implement sustainable practices in the precise places where they will make the biggest impact. Bioregional’s expert team were instrumental in creating our baseline carbon footprint and NHS CRP, which included a net-zero workshop to engage our team, along with supporting the final submission to ensure it was water-tight and met all the NHS supplier criteria.”

- Daniela Triolo, Business Assistant, Burlodge

Supporting a range of sectors on carbon accounting, scope 3 emissions and carbon reduction strategies

We helped businesses and organisations across multiple sectors to better understand their scope 3 emissions, and what they can do to reduce them.

Retail:

British Heart Foundation (BHF) is a UK charity, that funds over £100 million of lifesaving research into heart and circulatory diseases annually and supports people affected by these conditions. A significant aspect of BHF’s operating activity revolves around retail, running 691 high street charity shops selling both second-hand and new items, including apparel, books, homeware, toys and large furniture.

Already holding a good understanding of its direct emissions, BHF was looking to understand how to define the boundary of its scope 3 emissions, set ambitious but achievable targets and develop a supporting decarbonisation strategy across it scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. BHF was also interested in developing its understanding of avoided emissions, having started to calculate the impact of carbon savings from the purchase of second-hand goods vs new goods.

Bioregional’s work means that BHF has now agreed on a set of ambitious scope 1, 2 and 3 targets and a roadmap for becoming a net-zero organisation. These targets are aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) - the global standard for carbon reduction targets. If met, these commitments will see savings of 49,061 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2050 – the equivalent of driving an average car over 350 million kilometres.

Hospitality:

Mitchells & Butlers is one of the largest operators of restaurants, pubs and bars in the UK – and one of only a handful of organisations in the sector to have a net-zero target verified by the Science Based Targets initiative.

With the majority of its footprint coming from the food and drinks it serves, Mitchells & Butlers knows that meeting its net-zero target relies on action within its supply chain. To do this, Mitchells & Butlers needed to assess and review supplier-specific footprint data from key suppliers and integrate it into its scope 3 measurements.

Bioregional is proud to have partnered with Mitchells & Butlers since 2019, and last year we supported it to make the next step in its supply chain carbon journey, integrating supplier-specific data from key providers across proteins and beverages.

As part of the exercise, we met with priority suppliers to discuss available data and understand what was appropriate to integrate into the Mitchells & Butlers footprint. This involved working with suppliers to understand their own methodology and calculations.

This work equipped Mitchells & Butlers with the data it needed, and established the foundation from which it could record supply chain reductions within its scope 3 emissions. It also strengthened Mitchells & Butlers’ supplier relationships, demonstrating its commitment to net zero, and the impact was amplified as suppliers were inspired to begin their own carbon measurements.

“Bioregional helped us to make sense of the technical data provided by our suppliers and make a call on what was appropriate to integrate into our scope 3 footprint. As well as giving us a more specific read on our carbon footprint, Bioregional’s recommendations helped us have productive conversations needed to amplify impacts throughout our supply chain, and support our choice of suppliers for future years.”

- Amy de Marsac, Head of Investor Relations and Sustainability, Mitchells & Butlers

Manufacturing:

Purity Soft Drinks is a UK-based soft drinks manufacturer with a 130-year history, that crafts natural juice-based drinks. Verdane, Purity Soft Drinks’ parent company, had set net-zero goals that included being carbon neutral across scopes 1 and 2 and reducing scope 3 emissions by 65% by 2030. Purity required a baseline carbon footprint in order to support Verdane’s targets.

Bioregional calculated a full baseline carbon footprint for Purity Soft Drinks across scopes 1, 2 and 3, and provided an interactive emissions dashboard.

Our work highlighted key emissions hotspots such as ingredients, packaging and upstream freight. We also advised on high-level reduction activities, the next steps in Purity’s road to net zero, and how to improve data collection for the next emissions assessment.

The baseline footprint gave Purity a clear view of where its emissions currently sit, and the scale of work needed to reduce scope 3 emissions within its supply chain. It provided Purity’s procurement team with the data it needed to engage its key suppliers to establish their respective carbon emissions and impact.

Law:

Beale & Co has been providing specialist legal advice to the construction and insurance industries for over 50 years. It was increasingly being asked by staff and clients about its commitments to net-zero, and it approached Bioregional for support in setting a science-based target, understanding its environmental impact and strengthening its sustainability efforts.

We calculated Beale & Co's baseline carbon footprint to understand where its main emissions were coming from, and we then led a series of interactive workshops with its staff to determine a set of suitable targets and discuss priority areas for action in a carbon reduction plan.

We gathered input from employees to understand what could realistically be achieved in the short term, and based on this, developed a detailed roadmap. This outlined specific actions to be taken, set measurable goals, established timelines for completion, and assigned responsibilities to different Beale & Co team members. We supported the team with a carbon offsetting briefing to highlight suitable pathways in line with chosen carbon reduction targets.

Beale & Co now has a baseline carbon footprint, a set of ambitious but achievable targets aligned with the SBTi, and a supporting roadmap highlighting short- and long-term actions to deliver on its commitments. If the agreed targets are met, Beale & Co will achieve a 42% reduction in direct emissions by 2030.

“Bioregional provided invaluable support to help us understand where our greatest carbon impacts lie and where we can have the most impact as a service-based organisation. Their data-driven, but people-focused approach helped simplify the process and bring our team along on the journey.”

- Nathan Modell, Partner, Beale & Co

Care:

Allegra Care operates care homes across central and southern England, providing dementia, respite, and end-of-life care.

Allegra Care was tasked with translating its ESG commitments (created by Bioregional in 2022) into action, with expectations from its investors to begin measuring and reporting on its carbon footprint and sustainability goals. A priority was creating greater coordination across care homes, allowing more informed decision making, enhancing engagement and improving sustainability performance.

Bioregional measured Allegra Care’s scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint for the first time. We then led a collaborative process with the Executive Team to create a comprehensive ESG action plan that will ensure Allegra Care meets its sustainability goals and reporting requirements for its investors. Finally, we developed ESG annual and quarterly report templates, streamlining the reporting process and ensuring consistency in reporting standards.

Allegra Care now has a robust scope 1 and 2 baseline, and a clear framework for best practice sustainability improvements and reporting, in line with stakeholder expectations. It also has a robust and ambitious sustainability action plan, with priorities aligned with Allegra Care’s ESG strategy pillars.

Education:

National Education Union (NEU) is one of the largest unions in the UK, representing almost half a million members from the education sector. Bioregional supported NEU to start its sustainability journey, by carrying out a full gap analysis and carbon footprint. We worked closely with the senior team and employees to understand the areas of impact and where they wanted to improve.

“Bioregional has supported the NEU to begin our sustainability journey and to gain a better understanding of our overall impact. The engaging workshops have enabled our senior leadership team to incorporate sustainability considerations into their decision-making processes."

- Jayne Phillips, Deputy General Secretary, NEU

Helping Cranfield University upskill SME leaders in sustainability

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university, with world-class expertise and unrivalled industry partnerships that create global leaders in technology and management. It partners with businesses, academia and governments to develop and deliver applied research and innovative education in science, technology, engineering, and management.

Cranfield asked Bioregional to help it deliver its Climate Action Programme, a two-day training course designed for SME business leaders on how calculating carbon emissions, setting net-zero targets, and implementing decarbonisation actions can all drive business advantage.

We trained eight SMEs on effective and impactful climate action for their businesses. They were given practical advice on how to get started on calculating their carbon footprints, setting net-zero targets, and implementing carbon reduction actions. Course attendees benefitted from receiving bespoke advice that considered their specific industry, background, and progress in their sustainability journey.

“Bioregional helps SMEs to understand the complexities of carbon emissions and provides practical solutions for understanding and achieving net-zero targets. Their hands-on approach and dedication to sustainability empower business owners and managers to make meaningful changes. Participants leave with a clear, actionable plan to reduce their environmental impact, ensuring their businesses thrive sustainably in the long term."

- Martin Spiller, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Cranfield University School of Management, 2024

Launching UNEP / GlobalABC’s Sustainable Building Materials Hub for global policymakers

Building materials are set to dominate resource consumption over the coming decades, and already have a considerable environmental impact. In 2021, the buildings and construction sector accounted for around 37% of global energy-related emissions and the industry’s raw material use is expected to double by 2060.

To help the construction industry to shift towards more sustainable materials and construction methods, we finished our project supporting the development of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and GlobalABC’s (Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction) Sustainable Building Materials ‘Hub’ that is designed to help policymakers around the world tackle some of the most pressing sustainability and environmental issues linked to the building materials and construction industries.

In the culmination of a two-year project, in September 2023, Bioregional chaired a successful webinar to officially launch the Hub alongside UNEP and the GlobalABC during World Green Building Week. The Hub contains over 200 resources - including tools, case studies, and policy guidance – that can aid policymakers in improving the environmental performance of the industry.

In the first few months since launch, the hub has been visited by nearly 1,400 users from around the world.

“As part of the GlobalABC’s mission to support governments and policymakers and advocate for the decarbonisation of the building and construction sectors, the Materials Hub is a really important step for us.”

- Mona Mohammed, Programme Officer, UNEP Life Cycle Initiative

Sustainable built environment

Our sustainability consultancy teams supported leading developers to design truly sustainable homes and communities and advised local authorities on their responses to the climate and ecological emergency.

We worked with 13 developers and housebuilders on sustainability strategies for housing-led, mixed-use development. Collectively these could deliver over 5,000 sustainable homes, as well as over 100,000m2 of sustainable commercial or community space.

We supported 10 local authorities in their planning and policy work. Over the next decade, our work will help deliver approximately 9,000 sustainable homes per year as part of local authority growth plans.

Launching an Innovate UK-funded project to help councils model the carbon impact of new homes

We launched an Innovate UK-backed project to enhance Bioregional’s groundbreaking Net-Zero Living Spatial Planning Tool, which was developed in partnership with Greater Cambridge Shared Planning and Mode Transport Planning. The tool models the carbon impact of the construction and operation of new development, as well as associated ‘in-use’ transport emissions, depending on the development’s location, the type of homes built, and the planning policies that are applied. It was used by Central Lincolnshire to develop its new Local Plan, which features some of the UK’s most climate-friendly planning policies and was approved by the Planning Inspectorate in April 2023. This demonstrated both the effectiveness of the tool and its potential to be used widely by other local authorities and policymakers.

Funding from Innovate UK, the UK Government-backed innovation agency, will enable Bioregional to partner with the architecture and urban planning consultancy Space Syntax, and local authority partners, to develop the next iteration of the tool, which already has a proven track record of supporting councils to create evidence-based net-zero carbon Local Plan policies.

This innovation project will bring together Bioregional’s expertise in spatial carbon mapping with Space Syntax's Walkability Index. It will combine and improve our complementary models, which each apply spatial data science to local authority plan-making, with the aim of reducing the carbon emissions generated by the future population of the UK by supporting local authority decisions concerning the location of future housing, employment, and social infrastructure.

Combining these models will create a robust digital solution for local authorities, and in time, potentially, for private developers. This project will transform the existing tools into an interactive dashboard, harnessing the power of big data and geographic information systems and enabling local authorities to model the carbon implications of new development more cheaply, accurately, and quickly than ever before.

Above: Space Syntax's Walkability Index

Helping local authorities tackle the climate and ecological emergency

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) declared a climate emergency in 2019 and subsequently adopted an environment and climate strategy in 2020. This Climate Strategy includes four key themes: circular economy, energy, natural environment and transport, which all covered key planning-related actions.

To meet the needs of RBWM’s new environment and climate strategy, Bioregional, working alongside partners Edgars, created a Supplementary Planning Guidance document (SPD) which focused on actions across net-zero buildings, renewables requirements for newbuilds and biodiversity net gain.

Bioregional and Edgars have also supported Warwick District Council since 2021 with the creation of a Net Zero Carbon development plan document (DPD). This included the evidence base to support the policies within the DPD, along with support at the Examination in Public. Alongside this DPD, in 2023 Bioregional and Edgars were asked to develop an SPD to provide further detail on the implementation of the council’s policies.

After we created the two SPD documents, they were successfully consulted on in public. RBWM’s SPD is now on the path for adoption, and we're delighted to say that Warwick’s SPD was unanimously adopted by the Council in May 2024.

"It was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team who supported us in the production of both out Net Zero documents. We would highly recommend Bioregional for their expert knowledge on a fast changing and topical issue of climate change and net-zero carbon.”

- Amit Bratch, Principal Planning Policy Officer, Warwick District Council

Helping South & Vale pursue one of the country’s most ambitious net-zero policy suites

We developed an evidence base to support ambitious climate change policies for the Joint Local Plan between South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council. Our support provided a policy position that produces truly sustainable net-zero energy buildings fit for the future.

Buildings constructed under the policy suite will ensure low running costs and comfortable living conditions, while not eating into the UK’s carbon budgets. Implementation of the policy suite directly contributes to local net-zero commitments of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, whilst fulfilling their local duties to sufficiently contribute to the UK’s legally binding 2050 net-zero target.

Creating sustainable communities with Railpen and Socius

Following on from our previous work, Bioregional was appointed by Railpen as the sustainability champions on two new build schemes in Cambridge – Botanic Place and Devonshire Gardens.

The challenge was to ensure that both schemes integrated the highest possible sustainability targets and ambitions. In particular, Botanic Place has the ambition of being the most energy efficient and intelligent innovation space in Cambridge – this will be achieved by using design features such as architecture that responds to the sun and intelligent ventilation systems built into the façade.

Bioregional’s role during this phase included tracking the sustainability commitments made at planning throughout RIBA Stage 4 of the design, challenging and pushing the design team to consider the most sustainable options for the design, construction and end use of the buildings. We also led a cross-scheme reuse initiative that aimed to explore the opportunities to salvage, reuse and share demolition materials to be used in the construction of the new schemes.

Botanic Place’s designs are estimated to reduce operational energy usage by 70% compared to traditional office buildings. Additional design features include:

  • Overnight heat release in warmer months, which will displace warm air from the day with colder evening air, passively cooling the building before the next day begins
  • A reversible system in colder months that can also harvest natural heat sources over time and carefully redistribute it, reducing the need for mechanical heaters
  • Environmentally conscious building materials which use thermal mass to better absorb, store and release heat will be used to moderate internal temperatures
  • Approximately 400 solar panels on the roof to reduce demand on Cambridge’s power networks

In terms of material reuse, bricks were salvaged from existing buildings on Botanic Place and will be transformed into terrazzo tiles to be reused in the interiors at Devonshire Gardens. Other bricks will be salvaged and used on Botanic Place for a new garden wall for a local pub. Some of the trees that have been felled on Devonshire Gardens will be turned into furniture or landscape features for the site. Other building elements and materials that can’t be reused in their original state will be repurposed and integrated into new building materials such as concrete and bricks that will be crushed and used for piling mats and oversite.

We also utilised our network of contacts within Cambridge to donate some building elements to charitable causes.

One Planet Living®: our sustainability framework

One Planet Living is our vision of a world where we can live well, within the limits of Earth’s resources, and a practical, straightforward framework to help achieve this.

Our One Planet Living sustainability framework has always been free to use, and now has users spanning six continents and 22 countries including Australia, Canada, USA, South Africa, and Ireland. In the 21 years since we developed the framework with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), nearly 350 communities, housebuilders, businesses, schools, and other organisations have used One Planet Living to create a more sustainable world. This includes 63 real estate developers, 82 businesses, 38 city/regional districts and 39 schools/education providers.

1.4 million people are now living in, visiting, or working at organisations, communities, and cities with a commitment to One Planet Living.

Celebrating new One Planet Living Leaders

One Planet Living Leaders are projects that showcase the very best use of our framework and represent the gold standard in sustainable placemaking. There are hundreds of One Planet Living projects around the world, but only the very best achieve the status of Leader or Global Leader. There are now 32 One Planet Living Leaders and Global Leaders.

City Quays Gardens

City Quays Gardens is a public space within the wider regeneration of the 2,000-acre Belfast Harbour area. The Gardens front the historic Harbour Offices, incorporating green space, planted areas, flexible event areas, gathering spaces and civic artworks that create a unique sense of place out of what was once an underused car park.

Hälsa

Hälsa is a joint venture between Windmill Developments and Leader Lane Developments. It comprises three residential buildings in Etobicoke’s Mimico neighbourhood of Toronto, consisting of two six-storey and one eight-storey residential building, totalling 83 homes.

As part of the One Planet Living Real Estate Fund portfolio, Hälsa is part of a process to make aspirational One Planet Living a standard and consistent way of delivering communities.

Windmill Group of Companies

Founded in 2003, Windmill is a visionary real estate group focused on creating happy, healthy communities within the resources of our planet. The Group is dedicated to transforming conventional development practices through its use of the One Planet Living sustainability framework.

It created Canada’s first One Planet Living masterplan at Zibi in Ottawa, and in 2021, it established the $100m One Planet Living Real Estate Fund, in partnership with Epic Investments. The Fund currently has 10 active projects across the Greater Toronto Area and downtown Ottawa. Four of the projects will take an innovative approach to using prefabricated Cross Laminated Timber, which delivers lower embodied carbon and allows for more rapid construction delivery.

One Planet Living is deeply embedded in every aspect of the Windmill Group of Companies: in its corporate strategy, its governance structures, its staff culture, and in the formulation and specification of every development project in the One Planet Living Fund. The Group’s advisory arm, Urban Equation, makes all the technical realities of One Planet Living come alive, innovating and improving with new ideas on every project.

One Planet Living Leaders maintaining their statuses

We're delighted that five of our Leaders / Global Leaders maintained their statuses.

Kings Farm Close

The Kings Farm Close development at Longcot, Oxfordshire, comprises 15 new homes. These new homes will have near-zero-carbon footprints, thanks to their use of an innovative construction system called Biond, which uses timber, wood fibre and hemp in the manufacturing process. Emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide gas caused by their construction are about 90% lower than for a conventional brick-built new home.

Springfield Meadows

Springfield Meadows, developed by Greencore Homes, is a custom-build housing development on the outskirts of Oxfordshire village Southmoor. It has used One Planet Living throughout its design and planning processes and has done so in its construction phase too. This ambitious development has had its One Planet Action Plan endorsed as a Global Leader in One Planet Living by Bioregional.

Bonham Quay

Developed by Edward Capital and designed by BDP Architects, Bonham Quay shows how our city centres can evolve to create places we want to visit and work in, with space for nature which everyone can enjoy.

Built on industrial land in a highly accessible location right in the heart of Galway city, the developers have created a high-quality scheme that makes it easy for people to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Zibi

Zibi, which means ‘river’ in the Algonquin Anishinaabe language, is a waterfront area located next to downtown Ottawa and its neighbouring city of Gatineau, overlooking both the Ottawa River and Chaudière Falls. Redeveloped from industrial brownfield land once dominated by a paper mill, the 37-acre site will include commercial and retail properties, condominium developments, a hotel, waterfront parks and open spaces and a network of pedestrian and cycling paths.

Zibi has a district-wide, zero-carbon energy system. Despite delays beyond Zibi’s control, in its first year of operation, Zibi still delivered a 38% CO2 saving on thermal demand compared to business-as-usual, resulting in 415tCO2e of which half was due to one-off commissioning activity.

Singita: Southern and East Africa

Singita is a leading sustainable tourism company, which boasts two One Planet Living Leaders – Singita Southern and East Africa and Singita Grumeti. Singita operates 15 eco-tourism lodges and camps in Southern and East Africa, which achieved Leader status in 2023, a downgrade from its previous Global Leader status.

Singita has achieved incredible things since it started using One Planet Living in 2012. It has created culinary schools for local communities, partnered in the relocation of rhino and helped to protect vast tracts of critically endangered ecosystems. This is a company that shows true leadership in many areas and to achieve Global Leadership again, now is the time to refocus on carbon mitigation and One Planet Living.

Thanks to our incredible team for another fantastic year.

Reporting against our commitments

Progress against our SBTi-approved carbon reduction target

Bioregional’s total emissions were 88.87 tCO2e in 22/23, a fall of 35.16% from our 2018/19 baseline (137.06 tCO2e). Scope 1 and 2 emissions fell by 69.35% mainly due to no longer using gas due to our office move, and moving to a less carbon-intensive electricity tariff. This means we’ve already achieved our target to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030. Scope 3 emissions fell by 33.53%, driven by an 88.34% fall in emissions from business travel to 3.99 tCO2e, which we achieved by limiting international travel. This reduction exceeded our target to reduce business travel emissions by 75% by 2030, and we are in the process of developing a travel policy to ensure our business travel emissions continue to track within our yearly reductions required to keep within this target.

A key focus for the year ahead will be purchased goods and services, which accounted for 67.9 tCO2e of emissions, approximately 76% of our total carbon footprint. We aim to reduce this through engagement with key suppliers, and by working with suppliers that have committed to science-based targets. We aim for 50% of our key suppliers (by emissions) to have science-based targets by 2025/26.

We have committed to:

• reduce our already low scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions – from property, and energy used for heating and lighting – by at least 50% by 2025/26.

We have also committed to reducing our scope 3 emissions – indirect emissions from manufacturing, supply chains and company travel – even though the SBTi does not require SMEs to do so. Bioregional will:

  • require 50% of our key suppliers (measured by procurement emissions) to have science-based targets by 2025, and,
  • reduce our absolute emissions from business travel by 75% by 2030.

Nature restoration

Bioregional signed the Nature Positive Business Pledge in April 2023, and as part of that, we committed to explore how we can make the most impact. We concluded that this is through our role working with, and providing thought leadership to, businesses. This aligns with one of our key strategic goals to work with businesses to regenerate ecosystems through collaboration with their supply chains and local communities.

As well as featuring in the Save our Wild Isles films mentioned earlier in this Impact Review, we also attend the UK Business for Biodiversity Forum (UKBBF) to keep abreast of sector developments and hear from other organisations.

We are evolving our capabilities to measure and report on land-related impacts for clients. Across FY23/24 we began a re-baseline to support the new Science Based Targets Initiative Food, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) requirements assessment for a major timber retailer, and began work on a carbon footprint in line with the GHG Protocol land sector guidance for a food service supplier. While reporting aligned with the GHG Land Sector Guidance about measuring the embodied greenhouse gas emissions for companies in land-intensive sectors, its implementation will encourage the adoption of best practices in land management, offering the potential for broader environmental benefits beyond GHG reductions such as conservation of biodiversity and improved soil health.

Acting on this issue and how to measure it is an emerging discipline for the whole sector, and therefore the team have been upskilling by studying the pilots of new frameworks such as The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and reviewing the Science Based Targets for nature guidance. In the coming year we will continue to actively encourage the businesses we work with to apply this methodology and approach, which will support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes, aligned with the Global Biodiversity Framework.

We are working to determine our service offer for nature-based reporting, which will be a priority for 2024/25.

Bioregional’s One Planet Living action plan 2023-24: highlights

The key highlights and principle summaries for our One Planet Living action plan – Bioregional’s sustainability strategy - are below.

Bioregional's One Planet Living action plan 2022-23: principle summary

Health and happiness

Key targets

  • Continue to run our annual staff engagement survey with a target engagement score of 4.2 or more (out of 5.0), and a participation rate of 80% or above
  • Continue to offer and ensure all staff are aware of: employee benefits, wellbeing and advice services, company policies, including flexible and hybrid working, staff grades and responsibilities, training opportunities

Main achievements

  • Engagement score of 4.1 achieved, and participation rate of 91% achieved
  • Information on benefits and services was communicated to staff during their induction process, and at regular intervals through HR communications, all-staff meetings, and line management meetings

Equity and local economy

Key targets

  • Diversity and Inclusion policies implemented
  • At least 60% of suppliers should be local (within 30 miles of our offices)

Main achievements

  • Continued to follow Bioregional’s events policy: Never participate in an all-male panel, ensure all Bioregional events have diverse speakers, proactively work with event organisers to find diverse speakers for events
  • Continued to ensure that we proactively seek job applications from people from underrepresented backgrounds, and that our recruitment process accommodates candidates who are neuro-divergent
  • Continued to support local suppliers

Culture and community

Key targets

  • Host at least 12 educational BedZED tours each year
  • Bioregional staff present at least one project seminar on climate justice, from a non-Western perspective

Main achievements

  • 24 BedZED tours were carried out during the year, hosting a total of 561 visitors
  • Seminar on RedC project completed – covering how organisations across accelerator ecosystems are taking action on climate justice

Land and nature

Key targets

  • Two events to be run during the year
  • Create an opportunity for staff to connect with nature during Bioregional’s summer awayday

Main achievements

  • Events were held, including a staff screening of the Save our Wild Isles campaign film.
  • Nature-based activity of wild foraging was included in the summer away day

Sustainable water

Key targets

  • Reach RIBA 2025 target for office water use (<13 l/p/day)
  • Hold a water-focussed seminar with colleagues, give tips on reducing water use in the home and office

Main achievements

  • Awaiting data on office water use from Sustainable Ventures
  • Seminar didn’t happen in 23-24 – aim to have it in 24-25

Local and sustainable food

Key targets

  • All catering at Bioregional events and meetings showcases good, plant-based food
  • Sustainable food is promoted to all clients

Main achievements

  • Internal catering target and client awareness target both met

Travel and transport

Key targets

  • 50% of staff commutes are by sustainable modes of transport (eg: cycle / public transport / electric car)
  • 75% reduction of business travel against pre-pandemic levels

Main achievements

  • Circa 93% of staff journeys are made using more sustainable modes of transport
  • Business travel reduction on track

Materials and products

Key targets

  • All suppliers to meet relevant sustainability criteria
  • Key suppliers, representing at least 50% of our procurement emissions will have science-based targets by 2025

Main achievements

  • Engagement with Sustainable Ventures is ongoing regarding both targets

Zero waste

Key targets

  • By Autumn 2023 have relevant information in place and have completed waste audit
  • By March 2024 have worked with Sustainable Ventures on a sustainability action plan

Main achievements

  • Conversations initiated with Sustainable Ventures and a board on the office’s waste and recycling processes is displayed for members in the kitchen

Zero-carbon energy

Key targets

  • Bioregional commits to our buildings being net-zero carbon in operational energy by 2030
  • Bioregional commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from a 2018 baseline by 50% by 2025

Main achievements

  • Awaiting data from Sustainable Ventures on operational energy
  • New scope 1 and 2 baseline created following office move

Our funders

The trustees and staff would like to place on record their gratitude to all the organisations and individuals who continue to support the work of the charity. Our work would not be possible without the support of our partners and funders. Thank you.

Our partners in 2023/24

A2Dominion, Acorns, Children's Hospice, Activate Learning, AECOM, Allegra Care, Baker Street Quarter Partnership, Beale and Company, Bellway Homes, British Heart Foundation, Burlodge, Bush Theatre, Cambridge City Council, Caterham Barracks Community Trust, Central Lincolnshire Authorities, Cherwell District Council, Climate Partnership, Coventry City Council, Cranfield University, Crescent Communities, Edward Developments, Essex County Council, GPF Lewis PLC, Greencore Homes, Islington Borough Council, Kingfisher Group, Legal and General, London Borough of Lambeth Council, Lamington Group, Land Securities, L'Oreal, Mackenzie Miller Homes, Mamas and Papas, Matter Real Estate LLP, Mitchells & Butlers, National Education Union, New West End Company, NG Bailey, Nottingham City Council, Oxford Brooks University, Oxfordshire County Council, Peabody, PHD Building Advisory Limited, Placefirst Limited, Platform Housing, Purity Soft Drinks, Radcliffe Housing Society, Raven Housing Trust, REDC Research, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Rutland County Council, Selfridges, Singita, Socius, South Cambridgeshire District Authority, South Kesteven District Council, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, South Staffordshire District Council, Specsavers, Sue Ryder, Surrey County Council, Sutton Council, Terra Firma, The Portman Estate, Troup Bywaters & Anders, United Nations Environment Programme, Urban Equation, Wagamama, Warwick District Council, West Berkshire Council, Whittington & Fisherwick PC, and Windmill.

Our grant funders and donors in 2023/24

Energy Saving Trust, Innovate UK, The National Lottery.

Additional image credits: respective partners

We can do this. We can tackle the climate and ecological emergency and create a better future. Thank you for being on this journey with us.